Hollywood starlet Holliday Grainger may be known for her roles in big budget period dramas like Great Expectations and The Borgias, but she admits she couldn’t wait to get back to Manchester for a gritty new theatre premiere.
She stars alongside Waterloo Road star Tachia Newall in the hard-hitting thriller Dissociation penned by actor-turned-writer Luke Bailey which debuts at The Lowry Studio on January 28.
Holliday, who has just finished filming as 16th century aristocrat Lucrezia Borgia in the third series of blockbuster US drama The Borgias, says its good to be back on home turf.
She said: “It’s a great play and it’s the kind of issues and character I haven’t really done in a while.
“It’s great to take my corset off and come back to Manchester!”
Didsbury-raised Holliday, 24, still counts Manchester as home, but her role in the big screen adaptation of Great Expectations last year and in The Borgias has made her one of the film world’s hottest properties.
It makes it something of a coup for Luke, and for the Lowry Young Actors Company whose young students will get to start alongside established stars Holliday and Tachia in the production.
Luke smiles: “I know Holliday has turned down a few other jobs to do it and it’s great to have Tachia on board too, they’re both incredible actors.
“It’s an opportunity for young people to work on a professional production with some great talent.”
Holliday adds: “It’s a great script and I’d always do anything to support Luke.”
Luke, known for high profile TV roles in Casualty and Waterloo Road, is putting acting on the backburner while he pursues his passion for writing.
Dissociation is his first work, and is set against the backdrop of the 2011 riots, seen through the tragic tale of aspiring musician Tal, played by Tachia, as he attempts to reform his life following a sentence in a young offender’s institution.
Luke says: “I think there’s a lack of strong writing for young people, for people aged 18-25 there’s nothing much on TV or theatres that is ‘for them’. I hope that this production will bring a whole new audience to the theatre.”
Dissociation plays at The Lowry Studio on January 28, 29, 30, for tickets see thelowry.com.