10 May 2012 5:25 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Manchester Arena

Generations have grown up with Britain's longest running TV soap, but Corrie, the musical? Three years in the making and as ambitious as one of Liz MacDonald's skimpy outfits, this epic production hopes to transfer a small-screen legend into big arenas. Thus, the mocked up Coronation Street stage is the size of a road and there's an orchestra on the rooftops, where they have presumably been warned to watch out for passing trams.

The show begins like the 51-year old series, in grainy black and white. A large TV screen shows classic clips while beneath them Coronation Street actors and actors playing Coronation actors' parts trot across the stage. Confused already? "It's fantasy. Like Simon Cowell's sex life," cries compere Paul O'Grady, although the show's current star Kym Marsh is eerily "realistic" as the young Elsie Tanner. The 1964 clip of Martha Longhurst feeling peeky in the Rovers »

- Dave Simpson

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