Deborah McAndrew

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Deborah McAndrew (born 1967) is a British playwright and actor, known for playing Angie Freeman in Coronation Street in the 1990s. She is also co-founder and Creative Director of the Stoke-on-Trent-based Claybody Theatre Company,[1] and a visiting lecturer in the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts at Staffordshire University.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

McAndrew was born in Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire, and later moved to Ossett and then Leeds. She had two younger sisters. She had always wanted to write plays; the family regularly holidayed with another family with four children, giving her a cast of seven.[3]

She studied drama at the University of Manchester and a PGCE in Drama and Special Education at Bretton Hall College of Education.[2]

Acting career[edit]

McAndrew joined the cast of the long-lived Granada television soap Coronation Street for four years across two periods in the 1990s, playing young designer Angie Freeman.[4] She has appeared in theatre, radio and television including the BBC Radio 4 detective series Stone,[5] and as Mrs. Dashwood in Helen Edmundson's 2013 Radio 4 adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.[6] She first joined Northern Broadsides as an actor in 1995.[3]

Playwriting career[edit]

In 2004 McAndrew adapted Leopold Lewis's 1871 play The Bells for Northern Broadsides.[7] Since then her adaptations have included Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist,[8] Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector[9] and Nikolai Erdman’s The Suicide, under the new title The Grand Gesture.[3][10]

Her first original script was Vacuum (2006, set in a vacuum cleaner repair shop and performed by Northern Broadsides).[11] She wrote Flamingoland, about a woman with breast cancer, in 2008, for the New Vic Theatre,[12] and in 2013 she wrote Ugly Duck, set among the Staffordshire pottery trade, for the Claybody Theatre Company which she co-founded in that area.[3]

Her 2014 play An August Bank Holiday Lark,[13] a Northern Broadsides co-production with the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, won that year's UK Best New Play award from the UK Theatre awards for regional theatre.[14] Set in Saddleworth at the start of World War I, it features the village's traditional rushbearing procession and morris dancing.[15]

McAndrew has written several plays for the Mikron Theatre Company, a touring company which in summer travels by canal boat. These include Losing the Plot (2012, set amongst allotment gardeners), Beyond the Veil (2013, allotments again, beekeeping and murder),[16] Till the Cows Come Home (2014, on icecream making),[17] and One of Each (2015, concerning fish and chips).[2][18]

Her play Dirty Laundry, a mystery set in a small house in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent, was performed in the old Spode factory in October 2017. Featuring a cast of professional actors accompanied by the community cast of Claybody Theatre Company, Dirty Laundry received excellent reviews.[19]

Her 2017/18 adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol gained good reviews at the Hull Truck Theatre in Hull, East Yorkshire.[citation needed]

Chancellor of Leeds Trinity University[edit]

In April 2018, McAndrew was announced as Leeds Trinity University's new Chancellor, replacing Gabby Logan.[20] She was installed as Chancellor in a ceremony in the University Chapel on 15 June 2018.[21]

Personal life[edit]

McAndrew is married to Conrad Nelson, actor, musician and Musical Director of Northern Broadsides. They have a daughter.[3]


  1. ^ "About". Claybody Theatre. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Drama Staff – Deborah McAndrew". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e Hastings, Sheena (10 November 2013). "The Big Interview: Deborah McAndrew". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  4. ^ Youngs, Ian (6 May 2015). "Ex-Corrie star Deborah McAndrew cooks up writing success". BBC News. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Friday Drama: Stone 4/4". BBC. 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  6. ^ "BBC - Sense And Sensibility - Media Centre".
  7. ^ "The Bells". Past productions. Northern Broadsides. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Accidental Death of an Anarchist". Past productions. Northern Broadsides. Archived from the original on 11 December 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  9. ^ "A Government Inspector". Past productions. Northern Broadsides. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  10. ^ "The Grand Gesture". Past productions. Northern Broadsides. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Vacuum". Past productions. Northern Broadsides. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Ex-Corrie star to open new bittersweet comedy Flamingoland". The Sentinel. 25 July 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  13. ^ "An August Bank Holiday Lark". Past productions. Northern Broadsides. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  14. ^ Brown, Mark (19 October 2014). "War plays win three prizes at regional theatre awards". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  15. ^ Hickling, Alfred (17 February 2014). "An August Bank Holiday Lark – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  16. ^ Hutchinson, Charles (31 May 2013). "Review: Beyond The Veil, Mikron Theatre Company, Scarcroft Allotments, York". The Press. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  17. ^ Stelfox, Hilarie (27 September 2014). "Mikron Theatre Company has show that's food for thought". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  18. ^ Brennan, Clare (17 May 2015). "One of Each review – the joys of fish and chips explored". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  19. ^ Brennan, Clare (15 October 2017). "Dirty Laundry review – dark truths unearthed in the Potteries". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  20. ^ "Prof Margaret House on Twitter".
  21. ^ "Deborah McAndrew installed as Chancellor of Leeds Trinity University". Leeds Trinity University. 15 June 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.

External links[edit]