Julie GOODYEAR is to return to her role as brassy Bet Lynch once more in a Coronation Street musical.
She will join cast members past and present in the arena show, which will also see a comeback for Curly Watts, who will be revived by actor Kevin Kennedy.
TV presenter Paul O’Grady – a lifelong fan of the soap – will star in the production, which will make its world premiere in Manchester in March.
Street of Dreams is billed as a “major live musical event” celebrating the Street, and hosted by O’Grady.
Arch villain Richard Hillman, the notorious Weatherfield serial killer, will also be brought back from the dead by actor Brian Capron. And guest stars will take it in turns to play Elsie Tanner, who was portrayed by the late Pat Phoenix.
Current cast members William Roache (Ken Barlow) and Katy Cavanagh (Julie Carp) will also feature in the 90-minute show, which aims to take the audience through notable moments of the show’s 50-year history. O’Grady will guide the audience at Manchester’s MEN Arena through “momentous events in Corrie’s history”, introducing well-loved characters, supported by a West End cast and a 25-piece orchestra.
Goodyear – who was noted for earrings, her beehive and leopard-print tops – bowed out of the Street in 1995, nearly three decades after she first played the role. She had brief returns in 2002 and 2003. The show has been written and composed by Trisha Ward, and is partly based on an album released last year, Coronation Street – Rogues, Angels Heroes & Fools, for the 50th anniversary.
She said: “It’s a musical homage to an incredible programme, which has been both a joy and an exciting challenge to compose.” O’Grady said: “I’m a great fan of the Street, I’ve watched it for most of my life.
“Chunks of script from 30 years ago are engraved in my memory so to relive it all alongside unforgettable characters and talent on the stage, revisiting such iconic scenes from across the years, is just brilliant.”