Mersey maiden voyage for Twopence tour

The hugely successful new stage play version of Helen Forrester’s Twopence to Cross the Mersey makes its maiden voyage across the River Mersey at the end of this week.

This is to mark its showing at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton from Sunday 19 – Thursday 23 April.

The show’s visit to New Brighton brings a close to its much-praised 6 week tour which producers have deemed as being an instant success after gaining rave reviews; playing to sold out venues and receiving standing ovations in Liverpool, Southport and St Helens since opening on 10 March.

The success of this new version of Twopence has reached as far and wide as Canada and to Helen Forrester’s son Robert Bhatia, who sent the cast a personal message on press night and flew over to Liverpool with his family especially to see his mother’s story retold on stage during its 3 week run at the Epstein Theatre.

Robert Bhatia said :

“The strong cast captured the essence of the family and their characters and of those they encountered. One can only put so much detail into a book and the actors do a fine job bringing their characters to life.

“From the first moment of the play, Maria Lovelady was entirely believable to me as my mother. She balanced the strength of will that Helen demonstrated with the vulnerability that she must have felt. Emma Dears, who played ‘Mother’ also deserves specific mention as the complex character of my grandmother”.

The show also reached a momentous milestone during the tour as it celebrated its 21st Birthday – whilst in Southport it marked 21 years to the day since it first performed to audiences at the Liverpool Empire, which starred Eithne Browne – who also stars in the current production.

The show has an 8-strong ensemble cast of Emma Dears (Judy & Liza, Les Miserables) as Mother, Christopher Jordan (Moving On, Coronation Street) as Father, Maria Lovelady as Helen and Daniel Stephen Davies as Alan, all of which make up the Forrester family.

Eithne Browne (Brookside, Brick up the Mersey Tunnel), Jake Abraham (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Game of Thrones), Roy Carruthers (Night Collar, Tales from Haunted Liverpool) and Brian Dodd (Tony Teardrop, Treasured) all take on lead roles, as well as supplementary characters throughout.

The new version is staged by Pulse Records Ltd in collaboration with producer and stage writer Rob Fennah and producer Bill Elms. They are joined by director Bob Eaton.

Producer Bill Elms said:

“It has been an absolute pleasure to work on this new production as we have received nothing but wonderful praise from audience members at each venue it has played so far, the region have really taken the book and this show to their hearts. What with the birthday celebration, a visit from Helen Forrester’s family, the brand new version will reach yet another milestone next week when it finally crosses the Mersey to end its tour in the birthplace of Helen Forrester on the Wirral”.

Writer and Producer Rob Fennah said:

“The reaction to the new Twopence to Cross the Mersey stage play has been excellent from both members of the public and critics alike. But, for me, the heart felt praise heaped upon the production by Helen Forrester’s son, Robert Bhatia, and his family was the icing on the cake”.

Helen Forrester’s Twopence to Cross the Mersey tells the true story of a young girl and her formerly wealthy family as they are suddenly thrown into poverty during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Leaving behind the nannies, servants and comfortable middle-class life in the South West of England, they uproot their shattered lives and choose Liverpool as the place to start again to rebuild their dreams and fortune. Unbeknown to them however, a terrible shock awaits them.

Details on the performance can be followed on Facebook/TwopenceThePlay or twitter @twopenceplay.

Bookings can be made by calling 0151 666 0000 or visiting, or in person at the theatre Box Office and tickets start at £15.

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