Beverley Callard has said she was sick of reading plays that only had a few parts for young women before she signed up for her new all-female show.
The Coronation Street star, 61, will appear in the world premiere of new play The Thunder Girls, which will boast an all-female cast, production team and director.
The show, penned by agent and talent manager Melanie Blake, will follow a 1980s girl band who are reuniting after greed, ego and envy destroyed the group and their friendships.
Callard, who will play band member Roxanne, told the Press Association: “Often scripts come through, which I’m really flattered to get, but more often than not I have to say no (because of Coronation Street), or sometimes you get a script and it will be 10 men and two women, or it will be six men who are maybe 40 and over and two women who are under 30, and you think ‘Hang on a minute, I’m fed up of this’.
“But this script came and my husband Jon (McEwan) got home from work before me, and he read it straight away and as I walked through the door at about 9pm he said ‘Right Beverley, here is a cup of tea, here is a script, just sit down and read that’ and I started it and read it to the end. My tea went cold.”
It has not yet been revealed who will play the other three members of the band but it has been confirmed they will all be over the age of 50.
Callard said: “I know who else is in it but I’m not telling you, I am under threat of death not to tell you but us four women are going to have a ball.
“It’s about four real women, they are not kids, they used to be in a band, a really, really successful band and years and years ago.
“This play was written 20 years ago and a producer wanted to make it but he wanted to make all the women kids, he wanted to make them in their 20s and the author said ‘No, I’m not doing that because women in their 20s would not have the lives that these women have got’.
“So the author stuck with it and said ‘No, I won’t let you make it unless it’s done this way, which is the way it was intended’.”
Discussing how she will juggle her commitment to the play with her role as barmaid Liz McDonald in Coronation Street, she said: “Liz is not going to have a quieter time; because it’s at The Lowry (in Manchester), I will be doing both.
“I love playing Liz, I want to play her for a long time, I really, really do, but it’s really inspiring to play something else.”
The Thunder Girls will preview at The Lowry Quays Theatre Salford from September 24 to 28. Tickets are on sale now.