SIAN Reeves has kept Coronation Street viewers on the edge of their seats since rolling up as Charlie Wood, the deluded wife Tim Metcalfe didn’t know he had.
But viewers will have to wait to see how it all pans out for Tim, Sally and Charlie as she takes a break from the cobbles of Weatherfield to star in the brand new stage play adaptation of Helen Forrester’s, By The Waters Of Liverpool which is coming to Warrington’s Parr Hall on March 14-15.
From ex-con, Hannah Temple in Hope Springs, to the psychotic Sally Spode in Emmerdale – and now Charlie Wood in Corrie, Sian seems right at home playing the vulnerable woman with issues, and her new role in By The Waters Of Liverpool is no exception.
Sian said: “I’ll be playing ‘Mother’, Celia Forrester, who is a wonderfully complex person.
“From money, status and class, before the great depression of the 1930s, to then losing everything and being dumped in a damp bug infested house with one cold tap, one toilet –and seven children to look after, I think she absolutely cannot shake herself out of the nightmare that is now her new life.
“She is stunned that her husband, who once held a senior position in the financial world, cannot find work and they have to grovel for handouts from the local parish.
“And to escape the confines of this smelly, claustrophobic house, she leaves the day-to-day running of the family to her 11-year-old daughter, Helen, which manifests itself as a very strict and uncaring woman.
“Helen actually said of her mother, “her bouts of temper bordered on insanity”, but really she is exhausted and so dreadfully depressed. It’s a great role to play”.
And in celebration of Helen Forrester’s 100th birthday, an iconic blue plaque will be unveiled at a special event in February at the late author’s family home in Hoylake – a place which featured heavily in Helen’s four volumes of best-selling autobiography, including Twopence To Cross The Mersey and By The Waters Of Liverpool.
The plaque will be unveiled by Sian Reeves and co-star, Mark Moraghan.
Sian continued: “I have read about five of Helen’s books and I feel very honoured to have been asked to unveil Helen’s blue plaque with the lovely Mark Moraghan.
“Helen was a magnificently, clever woman and it will be lovely to meet some of her family at this very special occasion.”
By the Waters of Liverpool is set in the 1930s after Helen’s father went bankrupt during The Great Depression.
Her family were forced to leave behind the nannies, servants and comfortable middle-class life in the South West of England.
The Forresters chose Liverpool to rebuild their shattered lives, but they were in for a terrible shock.
Taken out of school to look after her young siblings, Helen is treated as an unpaid slave.
So begins a bitter fight with her parents for the right to go out to work and make her own way in life.
By 1939 and with Britain on the verge of war, the 20-year-old Helen 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.
The new touring production of By the Waters of Liverpool is produced by Pulse Records Limited in association with Bill Elms, is directed by Gareth Tudor Price and written by Rob Fennah.
Mr Fennah said: “Although Helen is no longer with us, she is always in my thoughts.
“While I was writing By the Waters of Liverpool, I imagined her looking over my shoulder to check all the little details were correct and in order.
“Even after all these years on from adapting Twopence to Cross the Mersey, I can still hear her voice in my head saying, “Make sure you get it right Rob, this is my life we’re talking about here!”.
“It’s a real privilege to be entrusted with her most famous works, but also a huge responsibility.”
By the Waters of Liverpool comes to Parr Hall on Saturday 14 and Sunday March 15.
Tickets are on sale now; visit parrhall.culturewarrington.org or call 01925 442345.