Friday, 13 October 2017

Review: Corrie's Eve Steele in her one-man show

Remember Anne Malone's death in the Frescho Freezer?  It happened 18 years ago this week and tops the list of my favourite grisly deaths in Coronation Street. You can read my top 10 favourite grisly deaths here.

And moving on to a less ghoulish note.... the actress who played Anne Malone in Coronation Street is called Eve Steele. Eve is currently touring in a "one-man show" she has written called Life By The Throat, and last night I went to see it at Washington Arts Centre, a venue local to me.

Life By The Throat is, according to the preview, A celebration of the men Eve Steele has known, loved and wanted to punch in the face. Based on a combination of lived experience and interviews with bank robbers, thieves and addicts, multi award-winning writer/performer Eve Steele channels the life of this remarkable individual in a performance that is visceral, funny and heart-wrenching.

You can watch a trailer of the show here:

So, you're probably wondering what I thought about the show and how the woman we know and love as Anne Malone worked out on stage. Let's put it this way, at the end of 90 minutes of raw, hard-hitting emotion in which Eve Steele took the audience on a funny, at times uncomfortable journey, I couldn't speak. When my mouth finally found the word to try to sum up what I'd just seen, I turned to my husband and just said... Wow. He couldn't speak either and he just nodded back at me. 

Eve's show is incredible. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it before. And yes, she can most definitely act. But this is no Ann Malone / Coronation Street tribute. Gone are those days of the simpering supermarket girl, that was almost 20 years ago. Since she left Coronation Street Eve has become an award winning playwright and actor. 

As an actor her work has been nominated for Royal Midland TV Award (for Peak Practice). Eve’s first play, Lub You, was part of the 24:7 theatre festival in 2009 and was nominated for Best Play of the Festival and Best New Play in the Equity North West Theatre Awards, and for both Best Fringe Production and Best New Play in the Manchester Evening News Awards.

From there Eve became a playwright on attachment at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton. In 2011 the theatre commissioned Eve to write Should Love Hurt This Much, which premiered at the theatre and toured schools and community venues. Eve has written extensively for BBC Radio 4, with her most recent play, Bright Spark, broadcast in December 2015. She is currently working on another Octagon Bolton commission.

Eve grew up in Moss Side, had a criminal record by the time she was 16, a heroin habit by age 20, and is now clean and sober with two children and a lot of stories to tell.

If you get a chance to go and see Life by the Throat at a venue near you - and it's coming to Barnsley Civic Theatre tonight and tomorrow night  - go and see it. It's an incredible piece of theatre. 

Find out more about Life by the Throat and download a tour pack here.

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