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Kay Mellor's The Syndicate makes Floral Pavilion date

Kay Mellor’s final stage play comes to New Brighton this week – and it’s a real family affair.

Mellor’s daughter Gaynor Faye and grandson Oliver Anthony are among the cast in The Syndicate, which opens at the Floral Pavilion tonight.

Faye also directs the show which is based on her late mother’s smash-hit BBC comedy drama series about five supermarket workers whose syndicate wins the lottery, just as their jobs are under threat.

Will a share of the jackpot make their dreams come true or their nightmares a reality?

One thing’s for certain, the win of a lifetime will change the lives, loves and relationships of the syndicate members forever.

Faye and son Anthony, making his stage acting debut, are joined by Emmerdale star Samantha Giles and Corrie’s Brook Kinsella in a cast which also includes Rosa Coduri-Fulford, Jade Golding, William Ilkley, Jerome Ngonadi, Benedict Shaw and Connor James-Ryan.

Giles, who lives in Liverpool, is appearing as kind-hearted worker Denise, the role played by Lorraine Bruce on screen.

She says: “A lot of people are only used to seeing me as Bernice (Blackstock, the character she played in Emmerdale for 14 years), who is this glamorous person, and Denise is the polar opposite!

“She’s a bit on the frumpy side, life hasn’t been so good to her, she’s just totally different to Bernice which is so lovely to play.

“Denise is quite mumsy at the start, always putting everybody else before herself and it’s interesting to see the change that happens during the course of the play, especially when she gets her hands on the money!”

She adds: “I think Kay’s writing is so good, she’s able to create real stories and wonderful characters that people can relate to and reflect how ordinary people live.”

The 52-year-old’s theatre credits include Season’s Greetings at the Liverpool Playhouse, although she reveals it’s 14 years since she last appeared on stage.

Above: Samantha Giles is playing Denise in The Syndicate at the Floral Pavilion. Photo by Craig Sugden. Top: Kay Mellor. Photo by Kyte Photography

“I am feeling nervous, but I think if you weren't nervous, you might not care,” she admits. “I just think you can’t beat live theatre. Just to hear the reaction from the audience and have that shared experience, there’s nothing like it.

“And there’s a bond between everyone on the stage; everyone needs to do their part and we look after each other. That’s what I love about a play like this.”

Kay Mellor died in 2022 at the age of 71 and The Syndicate – based on the first of what became four series of the TV drama - was the final play she wrote.

Anthony, who was in series four on television alongside Faye, says: “I've been a part of this story since she adapted it into a theatre script. I played the role of Jamie in the development workshops of the play and actually read the part in the auditions for many of these other amazing actors. So, to then be on the other side of the auditioning process as an actor, and get the part, is incredible.

“Now I really want to prove I deserve my place in the show and give it my best shot, I’m grabbing this opportunity with both hands.”

Meanwhile, who among us doesn’t imagine what they would do if their lucky numbers came up trumps?

“I know this might sound really glib but I have everything I need; I’ve got a roof over my head, food on the table and everyone is healthy,” says Giles. “I’m not into designer clothes and things like that. But I suppose if I won the lottery I’d buy a place abroad.

“But this play is a reminder to be careful what you wish for. With money comes greed and then a sense of desperation about what you’re willing to do to keep it.”

The Syndicate is at the Floral Pavilion from May 13-16. Tickets HERE


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