Ex-EastEnders star Sophie Lawrence is re-living her youth in a musical about the eighties.

"My sister said, you look just like you did 20 years ago," laughed Sophie Lawrence. "There's lots of leg warmers, they're quite ridiculous."

Boogie Nights 2 is set in the era when Back to the Future had amazing special effects, Huey Lewis reminded us it was hip to be square, the Rubik's cube was the greatest mystery mankind could solve and every pop star was a Prince Charming.

Sophie Lawrence may be starring alongside '70s heart throb David Essex but the ex-EastEnders star is more at home in the '80s.

"That was my era, my teenage years," she said. "I love the music. It's really weird to be in a show that's distinctly about a time you remember. It's a good laugh."

Sophie, best known for playing Dianne Butcher in EastEnders, said she was too young to have David posted on her wall.

"I delight in telling him!" she said. "David, by his own admission, was at his most famous in 1972, the year I was born. My sister loved him, she's five years older than me. But he's gorgeous, even now."



So does she get starstruck?

"I guess I did when I first met him, but yesterday it was a year since we started (touring with Boogie Nights 2). A year is a long time to see someone six days a week. I see a lot of him.

"When you first meet him you don't know what to say. Now he asks if I want a coffee. You get used to it, he's not starry or anything so you don't feel you have to be."

Shaun Williamson, another ex-Eastenders star who played Barry, is also in musical theatre playing in Saturday Night Fever in Manchester. I wondered if she had any tips for the man.

"Shaun's lovely. I'd say to him just enjoy himself. It's hard to spend a lot of time away from home, but it's good fun. There's something about live theatre."

But her soap character is still alive living in France, which means there's a chance she could be resurrected. Would she go back? "I think if the opportunity arose I would, I would never say no."

After Blackpool, Sophie is doing panto, Peter Pan, in Manchester, and then thinks it will be time for a holiday. Her friends at home are forgetting what she looks like.

"When they ask if I can come out, I'm like, yeah in a year-and-a-half!"

Boogie Nights 2 is now on until October 29, The Opera House, Blackpool. Call 01253 292029.

Ann Chadwick