Spotlight On… Star of The Crucible & Call The Midwife, Victoria Yeates

Victoria Yeates is best known for her role in Call The Midwife, she is usually found beneath a wimple as Sister Winifred – however she is currently appearing as Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Here’s what Victoria had to say about the production…

Victoria as Sister Winifred in Call The Midwife (Credit: BBC)

Thanks for talking to Break A Leg, how familiar were you with the script?

Not very familiar but I had read the play at school.

What have reactions to the piece been like so far?

Incredibly positive…

What do you think the strengths of the production are?

I think it’s pace. Doug didn’t want the audience to have time to reflect so you feel pulled along in the madness with them.

What is the biggest challenge for you in playing Elizabeth?

It’s hard because, at the beginning of the play, she’s so conflicted; she has five things going on at the same time. She loves her husband John but he has been unfaithful to her so you see her as being aggressive, defensive, guilty, scared that he might leave her and on top of that she also wants to be the best wife to him. It’s what happens when someone is having an affair but here the stakes are so high and she doesn’t know how to express herself. It’s a complicated part but it makes it really interesting.

What do you enjoy about theatre work?

I like getting time to hone. Also with text this well written you are endlessly finding more layers and being surprised every night by something new. This longevity really allows you to open as an actor I think and have a ‘work out’ so-to-speak.

When you’re on tour, what home comforts do you like to have in your dressing room?

A nice scented candle, I like to bring a nice blanket with me from home and probably some flowers.

Just quickly dipping into Call The Midwife (because I’m a huge fan, like the rest of the nation!) why do you think the show is so popular and what do you particularly like about your character Sister Winifred?

I like that we are still getting to know Winnie, she still has a lot hidden. I like how she has struggled with judgement and other more unattractive qualities we all share. I think in this current climate its important to represent someone we like, but then feel contradicted in that liking by some of their views we don’t particularly share. I think it’s so successful because people like watching connection and community. Stories we can all share in and have a link to in some way…..and of course as its nearly all women! 

Huge thanks to Victoria for her time, I can’t wait to come and see this and I’m excited for more Call The Midwife too!


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