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Monday 20 September 2021

Corrie Blog interview: Hate crime trial director Mickey Jones acts in Corrie writer's new play

Liverpool Everyman Theatre is hosting a real Corrie affair this month, as Coronation Street Director Mickey Jones acts as 'Mickey-Joe' in Corrie writer Jonathan Harvey's latest play: Our Lady Of Blundellsands

The play opened last Friday and is at the start of a three week run. 

I was chuffed to interview hate crime trial and long time Corrie director Mickey Jones to tell me more about his new acting career.

Hi Mickey! Firstly, congratulations on directing the hate crime trial - I think all Corrie fans will agree that that was sensational.

MJ - Ah, thank you. It was a bit of a mammoth task, with all the Covid restrictions, social distancing, missing cast members, etc., but I think it came off okay. And the fans seemed to love it, so that is the main thing.

Our Lady Of Blundellsands is written by long time Corrie writer / playwright Jonathan Harvey. How did you first meet Jonathan, and what is he like to work with? 

MJ - My association with Jonathan goes back a long way. Back in the day, I auditioned to be in his plays - a lot... and never got the jobs (lol!). I’ve mainly known him through work and mutual friends, but working with him closely on the play has been a joy. He’s so funny and a great storyteller in person, and that comes across in his work. Our tastes are similar too. We bonded re-watching Tenko on BritBox.

Mickey Jones in rehearsal with co-star Josie Lawrence 

The play originally ran last year but was paused in March 2020 due to the pandemic. You are playing Mickey-Joe, a part originally played by Corrie’s Tony Maudsley (George Shuttleworth)

How does it feel to step into his role? And have you directed Tony in Corrie yet? 

MJ - Tony is a brilliant actor and, I have to be honest, it was a bit daunting following in his footsteps. But Nick Bagnall (the director of the play) and Jonathan have been supportive. So, I’m feeling all right about it… at the mo (gulp). Also, Tony was really up for me taking over the part. He loved being in the play and was gutted to have to drop out. Tony’s a dream to work with on the show, too. He’s created a proper old school Corrie character.

Mickey Jones (R) as Lance Powell in Brookside 

So, how did playing the role of Mickey-Joe in Our Lady Of Blundellsands come about? Were you an actor before you became a director? 

MJ - I haven’t acted for about twenty years. I used to play Lance in Brookside, but I became more interested in what was going on behind the camera. I hadn’t thought about acting for years, but another writer friend (Jonathan Larkin Hollyoaks) was staging a play reading at the Liverpool Everyman and asked me if I’d take part. Next thing I know, I’m cast in Our Lady! This pandemic has a lot to answer for (lol!). Also, I love the Liverpool Everyman. It was a big part of my growing up, so to perform there again is like a dream come true. Too good an opportunity to miss.

Our Lady… is a twisted comic drama full of high-camp, family breakdowns, and dragging-up. Do you take any acting influence from any past/present Coronation Street actors or actresses? 

MJ - I get to look like the wonderful(!) Josie Lawrence (Whose Line Is It Anyway, Eastenders) in the play, but I also like to think I am channelling a bit of Elsie (Grimshaw) Tanner (Tanner Howard Gregory)

Corrie Writer Jonathan Harvey (L) in rehearsals

Have you directed any of Jonathan Harvey's Corrie episodes, or do you have any particularly memorable Corrie director moments you can tell us about?

MJ - I jump for joy if I get a Jonathan Harvey script. You know you’re going to have a good balance of outrage, comedy and drama. My very first day on Corrie was Stella and Eve getting drenched when the ceiling collapsed on them. I’ll never forget that. What an initiation that was.

Have you had any tips in preparation for the role of Mickey-Joe from Tony Maudsley? 

MJ -  He told me how much fun I’d have and how brilliant the rest of the company are. And he was right on both counts.

Mickey Jones as 'Mickey-Joe' in rehearsal

Your character name in the play is similar to your own name? 

MJ -It’s just a coincidence… I think! If not, I hope 'Mickey-Joe’ is only loosely based on me. He’s a bit of a monster to be honest. We both love Petula Clark, though (and I get to do a lip-sync to 'colour my world'), so there is some truth in this fiction).

Do you have any pre-performance superstitions? Have you seen any TV actors do anything similar before performing a TV scene? 

MJ - I like a few quiet moments before the show. Gather my thoughts, etc. Most actors centre themselves before a take. 

Final Question - If you could direct any Corrie actor from the past/present day, who would it be and why? 

MJ - To do a Rovers scene with Annie, Ena, Elsie, Hilda and Bet… 70s corrie is like nothing else. It was just the best. And those leading ladies excelled in every scene they were in!


Thank you, Mickey, for chatting to Coronation Street Blog. Upon re-reading the interview, I realised that Mickey played Lance Powell in Brookside, my other favourite soap, and I spent an hour on Youtube watching a few clips from the year 2000. For those of you too young to remember, Brookside was the original 'issue based' soap long before it became a thing. Brookside (which began in 1982) was eventually cancelled in 2003 having been replaced by Hollyoaks, and they even used some of the same TV set for it. Overall, another great Corrie interview and a double-bubble treat for yours truly! 

Also, thanks to Chris at the Liverpool Everyman for being an absolute gent! 

Our Lady Of Blundellsands is on until the Sat 9th of October, click the link here for more info!

I am @rybazoxo on Twitter - your Wednesday episode review, long-time Corrie connoisseur, budding Corrie historian, and occasional cast interviewer! 

All original work on Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License

1 comment:

Philip said...

Wasn't he named Mickey Poppins on Brookside? I also know that there is the guy who used to play Jerome who's directing I believe, as well as an actress from Holby City and there is a former Eastender now writing for Corrie as well and Julie Hesmondhalgh's partner.


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