EastEnders’s Branning sisters have traditionally upped the scare factor on Halloween (remember the Weeping Angel mask? The attempted apple-bobbing drownting?). And for 2017, they’re really pulling out all the stops when Lauren catches Abi in the wedding dress she was planning to wear on her wedding day to Steven!
“When we were filming it, we just couldn’t keep a straight face. It was nuts,” admits actress Lorna Fitzgerald, who plays Abi. “It must be something to do with the moon for Abi. She does always seem to go crazy around Halloween. There’s something about that holiday that brings things to a peak!”
Unable to keep her secrets to herself, Abi will be seen blurting out the truth about being in love with Steven – news that leaves her sister stunned. As Lauren struggles to get her head around everything, the pair find themselves in a blazing argument that ends up taking a gothic turn.
“Abi is standing there in her wedding dress and she realises that she’s really got to say what’s going on,” says Fitzgerald. “I think it’s a relief for her. She feels like she’s got this massive weight off her chest, but Lauren is fuming because she didn’t see it coming at all. Abi’s hatred towards Lauren has been building for quite some time, so it’s explosive how it all comes out.”
As the Halloween drama spirals out of control, further revelations come to light, including the fact that Abi is still in possession of Steven’s ashes. Then comes the bombshell news that Abi just happens to be pregnant with Steven’s baby!
“Lauren is furious – and quite rightly so,” adds the actress. “Ultimately, the baby news will prove to be too much for Lauren as it means that – in a way – Steven will be around forever!”
Unfortunately, two people who won’t be around forever on EastEnders are Fitzgerald and her co-star Jacqueline Jossa. With both actresses set to exit in the months ahead, it looks as though this particular plotline will be building to a memorable climax.
As for the future, Fitzgerald says, “I’ve been here for a fantastic 11 years, so I’m just looking forward to seeing what the future holds. It will be an explosive Christmas for the Brannings and then who knows? I’d like to do a bit of theatre – something completely different.
“I know it sounds really crazy but The Exorcist is showing in the West End for Halloween. Imagine playing that? It would just be so weird and completely different. No one could compare it to Abi – well, I hope not! Perhaps I should be playing Mary Poppins instead…”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below. Beneath that, there’s our Week in Walford review show.
And visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.