Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Julie Hesmondhalgh in Blindside at Manchester Royal Exchange


BLINDSIDED By Simon Stephens

Directed by Sarah Frankcom

Designed by Anna Fleischle

The Royal Exchange Theatre

St Ann’s Square, Manchester

Thursday 23 January – Saturday 15 February 2014 

Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh is to star in the Royal Exchange Theatre’s world premiere of the new Simon Stephens play BLINDSIDED
Best known for her long-running stint as Hayley Cropper in the ITV drama – which comes to a dramatic end on screen early in the New Year - she will appear on stage in this new production which runs at the Manchester theatre from Thursday 23 January to Saturday 15 February 2014.
She last appeared at the Exchange September 2012 in BLACK ROSES: THE KILLING OF SOPHIE LANCASTER (for which she recently won a Manchester Theatre Award).
A devastating play about families, obsessive love and betrayal, the drama of BLINDSIDED centres on a girl growing up in a battered part of Stockport in a battered time at the end of the seventies. She falls in love with the man who will break her heart into a thousand pieces.
Set in Stockport in 1979 and the Isle of Man in 1997, the play explores the consequences when young love is shattered by suspicion and betrayal.
Simon Stephens is one of the most prolific contemporary writers in the UK. BLINDSIDED is the fourth play he has written specifically for the Royal Exchange and follows the success of PUNK ROCK in 2009. He won an Olivier Award for his recent National Theatre adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME.
The production is directed by Sarah Frankcom. Her recent Royal Exchange credits include A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, MISS JULIE, ORPHEUS DESCENDING and THAT DAY WE SANG.
The cast also includes Rebecca Callard, Jack Deam, Andrew Sheridan and Katie West. The production is designed by Anna Fleischle and the creative team is completed by Lee Curran (lighting) and Peter Rice (sound).
For further information please contact JOHN GOODFELLOW (Press & Communications Manager, Royal Exchange Theatre) on 0161 615 6783 /

Production photos for BLINDSIDED will be available for download from the Royal Exchange Theatre Online Press Office from Friday 24 January 2014 at

Link to online information: 




The Theatre: Saturday 1 February: 1pm - 2.30pm 
A panel discussion with playwright Simon Stephens alongside leading theatre professionals and academics from the University of Manchester. 
FREE, but ticketed (tickets available from Box Office: 0161 833 9833) 

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