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Twopence To Cross The Mersey

OPEN 17/10/2022 - 18/10/2022

Venue Name: Ashcroft Theatre, Fairfield Halls. Park Lane, Croydon, Surrey CR9 1DG (and touring)

Venue Postcode: CR91DG


Credits: Adapted from Helen Forrester’s book. Adapted by Rob Fennah. Directed by Gareth Tudor Price. Produced by Pulse Records Limited in association with Bill Elms

Societies: Fairfield Halls Croydon

Photo: Anthony Robling

The first UK national tour of Helen Forrester’s Twopence To Cross The Mersey opened in Wirral last week – a place which features heavily in Helen’s million-selling books and where the celebrated author spent some of her childhood.

Twopence To Cross The Mersey UK premiere tour 2022 is now running throughout the Autumn until mid-November. The hit stage drama will now visit 14 further venues nationwide and brand new production shots have been released. 


The new stage production was premiered at the Floral Pavilion in Wirral where is played for six dates and gained rave reviews. It will continue this week at Rhyl Pavilion Theatre in North Wales from Wednesday 14 September to Saturday 17 September. 


The tour also includes dates in Stockport, Crewe, St Helens, Blackpool, Warrington, Darlington, Halifax, Croydon, Coventry, Lichfield, Bolton and Southport – before concluding in Liverpool at the Epstein Theatre.


The new touring production of Twopence To Cross The Mersey is produced by Rob Fennah and Lynn McDermott for Pulse Records Limited in association with Bill Elms and directed by Gareth Tudor Price.  


The 9-strong cast play more than 40 characters – they are Mark Moraghan, Daniel Taylor, Parry Glasspool, Jenny Murphy, Lynn Francis, Lynne Fitzgerald, Robert Hudson, Roy Carruthers, and Chloe McDonald.  

Five of the cast members – Mark, Parry, Lynn, Roy and Chloe – have appeared in its sister show By The Waters Of Liverpool. 


Playwright and producer Rob Fennah explained: “We’re overjoyed that we’re opened the UK premiere tour of Twopence To Cross The Mersey, it’s been well worth the wait. And we have been delighted with the audience and Press reactions to the show so far, we have a wonderful cast to tell Helen’s fascinating story. 


“Helen has fans worldwide, and this way we can take Helen’s story a little closer to them. Helen was inspiring, with so much strength, resilience and determination, a pioneer of her time. Her story is one which needs to be told to young and old alike. It’s a very special experience for everyone involved – we’re all custodians of her incredibly honest writing that everyone can relate to, especially given today’s difficult economic climate.”  

Millions of people worldwide are familiar with Helen Forrester’s life story which is told through her best-selling volumes of autobiography, Twopence To Cross The Mersey, Liverpool Miss, By The Waters Of Liverpool, and Lime Street At Two. 


Helen’s literary achievements were further celebrated in 2020 when an iconic Blue Plaque was unveiled at the late author’s family home in Hoylake on the Wirral, a place which featured heavily in her work. 


The popular stage adaptation of Twopence To Cross The Mersey has been updated by writer Rob Fennah, who enjoyed a long friendship with Helen Forrester. Through their meeting of creative minds, Rob adapted Helen’s book into a stage musical in 1994 which was premiered at the Liverpool Empire Theatre. Helen travelled from her home in Edmonton, Canada, to see her story brought to life on stage.

Rob later went on to develop Twopence into a straight stage play which premiered in Liverpool in 2015, before touring England’s North West in 2016. Helen died in Edmonton in 2011.

This year’s nationwide tour of Twopence To Cross The Mersey will be followed by a tour of By The Waters Of Liverpool in Spring 2023, the next instalment in Helen’s life story. By The Waters Of Liverpool was due to tour in 2020 but was cut short by the pandemic, so is eagerly awaited by fans of the author.

The show has already received glowing reviews, here’s what the Press are saying so far… 

Writebase 9/10: “This spellbinding show is a reminder of how people struggle through hard times.”

Wirral Globe – four stars: It’s always uplifting to know that Helen did get to see and enjoy the sunshine after the rain. Inspiring.”

Theatre Reviews North – four stars: Helen triumphs against the odds and gives us a feel-good experience that is well worth watching.”

The Strawberry Fountain: “The show was incredible.” 

Mark Moraghan will play John Forrester (Helen’s father). Mark previously played ‘Father’ in the 2007 and 2009 adaptations of Twopence To Cross The Mersey, and reprised the role in the follow-up stage drama of Helen’s book By The Waters Of Liverpool in 2018 and 2020. Mark is best known for his roles in Holby CityCoronation Street and Brookside. 

Daniel Taylor plays Mr Ferris and is also part of the Ensemble. He is an award-winning actor, producer and director, and was most recently seen on stage in Blood Brothers. Daniel appeared at Liverpool Theatre Festival 2020 in his show The Very Best Of Tommy Cooper, and returned the following year in Something About George – The George Harrison Story.

Parry Glasspool will play Helen’s brother Alan. He is best known for playing Harry Thompson in Hollyoaks. He was born and raised in the Midlands, before moving to London to study for his BA Hons in Acting for Stage and Media at the University of West London. After five years, Parry made a dramatic exit from Hollyoaks in 2020 when he was murdered. 

After an open call for auditions to find Helen, Jenny Murphy was awarded the role. Jenny wowed the panel and now joins the touring production. She trained at Mount view Academy of Theatre Arts. Theatre credits include Oliver Twist, Pride & Prejudice, Merry Wives of Windsor, The Jungle Book, Cilla – The Musical, Julius Caesar, The Little Match Girl, and The Decameron.

Lynn Francis plays Helen’s mother Celia Forrester, Roy Carruthers (Ensemble), and Chloe McDonald (Ensemble) – and all return having appeared in previous stage productions of Helen Forrester books presented by Pulse Records Limited. 

Lynne Fitzgerald plays Mrs Foster and (Ensemble), and Robert Hudson (Ensemble) complete the cast. Both are appearing for the first time in a Helen Forrester adaptation.

This year’s nationwide tour of Twopence To Cross The Mersey will be followed by a tour of By The Waters Of Liverpool in Spring 2023.

CREWE LYCEUM  – Wednesday 21 September – Saturday 24 September 2022 

Heath Street, Crewe, CW1 2DA


Box Office:      0343 310 0050 

ST HELENS THEATRE ROYAL  – Tuesday 27 September – Saturday 1 October 2022 

Corporation Street, St Helens, WA10 1LQ


Box Office:      01744 756000


GRAND THEATRE BLACKPOOL  – Tuesday 4 October – Thursday 6 October 2022 

33 Church Street, Blackpool, FY1 1HT


Box Office:      01253 290190


WARRINGTON PARR HALL  – Saturday 8 October – Sunday 9 October 2022 

Palmyra Square, Warrington, WA1 1BL


Box Office:      01925 442345


DARLINGTON HIPPODROME  – Tuesday 11 October – Wednesday 12 October 2022 

Parkgate, Darlington, DL1 1RR 


Box Office:      01325 405405



Thursday 13 October – Friday 14 October 2022  – Fountain Street, Halifax, HX1 1BP 


Box Office:      01422 351158 



Monday 17 October – Tuesday 18 October 2022  – Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 1DG 


Box Office:      0300 500 0595 



Wednesday 19 October – Friday 21 October 2022  – Albany Road, Coventry, CV5 6JQ 


Box Office:      024 7699 8964 



Saturday 22 October – Sunday 23 October 2022  – Castle Dyke, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 6HR 


Box Office:      01543 412121



Tuesday 25 October – Thursday 27 October 2022  – Victoria Square, Bolton, BL1 1RU 


Box Office:      0343 208 0500 


Tuesday 1 November – Friday 4 November 2022  – Lord Street, Southport, PR8 1DB 


Box Office:      01704 533333

EPSTEIN THEATRE LIVERPOOL  – Saturday 5 November – Saturday 12 November 2022 

85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ


Box Office:      0344 736 0151




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