The stage adaptation of Kay Mellor’s hit television crime drama Band of Gold was given a warm welcome to the Lowry Theatre last week.

The show brought lovers of the classic 90’s series to the Salford stage and united soap stars from across the nation, including Gaynor Faye (Kay Mellor’s daughter), Andrew Dunn, Laurie Brett and X-factor winner Shayne Ward.

Band of Gold brought in millions of views each week during it’s three series run from 1995-1997.

The Bradford-based show chronicles the story of Gina, a single mother struggling to pay off local loan shark Mr Moore, which results in her finding way into working on ‘the lane’, the Bradford equivalent of the Red Light District.

Immediately we are presented with familiar motifs from the original drama, from the music and outfits to the northern accents.

In a recent interview with Salford Now, Shayne Ward said: “Straight from the get-go, the old theme song is played, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. You’re transported straight back to the 90s and to Band of Gold.”

Shayne plays a policeman, with previous relationship history with one of the sex workers.

As we are introduced to each character working on the lane, there is an overwhelming sense of feminism and sisterhood, as although each are working the lane for different reasons, they all looking out for each other. Ex East ender Laurie Brett (most known for her role as Jane Beale) takes on a motherly figure in the show, letting the workers use her house when her (cheating) partner isn’t home.

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Despite paying off the majority of her debts, Mr Moore demands principle character Gina (played by Sacha Parkinson) to pay interest on the loan, which she could not do without working on the lane.

Staging also played a major role in the development of the story line, with an impeccable use of lighting,sound and props to bring the bars and bedrooms of the north to the Lowry stage.

In two hours, we are captivated by the coverage of a number of social issues like debt, rape and domestic violence. The show is carefully crafted to delicately outline these issues and show the audience how harsh of a reality it is for people on the lane.

“But they’re people who need to make ends meat, and sometimes it’s a choice and sometimes it’s not.” Shayne added.

Since kicking off in in Nottingham on the 14th January the play has received raving reviews: with four stars from the Yorkshire Post and five stars from Fairy Powered Productions.

The show has finished it’s run at the Lowry and is now currently showing in Darlington until the 1st of February and will complete it’s round on the 21st of March in Bath.

 

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