“I like playing strong women,” declares Call The Midwife star Victoria Yeates. She is about to embark on the challenge of playing Elizabeth Proctor in Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch’s production of playwright Arthur Miller’s classic 1953 drama The Crucible.

The play revolves around the history of the infamous real-life Salem witch-trials that took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, in America, during 1692 and 1963.

Elizabeth Proctor is a young wife who is accused of witchcraft, but is spared the death penalty due to being pregnant. At the same time, her emotions are in turmoil due to finding out about her husband’s adultery and has to decide whether or not to forgive him.

Victoria, who has also appeared on Holby City, is no stranger to playing challenging female roles. For the past four years, she has transformed into god-fearing Sister Winifred in the BBC’s hit show Call The Midwife, which saw viewing figures reach up to 10 million in the most recent Christmas special.

The 33-year-old grew up in Bournemouth and started ballet dancing as a child, but studied for a BA (Hons) acting degree at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), after realising at the age of 15 she wanted to turn her hobby of performing into a career.

She admits she is looking forward to stepping back on stage in between her filming schedule and explains why her latest venture on stage feels like “coming home”…

Victoria says: “Elizabeth Proctor is someone I have always wanted to play. I think she is one of the best female characters, as she is full of integrity and strength and goes a long way to find forgiveness and peace with her husband, despite having all this inner conflict to go through.

The Crucible is an interesting piece, as it seems to have a Shakespearean quality about it, as well as being a domestic drama about a relationship between a husband and wife. It is a good, challenging role.”

Delving into the witch-trials will be very different to playing a nun, but Victoria says she enjoys exploring women who may be underrepresented or marginalised by society.

She says: “Normally, female actors are cast as either strong or saucy women, without there being anything in between, but I think it has been interesting to play a nun, as it is unusual and I do feel everyone needs to be represented in some way.

“The show is interesting as it has all female writers and female directors and touches on a lot of women’s issues that still need addressing, such as domestic abuse and miscarriage.

“Winifred still intrigues me and I want to keep getting to know her more, so hopefully the character will continue for a good while longer.”

She admits she still hasn’t let the show’s success sink in yet.

Victoria says: “I still cannot believe how popular the show is. Even when I go abroad, people recognise me and talk about what is happening in the show.

“I’m lucky as everyone is lovely to work with and we are a real family who get on outside of work too. It is amazing to get to do a job where everyone looks forward to going to work.

“I just go into my trailer to put my nun outfit on and try not to think about it all too much or it may be overwhelming.

“I think the success of Call The Midwife is due to the fact that people all work together in a community and that despite all the negativity we usually see on our screens every day, there is still a lot of goodness in the world.”

The Crucible, Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch, RM11 1QT, Friday, February 17 to Saturday, March 11, 7.30pm, 2.30pm, details: 01708 443333, queens-theatre.co.uk