It’s the grand reopening of Booth and Son’s Fish & Chip Shop. Eric has returned home, more than 40 years after he left, and it’s time for a fresh start. But old flame Christine has other ideas.

Transported back to a time of chippy teas and Northern Soul, there’s unfinished business for these old lovers. Watching teenage love stumble as hapless Lee makes a pass at the beautiful Jasmine, is it all just history repeating?

Focusing on love at different ages and celebrating the nation’s favourite food, Chip Shop Chips heads nationwide following a completely sold-out tour in Spring 2016. Performing in unusual spaces across the country and set to a soundtrack of Northern Soul, audiences even find themselves served with a fish and chip supper.

“We serve the fish and chips and then the drama begins,” laughs actress Jessica Forrest, who knows Chester well after appearing in Hollyoaks for three years as Leanne Holliday.

“There’s also a quiz and a bit of interactive hat making and alongside that it’s a lovely story that comes with a great soundtrack of Northern Soul.”

Since finishing on the Channel 4 soap four years ago, Manchester-born Jessica, 27, has been busy writing and performing as well as developing a stand up comedy act but she jumped at the chance to revive her role in Chip Shop Chips after it first toured the country two years ago..

“I live in London now and you don’t really get a decent chippy down there so when I got the script I was like ‘this is great: I’m going to be up north again with gravy on my chips’”, she says.

“I thought the script was great. Becky wrote the play after being in a chip shop in Bolton and it’s just really good fun.

Written by Becky Prestwich and inspired by the Olympus Fish and Chip Shop opposite Bolton Octagon (“I was immediately struck by what a fantastic place for people watching it was,” says Prestwich), the play has made a point of visiting all sorts of unusual venues while touring the country with this latest run including pubs, libraries and Chester’s St Mary’s Creative Space next Thursday at 7.30pm.

“We did a run of five weeks-worth of shows and it worked really well,” continues Jessica. “It sold out everywhere I don’t just think that was because people wanted a free chippy tea.

“One of the lovely elements about serving the fish and chips during the performance is you get that lovely smell during a show that is about nostalgia and memories.

“That smell of chip shops really takes people back to different places and times in their life.”

A couple of years ago Jessica took Trolley Girls - a play she had written about life working in a supermarket - to Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it was met with acclaim.

“It was really good and I want to keep going with it,” she says. “I’ve also started to do a bit of stand up comedy which is fun.

“I’m from Colne in Lancashire originally and so is the girl I write with. We just sit around reminiscing about our time at school and growing up and going down to Asda on our lunch.

“When you’re in London and from a small northern town, you really miss it and I remember laughing so much we decided we should get it down on paper. From then on I’ve been looking at every experience I go through in life as new material! So far it seems to be working.”

Looking back on her time on Hollyoaks, Jessica is full of happy memories.

“I was so young when I got that job,” she remembers. “I went to an open audition at the BBC on Oxford Road in Manchester where anyone could join the queue and that’s how I got the part of Leanne.

“I was 18 and hadn’t done any professional acting before so I was really thrown in the deep end but it was like a big family and everyone looked after me.

“Obviously it’s a show full of young people so we were all a bit bonkers and we used to go out a lot in Liverpool and go to the Soap Awards. It was like my university to be honest and a great training platform.”

Coming back to Chester is also something the young actress is relishing after doing some filming in the city while appearing on the soap.

“We used to film a lot in Chester and I remember one year going to Chester Rocks which was brilliant and we went to the races which was fun,” she says.

“Chester is so pretty and I love all the old buildings. For half the time on this tour we’re going to be in the middle of nowhere but with Chester at least I can go shopping!”

Touring in pubs, market halls, libraries, community centres and village halls across the country seems a long way from the glamour of Hollyoaks but Jessica doesn’t seem to mind.

“The last tour was really rural,” she recalls. “I remember being up in Shap in the Lake District and there were two pubs and a post office that never opened.

“It’s fun and I’m designated driver this time and it made me think about all these big holidays that you go on when actually just driving around the UK’s countryside isn’t that bad.”

A massive part of Chip Shop Chips is the Northern Soul music that soundtracks the action and Jessica admits she’s a recent convert.

“I’ve really become a fan,” she adds. “It’s well before my time but it’s such happy music which I never realised before and now I can never get The Snake by Al Wilson out of my head.”

l Tickets for Chip Shop Chips on Thursday, March 1 are priced at £13 and can be obtained by visiting