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Cast: Lawson for Corrie!, Talented Ryan, Bedlam

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Corrie!, the stage show version of Coronation Street, Britain's longest-running soap opera, will star familiar face from 'the street' Charles Lawson as narrator.

Lawson, who played Jim McDonald in the soap from 1989, remained as a regular character for 11 years. Jim first appeared with his wife Liz and their twin sons, Steve and Andy, but was most recently seen in 2009 when he returned for his on-screen son’s wedding.

Corrie!, whic runs at The Lowry, Salford, from 16 August 2010 (previews from 12 August) until September, is a brand-new comedy written by playwright and long-term Coronation Street scriptwriter Jonathan Harvey. The play, written to celebrate the soap’s 50th anniversary, condenses five decades of story lines into a two-hour show with just five actors playing the street's character list between them.

Jonathan Harvey has written over 100 episodes of Coronation Street. His latest play, Canary, opened at the Liverpool Playhouse in April of this year and toured to the Hampstead Theatre.

Also appearing in the stage show cast are Leanne Best and Josie Walker. Former Coronation Street cast members Simon Chadwick, Katherine Dow Blyton and Matthew Wait will also appear.

Michelle Ryan, best known for her role as Zoe Slater in EastEnders, is to star in The Talented Mr Ripley at Northampton’s Royal and Derngate Theatre later this year. The theatre will open its new season with the production, which has been adapted by Phyllis Nagy from the novel by Patricia Highsmith.

Set against the backdrop of 1950's Italy, the psychological thriller runs from 17 September 2010 to Saturday 9 October and is directed by Raz Shaw.

Ryan, who has appeared in a number of British-made films and appeared on American TV in Bionic Woman since her departure from the soap, has rarely been seen on stage (her only recent outing being Who's the Daddy? at the King's Head back in 2005).

The Talented Mr Ripley will be directed by the Raz Shaw, whose previous work includes Gambling at the Soho Theatre and A Midsummer Night's Dream for Shakespeare's Globe.

The full cast has been announced for the Shakespeare’s Globe world premiere of Nell Leyshon's new play Bedlam. The cast will include Ella Smith, who was nominated for a Whatsonstage Award and won the 2008 Evening Standard Award for Outstanding Newcomer for the Neil Labute play Fat Pig, and will play the role of Phyllis

The play, which presents a fictional portrayal of a London hospital for the insane, will be the first-ever known staging of a work by a female playwright, at either old or new incarnations of the Globe. Set in 18th-century London against an anarchic backdrop of binge drinkers, gin sellers and ballad singers the production promises "dance and song with scenes of lust, violence and absurd comedy."

Nell Leyshon's second play Comfort Me with Apples won the 2005 Charles Wintour Award for most promising playwright in the Evening Standard Awards and was shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award.

Bedlam is directed by Jessica Swale and includes a number of actors from Dominic Dromgoole’s current productions of Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 including: Sam Crane (Laurence), Barbara Marten (Annabel), Finty Williams (Gardenia) and Rose Leslie (May). Danny Lee Wynter takes the role of Oliver, whilst Jade Williams plays Nancy.


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