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Coronation Street stars coming to Halifax

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Coronation Street stars Graeme Hawley (John, aka Colin) and Jennie McAlpine (Fiz) will be appearing at Halifax West High School's Bella Rose Arts Theatre on June 12.

If you're not a Coronation Street fan, the fact that John Stape and Fiz are coming to Halifax won't mean anything to you.

But for those Corrie fans who know about John's psychopathic personality and poor Fiz's struggle to prove her innocence following her husband's killing spree, it's a different story.

For many of them, next month's visit is met with the same enthusiasm of a hockey fan whose favourite player was coming to town for a meet and greet.

"John was so crazy, and they do such a good job with the characters that you want to see how they really are, what they're like in real life" said Nancy Robicheau.

A Coronation Street fan for the past 20 years, she snapped up tickets to the event soon after learning about it.

"I want to hear them talk about the tram crash, how they did it, how it flew off the track," she said. "I bawled when Ashley (a main character) died in the crash, and I even kept the episode on my recorder for awhile."

Over the years Robicheau has spent her hard earned dollars on several Halifax shows where Coronation Street actors have made appearances. Her Corrie collection, which she described as quite small, includes Coronation Street mugs, tee shirts, and even a trivia game devoted to the show.

"The show is about normal, every day people with the same problems you have. It's humourous, and not like American soaps where everybody is rich and having sex every day," she said. "It has that person next door kind of feel to it, and I never miss it."

When Andrew Stuckless started Stroll Promotions five years ago, he knew Maritimers had a huge appetite for all things ‘Coronation Street.' He has hosted many Corrie stars in the Maritimes and across Canada since then.

Most recently, he brought actor William Roache (Coronation Street's ‘Ken Barlow') to the Halifax Casino in March.

Next month, he'll be bringing Graeme Hawley (John, aka Colin) and Jennie McAlpine (Fiz) on an Atlantic Canada tour.

A June 12 show is set for Halifax West High School's Bella Rose Arts Theatre.

"I think it (the show) resonates with us because of the relationship between the north of England and the Maritimes itself, all the migration that has happened over the years," Stuckless said. "The working class roots, the matriarchal ties..Halifax seems to resonate with it."

Tickets to the Summerside, PEI appearance sold in four days, while VIP tickets in all cities for all the shows he arranges tend to disappear soon after they're listed.

"I'm excited about having this at the Bella Rose. It's a real intimate venue and it's in my neighbourhood," Stuckless said. "I come from here and want to put something back. It's a vibrant jewel we have here."

The ‘Live and in Conversation' format allows the audience to engage with the actors and learn fascinating tidbits about what goes on behind the scenes. Local personality Neville Mackay is hosting the Maritime appearances.

Connie Rose heads up the Downeast Streeters, the largest fan club of its kind in the Maritimes. The non-profit society organizes regular fan get-togethers called ‘Pings' and also brings Coronation Street actors to the Halifax area.

Since 2002, the group has brought nine Coronation Street actors to Halifax. This year the show celebrated its 51st year on air, and Rose has watched it from the very beginning.

"Once you get involved with it (Coronation Street), it becomes like your own community and you have a real sense of going home because you know it so intimately," she said.

Rose won't be attending next month's appearance at the Bella Rose. She has already met Jennie McAlpine, whom she described as engaging and delightful.

"I don't see interest in the show diminishing. It is very, very active, especially in this area," she said.

Local fans who aren't on the Downeast Streeters mailing list can contact her at corrielist@gmail.com and are encouraged to visit the group's website, www.downeaststreeters.ca.

Visit www.facebook.com/strollpro for more information about the upcoming show.

ydentremont@hfxnews.ca

 

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