Liverpool novelist’s third memoir on stage in Darlington

Published: 12 March 2020
Reporter: Peter Lathan

By the Waters of Liverpool, a play based on the third of novelist Helen Forrester’s memoirs about her childhood and youth, is coming to Darlington. The first memoir, Twopence to Cross the Mersey, was a best-seller, a musical and, in 2015, became a play at the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool. Now, five years later, By the Waters is on a national 17-venue tour that comes to Darlington Hippodrome from 9 to 11 April.

By the Waters of Liverpool is set in the 1930s after Helen’s father went bankrupt during the Depression. Her family were forced to leave behind the nannies, servants and comfortable middle-class life in the South West of England and 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. But by 1939 and with Britain on the verge of war, Helen, now aged 20, 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 cast includes Sian Reeves (Coronation Street), Mark Moraghan (Holby City), Parry Glasspool (Hollyoaks), Lucy Dixon (Waterloo Road), Eric Potts (Coronation Street), Lynn Francis, Danny O’Brien, Roy Carruthers and Chloe McDonald.