Comedy classic Neil Simon's Last of the Red-Hot Lovers

St Helens Star: STAR QUALITY Debra Stephenson with her co-star Stephen Pinder STAR QUALITY Debra Stephenson with her co-star Stephen Pinder

LAINE, Bobbi and Jeanette will be doing their best not to laugh when soap star Debra Stephenson blazes into town for what promises to be four laughter-filled performances of Last of the Red Hot Lovers at the Theatre Royal.

Celebrity impressionist Debra revealed how she couldn’t refuse the role – which sees her play the three characters of Elaine, Bobbi and Jeanette – in Neil Simon’s hilarious romp in which she’s the target of attention for Barney Cashman who fears he’s missing out on the sexual revolution of the Swinging 60s.

In a Star interview, 42-year-old Debra, the former Bad Girls and Coronation Street star, explained: “It’s great, we’re having so much fun in rehearsals – hopefully the audience will have as much fun as we are.

“I don’t usually do plays, I usually get bored and fidgety half-way through but this had me hooked from the beginning. The writing is so good. People can expect a real laugh.

“Being set in the swinging 60s there is innuendo but nothing crude. It’s not something to squirm at. It’s old fashioned in some ways. It’s about human nature.

“The 60s and post 60s was a period of change but for some people it didn’t change. There were people who hadn’t smoked pot or had lots of lovers. I’d say even now people have a broad moral spectrum, Last of the Red Hot Lovers is still relevant.

“There are many men who are faithful types who get that restless feeling in their 40s, who wonder what life they might have led.

“Barney (played by Crossroads and Brookside actor Stephen Pinder) has this restless feeling – it’s hilarious. He has three different women at three stages in his life. He’s just completely hopeless. He just wants to live a little,” said Debra who hails from Hull and was a rugby league fan in the days when the Airlie Birds played at The Boulevard.

“Working with Stephen is great fun.”

Singer, actor and impressionist Debra likes a laugh herself but she decided discretion might be the best bet when she realised during the interview that she was doing an impression taking the mickey out of Cilla Black right in the middle of Liverpool city centre. So she took a quick left into a sandwich bar!

Debra is enthusiastically looking forward to her first visit to the Theatre Royal and promises this will be one show not to be missed.

Last of the Red Hot Lovers is being staged from 7.30pm on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 11-14 with an extra 2pm show on Saturday. Adult admission is £15, concessions available.

Book in person at the Theatre Royal Box Office Corporation Street, (Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm) or call 01744 756 000 or log on to: sthelenstheatreroyal.com.

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