Maria Brabiner, Salford-based lifelong viewer of Corrie, takes a look at last night’s World Premiere of Street of Dreams the Coronation Street musical which looks back at the best plots over 50 years with song, dance and humour.
Maria told us: I went with a friend last night to the World Premiere, at the Manchester Arena, of the Coronation Street Musical `Street of Dreams‘. Upon arrival, all bags were searched to make sure no knives, offensive weapons or cameras were taken inside. I’m sure no one would want to attempt to murder anyone, other than Richard Hillman; but you can never be too careful.
Looking at the many entrances, we noticed our entrance (according to ticket allocation number) was taped off with red tape. We enquired with a Steward as to which was the best entrance instead, and straight away the Steward took our tickets off us, re-allocated us with different tickets, we were told we had “an upgrade”. Previously we were in the cheapest seats, but now given an upgrade to better ones at no extra charge. It turned out everybody on my row had upgrades..
Talking to people on my row, two ladies were from Leeds, they’d come on the train especially, a lady and gentlemen were from Bolton.
I realised right away that there must be a lot of empty spaces, and there were, many of them. Whole tiers were empty. A sad sight to see. I think they went too big with the Arena. If they’d gone for the Opera House, they’d have had the sell-out, full house. The Opera House is on Quay Street too, home of Coronation Street’s studios. An ideal location, but not to the big planners, who knew best!
Those tiers of rows of empty seats were just in pitch-blackness. The lights just didn’t shine on them. So any press photos taken will not show up the lack of bums on seats in those areas.
The set was absolutely huge and was marvellous. The special effects were excellent too, as were the old Corrie clips on screen that were shown alongside the acting and singing on stage.
Paul O’Grady was brilliant as The Narrator, wise-cracking jokes all the time. One in particular about Simon Cowell’s love life had the audience in laughter.
I wasn’t impressed with the singer who played the part of `Martha Longhurst’. She sounded like Orville The Duck. Maybe it was the accent she was trying to re-create, but for me it didn’t work. We also saw Martha `die’ on stage, just as Martha `died’ in the Snug on screen. The clip was shown simultaneously.
Some of the singing and dancing was over the top as well I thought, shoved in for the sake of it really, and wasn’t reflecting anything of the story.
Julie Goodyear got the biggest cheer of the night so far when she appeared. On close-up, she didn’t look quite right, her mouth in particular looked slightly swollen. One lady on my row said in the interval “She looked like a man in drag, didn’t look right”. But Julie I thought was brilliant, she loved every minute of it, acted like the star she is.
I was very impressed with Brian Capron’s singing. He was very good. Kym Marsh and Jodie Prenger (both played Elsie Tanner, Kym – young, Jodie – old) I could take or leave, but Brian was a revelation.
Katy Kavanagh played the Angel Of The North, most of her scenes were with Paul, going through the years. I didn’t she was strong enough a character to do it. Or maybe the bosses didn’t want a strong character, they wanted the dizzy blonde that Julie Carp is. Again, I could take or leave her.
The actor who played Sean Tully (not Antony Cotton) after trying to sing a song (far better than the usual actor who plays him could), which I thankfully soon forgot, sprouted a pair of wings and he was flying round the stage. I lost interest in that bit and it wasn’t really needed.
Kevin Kennedy was Ok as the singing binman, William Roache was OK too, in a cameo role on screen. William as Ken was doing a skype interview in Leeds.
Paul was doing very well as The Narrator, then suddenly he wanted to be a tram driver. Next minute you see him dressed in a tram driver’s uniform. Then we see him all dressed in white with wings. Yes, Paul was the tram driver that died in the crash. I thought that was a bit funny seeing him with wings.
Russell Watson was cheered to the rafters when he led the cast out for the finale. Russell was the special guest, he won’t be appearing in Newcastle, Joe McElderry is, nor Belfast, that’s Keith Duffy. So says the programme that was on sale for £8.
As you can see, from my point of view, the show was a mixture of good and lacklustre parts. Were the highlights enough to warrant the fees they’re charging, I’m not sure. But am I glad I went – after all it was the World Premiere, and I went with a friend to have a laugh.
Now what better way could I have spent a very rainy Manchester evening?…
Corrie fan Maria Brabiner gave her personal view for ATV Today and rates it a worth watching ranking: 6/10. Of course we want to hear from other Corrie fans too, so give us your views below…
[Written by Maria Brabiner, photographs courtesy of ITV Pictures/Reckless Entertainment]