Inspirational love story plays at Greater Manchester Fringe festival

Once A Year On Blackpool Sands is a new play being staged at this years Greater Manchester Fringe festival
Once A Year On Blackpool Sands is a new play being staged at this years Greater Manchester Fringe festival
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The story of a real-life love affair between two Yorkshire miners conducted in Blackpool, is part of this year’s Greater Manchester Fringe festival.

After its Manchester performances, the show then sets off for a run in New York, off-Broadway at the Davenport theatre, and is to be made into a film.

Once A Year On Blackpool Sands is being staged by Manchester-based theatre company Skint Productions.

Set in Blackpool 1953, before homosexuality was legal in the UK, this real-life comedy focuses on Eddy and Tommy, as they head to the resort for their annual Wakes Week holiday.

The lads check into the surprisingly-empty Withering Heights on Sea guest house, run by the caustic and alarmingly odd Gladys, her rebellious and very flirty daughter Maureen and the infamous Red Ethel, ex-communist stripper showgirl.

It stars Kyle Brookes as Eddy Corkhill; Macaulay Cooper as Tommy Price; Dominic McCavish as Phyllis (Mr Elbridge) and Red Ethel is played by Linda Clark, who has appeared on Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Doctors, Dr Who and That Peter Kay Thing.

Real life mother and daughter Wendy Laurence James and Mollie Jones play mother and daughter Gladys and Maureen.

Cheshire-based writer Karlton Parris met the real-life Eddy and Tommy in a bar in Greece 30 years ago and heard their true story.

McCauley Cooper who plays Tommy said: “This holiday on Mykonos was one last hurrah for two lovers, both ill from AIDS.

“Tommy died in Eddy’s arms. They’d been best friends from school and, later that year, Eddy also died.”

Kyle, who is from Liverpool, said: “I see them as working class heroes. What they did that night in Blackpool was amazing, brave and so inspirational. This story needs to be told.

“They most probably did the first gay pride march in the UK, only they had to contend with of a barrage insults, a few thrown punches and broken beer bottles.”

It’s at Three Minute Theatre July 11-13 and Salford Arts Theatre July 20-21.