Former Coronation Street star Ian Redford is back on the Manchester stage at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Award-winning Chloe Moss' The Gatekeeper which opens next month in their studio space.

Set in the Lake District, the play explores one family’s celebratory get-together, which soon starts to fall apart. Daughter Stacey has gathered her parents and brother to celebrate her birthday, but as the drinks continue to flow, the already claustrophobic confines of the holiday cottage reveal the darker side of each family member and the celebration they were hoping for soon goes to pieces.

Liverpool playwright Chloe Moss attempts to capture the infuriating family habits and conversations, which no amount of rescue remedy can save. Her first play A Day in Dull Armour was produced by the Royal Court Theatre and won the Young Writers Festival in 2002. Other writing credits include How Love Is Spelt, which was awarded a special commendation by the Susan Smith-Blackburn Prize; This Wide Night, produced by Clean Break and presented at Soho Theatre, which was awarded the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and Christmas Is Miles Away, which received its World Premiere in at the Royal Exchange in 2005.

Chloe was writer-in-residence at the Bush Theatre, London in 2003 and at Paines Plough in 2004. She then completed an attachment at the Royal National Theatre and is currently under commission to the Royal Court and Liverpool Everyman Theatre.

Heading up the cast and the family, is Redford – last seen at the Royal Exchange Theatre as Alfieri in A View FRom The Bridge and prior to that in Antigone and Doctor Faustus. Ian is joined by Helen Carter, Kate Coogan, Tricia Kelly and Nick Moss.

Tessa Walker is making her directorial debut at the Exchange and has been a Literary Director at Paines Plough, a Literary Associate at the National Theatre of Scotland and has recently been made Associate Director at Birmingham Rep.  

The creative team is completed by Chloe Lamford (design), Richard Owen (lighting), Steve Brown (sound) and Anna Marsland (assistant director).

The Gatekeeper is at the Royal Exchange Theatre (Studio) from 8 - 25 February.