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Coronation Street on the Road

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Coronation Street On The Road was a 1964 stage play referred to by Daran Little in his 1995 book The Coronation Street Story: Celebrating Thirty-Five Years of the Street. In reality no such play under that name was ever presented, nor was any play performed then which used characters or plotlines from the television programme. The play's actual title was Firm Foundations and was a Brian Rix-type farce about a Northern bra manufacturer. The play's draw for the audience was that if featured several of the cast of Coronation Street whose contracts had recently been terminated by incoming producer Tim Aspinall and who were household names both as themselves and as their characters, namely Lynne Carol (Martha Longhurst), Doreen Keogh (Concepta Hewitt), Ivan Beavis (Harry Hewitt) and Frank Pemberton (Frank Barlow). In addition Ruth Holden who appeared irregularly as Ena Sharples' daughter Vera Lomax also appeared. Little states that Susan Jameson (Myra Booth) was also due to appear but walked out when she saw the nature of the production. The script was written by Street writer Vince Powell and edited by his colleague John Finch, both of who later regretted their collaboration with the project, and was a production of the newly-formed Group North cartel of writers who worked for Granada Television and who had set up the consortium to promote their work of the profession in the North of England.

The play's debut was at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool on 7th September 1964 when it garnered the following review by Benedict Arnold in The Guardian:

"Impossible to believe in retrospect that one had sat out two-and-a-half hours of such bedraggled spectacle as "Firm Foundations"; attempted comedy, attempted farce, whatever it was, it was an evening spent wrapped in a wet blanket. Presumably, the promotors have concluded that such is the appeal of the decibel-raising programme that any old botch-up will do, provided its heros and heroines are within breathing distance of the poor provincials, autograph hunters, and tellyphiles in the audience...the story concerns an old manufacturer who leaves his undergarments company (Cuta-Curve Foundations) to his driver on condition that the poor loon gets a big order within seven days."

Following a week in Liverpool, the play went on national tour until the end of the year taking in Manchester, Sheffield, Wolverhampton, Bradford, Blackpool, Nottingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Stockton and Bournemouth among others towns and cities.

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