Weatherfield: the musical

Britain’s best-loved soap opera Coronation Street hits the live stage next year in a lavish musical at Manchester’s MEN Arena.

Street of Dreams is a star-studded romp through half a century of tragedy, comedy, hotpot and pints of Newton and Ridley’s. Former Street stars who will appear include Julie Goodyear who played brassy barmaid Bet Lynch, and Kevin Kennedy, aka Curly Watts the binman turned supermarket manager.

Also involved are William Roache, who has played Ken Barlow since episode one, and Katy Cavanagh, the current camp favourite Julie Carp. A series of guest stars will play the legendary Elsie Tanner, the backstreet Bardot immortalised by Pat Phoenix in the 60s and 70s.

The show has a lot to pack in and will be a fast-moving compilation of sketches, highlights and musical numbers. Many of the songs will be drawn from the Coronation Street: Rogues, Angels, Heroes and Fools album which was released to mark the 50th anniversary of the soap.

The director John Stephenson will provide a visual extravaganza, promising "a spectacular set and special visual effects". Whether they will be able to reproduce the lavish tram crash of 2010 remains to be seen.

The compere of the show will be the chat show host Paul O’Grady, whose comic creation Lily Savage owed not a little to the Bet Lynch template. "Chunks of the script from 30 years ago are engraved in my memory," he said, "so to relive it all alongside unforgettable characters and talent on the stage, revisiting such iconic scenes from across the years, is just brilliant."

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