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Cast announced for By The Waters of Liverpool a new play by Helen Forrester

10 months ago

Cast announced for By The Waters of Liverpool a new play by Helen Forrester
By The Waters of Liverpool. Credit: Dave Jones

Cast features Coronation Street’s Tom Roberts and Emmerdale’s Joe Gill.

The creative team behind new Helen Forrester play By The Waters Of Liverpool have released the first cast images during rehearsals and in costume.

By The Waters Of Liverpool Autumn 2023 UK Tour will run for eight weeks visiting 13 venues across the country.

The tour opens in two weeks on Monday 4 September 2023 at The Auditorium at M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool before travelling round the country.

The nine-strong cast will play more than 50 characters between them during the production.

By The Waters Of Liverpool tells the captivating life story of best-selling author Helen Forrester. this will be the only chance fans will have to experience the new production live on stage as the team recently announced that this play and the earlier production, Twopence To Cross The Mersey, will no longer tour.

After opening The Auditorium at M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool early September, the tour will conclude late October at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton – just a few miles from where Helen Forrester was born in Wirral. Both venues are located on the banks of the River Mersey which was instrumental throughout Helen’s books.

Between the dates in Liverpool and New Brighton, the play will also visit venues in Port Sunlight, Crewe, Coventry, Sale, Rhyl, Darlington, Lichfield, St Helens, Southport, Halifax, and Lytham.

The cast are now in rehearsals in Liverpool and took time out for a costume photoshoot – showcasing how the new line-up will look in the play.

Coronation Street’s Tom Roberts will play John Forrester, Helen’s father; Emmerdale’s Joe Gill will play Harry O’Dwyer, Helen’s love interest; with newcomer Emma Mulligan in the lead role of Helen Forrester. This is Emma’s first professional acting role.

By The Waters of Liverpool - M&S Bank Arena - Theatre
Credit: M&S Bank Arena

They will be joined by Lynn Francis, Daniel Taylor, Lynne Fitzgerald, Joe Owens, Samantha Alton, and Roy Carruthers.

Tom Roberts has countless television credits including bad boy Scott Emberton in Coronation Street; DS Flanagan in Emmerdale; five seasons as Tony in 2point4 Children; EastEnders; Casualty; Holby City; Waterloo Road; Hustle; Brookside; Hollyoaks; Boon; and The Bill. Film credits include The Bradford Riots; Oh Mary, This London; The Casebook Of Eddie Brewer; Doreen: The Movie; and Just 14. Having trained at Mountview Drama School, Tom’s theatre credits include Blood Brothers, Fiddler On The Roof, Kes, Death Of A Salesman, The Three Musketeers, Misconceptions, Bouncers, Changing Rooms, Intimate Exchanges, Frankenstein, April In Paris, Educating Rita, The Holly And The Ivy, On Golden Pond, and The Verdict. His extensive radio work includes drama for BBC Radio 4, as well as several appearances on The Archers.

Joe Gill is best known for playing the role of Finn Barton in ITV’s Emmerdale. He has also appeared in Brassic, Casualty, In The Flesh, The Sparticle Mystery, River City, In With The Flynns, and short film The Rest Is Flowers. Joe recently wrapped on his first leading feature film role in Treading Water, due for release later this year. On stage Joe recently appeared in Into Battle at Greenwich Theatre to rave reviews. Theatre credits also include The Full Monty, Butterfly House, Tiger, Romeo & Juliet, and The Comedy of Errors. He has also worked on a web series BookStreamz – narrating and performing a wide variety of stories from well-known and undiscovered authors, streamed live to the homes of audiences.

Emma Mulligan is a 2021 acting graduate from East 15 Acting School. She is originally from Northern Ireland. Most recently she played the role of Marie in short film Undead Dilemma. Emma played numerous roles at drama school, including Dunyasha in The Cherry Orchard, Inez in No Exit, and Mattie-Fae in August: Osage County.

Lynn Francis is well-known on the Liverpool theatre scene. Her theatre credits include The Royal, Ladies Day, A Nightmare On Lime Street, and The Salon. Screen roles include Reds & Blues, The Ballad Of Dixie & Kenny, and Charlie Noades RIP. She also worked alongside Ian Hart and Dougray Scott in film The Lie Is Dead.

Daniel Taylor is an award-winning actor, producer, and theatre director. He has recently toured the UK in the lead role of Something About George – The George Harrison Story. Theatre credits also include Blood Brothers, The Very Best Of Tommy Cooper, Lennon: Through A Glass Onion, Down The Dock Road, and A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. Television credits include Loose Women, The Bill, and Miranda’s Games With Showbiz Names.

Lynne Fitzgerald is best known for her comedy acting role. She is also an acclaimed writer and director. Theatre credits include Desperate Scousewives, 2Georgeous4U, Two, The Importance Of Being Earnest, Catfish Therapy, The Salon, Night Collar, and Last Train To Auschwitz.

Joe Owens has most recently been seen in the new and reimagined production of Masquerade at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre. His training includes the BA Acting course and Foundation Certificate at LIPA, as well numerous years spent with the Young Everyman and Playhouse (YEP) company. Credits include Dogs directed by Nathan Powell; Love’s Labour’s Lost directed by Conor Wray; and Posh directed by Francesca Goodridge.

Samantha Alton is best known for her one-woman performance as Kitty in Kitty, Queen of The Washhouse, at Shakespeare North Playhouse. She has been performing professional for almost a decade now after graduating with first class honours in 2013.

Roy Carruthers is a familiar face on stages in Liverpool. Theatre credits include Ladies Night, Funny Money, Night Collar, The Price, and Lennon’s Banjo. Television credits include Good Cop, and Longford. Film credits Sparkle. Roy has also appeared on Radio 4’s Pick Of The Week programme.

By The Waters Of Liverpool is a stunning period drama produced by the team who first brought the smash-hit Twopence To Cross The Mersey to the stage, which premiered in Liverpool almost 30 years ago.

The creative team are producers Rob Fennah and Lynn McDermott for Pulse Stage Productions and Bill Elms. The show is directed by Gareth Tudor Price and written by Rob Fennah.

Co-producer Bill Elms said: 

“Rehearsals are now underway and the cast and crew are already coming together as a family – it’s inspiring to see everyone really just click and support each other. Once those costumes go on, the characters really come alive and it’s magical. We are very lucky to be custodians of Helen Forrester’s fascinating life story – which so many people today can resonate with given the challenging times in society.

“Since Twopence To Cross The Mersey premiered almost 30 years ago, hundreds of thousands of theatregoers have seen the show and really taken Helen’s story to their hearts. Helen and her family even travelled from Canada to see it for themselves. By The Waters Of Liverpool is an adaptation of her third autobiography and the final chapter of Helen’s life in Liverpool during the Great Depression.

“The play also features sizeable chunks from Helen’s earlier book Liverpool Miss, together with flashbacks to Twopence To Cross The Mersey – as well as a storyline from Helen’s fourth autobiography Lime Street At Two. That way, those unfamiliar with Helen’s work will still get a complete picture of her life in one show.”

By The Waters Of Liverpool Autumn 2023 UK Tour is highly anticipated. Its inaugural tour was scheduled to run for 12 weeks across 17 venues in Spring 2020. It was abandoned after visiting only three theatres due to the Covid-19 pandemic and rescheduled twice when the pandemic failed to abate.  

By The Waters Of Liverpool has sold more than a million books. It is set in the 1930s after Helen’s father went bankrupt during the Depression. Her family were forced to leave behind the nannies, servants and comfortable middle-class life in the South West of England. The Forrester’s chose Liverpool to rebuild their shattered lives.

They were in for a terrible shock. Taken out of school to look after her young siblings, Helen is sick of being treated as an unpaid slave and begins a bitter fight with her parents for the right to go out to work and make her own way in life. But by 1939 and with Britain on the verge of war Helen, now aged 20, has still never been kissed by a man. But things start looking up for her when she meets a tall strong seaman and falls in love.

Helen’s literary achievements were further celebrated in 2020 to mark her 100th Birthday when an iconic Blue Plaque was unveiled at the Forrester family home in Hoylake on the Wirral, a place which featured heavily in her work.

Helen Forrester’s best-selling volumes of autobiography include Twopence To Cross The Mersey, Liverpool Miss, By The Waters Of Liverpool, and Lime Street At Two.

For more info on By The Waters of Liverpool click HERE.

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