Theatre News: By The Waters Of Liverpool, Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

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By The Waters Of Liverpool

National dates revealed for new show from the team behind Helen Forrester’s beloved Twopence To Cross The Mersey

Following on from its highly acclaimed run at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre last autumn, By The Waters Of Liverpool is set to embark on a major UK tour in Spring 2020, it has been revealed today.

The production follows the smash-hit success of Forrester’s Twopence To Cross The Mersey and is being brought to audiences by the team behind both the musical and stage play versions of the award-winning true story.

By The Waters Of Liverpool is a period drama set in the 1930s. The story opens in 1935. Helen Forrester is sixteen years old and fighting a bitter battle with her parents for the right to educate herself and go out to work.

During the Great Depression, Helen’s father lost his fortune when the stock market and the family were suddenly thrown into poverty. Leaving behind the nannies, servants and comfortable middle-class life in the South West of England, the Forrester’s chose Liverpool as the place to start over. They were in for a terrible shock. Taken out of school to care for her younger brothers and sisters while her parents struggled to re-build their shattered lives, Helen is treated as an unpaid slave and desperate to escape.

By 1939, now aged twenty and with Britain on the brink of war, she has never been kissed by a man. But things start looking up for Helen when she meets a tall strong seaman and falls in love.

And in celebration of what would have been Helen Forrester’s 100th birthday, the eleven-week tour will open at the Floral Pavilion from March 3-8 2020, just a few miles from where she was born.

The tour will then move on to the Stockport Plaza from March 10-12, Warrington Parr Hall on March 14-15, St Helens Theatre Royal from March 17-21, Lancaster Grand on March 23-24, Crewe Lyceum on March 25-26, and Southport Theatre on March 27-28.

It continues with dates at Rhyl Pavilion Theatre from March 31 to April 4, Swansea Grand Theatre on April 6-7, Darlington Hippodrome from April 9-11, and Malvern Theatres on April 14-15.

The second leg of the tour and full casting will be announced in the coming weeks.

Millions of people know Helen Forrester’s life story told through her best-selling volumes of autobiography, Twopence to Cross the Mersey, Liverpool Miss and By The Waters Of Liverpool.

Writer and friend of Helen Forrester, Rob Fennah has written both the stage play versions of Twopence To Cross The Mersey and By The Waters Of Liverpool. The new touring production is again produced by Pulse Records Limited in association with Bill Elms, and is directed by Gareth Tudor Price.

Rob Fennah said: “We had an amazing response when we premiered By The Waters Of Liverpool last autumn. Helen Forrester’s books resonate with millions of people across the UK and many more around the world.

“This adaptation of By The Waters Of Liverpool features a sizeable chunk from Liverpool Miss, Helen’s second volume of autobiography, together with flashbacks to Twopence To Cross The Mersey, so newcomers to Helen’s story will get a complete picture of her life.

“This June marks the centenary of Helen’s birth and, although she is no longer with us, she’ll be in our thoughts at this very special time. Last year her son Robert Bhatia made the journey from Canada to see the production at the Liverpool Empire and loved it. Now, with Robert’s full backing, we can’t wait to share his mother’s story with audiences across the UK.”

By The Waters Of Liverpool by Helen Forrester has sold more than a million books. Now this is your chance to see it come to life in this exciting new stage play adaptation.

The final three cast members have since been revealed as Sian Reeves, Parry Glasspool and Lucy Dixon.

After a hugely successful premiere run at the Liverpool Empire Theatre last Autumn, the play will now make its way round the country bringing Helen’s fascinating story to life on stage.

Sian Reeves is a star of the stage and the screen, and is best known for her television roles in Emmerdale, Mount Pleasant, Still Open All Hours, Lunch Monkeys, Hope Springs, City Lights, Where The Heart Is, and Cutting It.

Parry Glasspool of Hollyoaks and Lucy Dixon of Waterloo Road and Hollyoaks, join Sian to complete the cast, and they are joined by the recently announced Mark Moraghan and Eric Potts.

Mark Moraghan will play Helen’s father. Mark previously played Father in the 2007 and 2009 adaptations of Twopence To Cross The Mersey. He returned to play the role in By The Waters Of Liverpool in 2018. Mark is best known for his roles in Holby City, Coronation Street and Brookside.

Eric Potts of Coronation Street and Doctor Who will play Mr. Ellis, Helen’s fiery-tempered boss. Eric has also appeared in Peak Practice, Heartbeat, The Royal, Last Of The Summer Wine, and Steel River Blues.

Other confirmed cast members are Lynn Francis as The Deaconess; Danny O’Brien as Harry O’Dwyer; Chloe McDonald as Fiona (Helen’s sister); and Roy Carruthers as The Detective.

By The Waters Of Liverpool Tickets

By The Waters Of Liverpool runs at the Floral Pavilion from Tuesday March 3 to Saturday March 7 2020. To buy tickets, click here or call 0151 666 0000.