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, and a visiting lecturer in the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts at Staffordshire University.
Early life and education
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.
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. She has appeared in theatre, radio and television including the BBC Radio 4 detective series Stone, and as Mrs. Dashwood in Helen Edmundson's 2013 Radio 4 adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. She first joined Northern Broadsides as an actor in 1995.
In 2004 McAndrew adapted Leopold Lewis's 1871 play The Bells for Northern Broadsides. Since then her adaptations have included Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector and Nikolai Erdman’s The Suicide, under the new title The Grand Gesture.
Her first original script was Vacuum (2006, set in a vacuum cleaner repair shop and performed by Northern Broadsides). She wrote Flamingoland, about a woman with breast cancer, in 2008, for the New Vic Theatre, 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.
Her 2014 play An August Bank Holiday Lark, 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. Set in Saddleworth at the start of World War I, it features the village's traditional rushbearing procession and morris dancing.
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), Till the Cows Come Home (2014, on icecream making), and One of Each (2015, concerning fish and chips).
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.
Chancellor of Leeds Trinity University
In April 2018, McAndrew was announced as Leeds Trinity University's new Chancellor, replacing Gabby Logan. She was installed as Chancellor in a ceremony in the University Chapel on 15 June 2018.
- "About". Claybody Theatre. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "Drama Staff – Deborah McAndrew". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- Hastings, Sheena (10 November 2013). "The Big Interview: Deborah McAndrew". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- Youngs, Ian (6 May 2015). "Ex-Corrie star Deborah McAndrew cooks up writing success". BBC News. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "Friday Drama: Stone 4/4". BBC. 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "BBC - Sense And Sensibility - Media Centre". www.bbc.co.uk.
- "The Bells". Past productions. Northern Broadsides. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "Accidental Death of an Anarchist". Past productions. Northern Broadsides. Archived from the original on 11 December 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "A Government Inspector". Past productions. Northern Broadsides. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "The Grand Gesture". Past productions. Northern Broadsides. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "Vacuum". Past productions. Northern Broadsides. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "Ex-Corrie star to open new bittersweet comedy Flamingoland". The Sentinel. 25 July 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "An August Bank Holiday Lark". Past productions. Northern Broadsides. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- Brown, Mark (19 October 2014). "War plays win three prizes at regional theatre awards". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- Hickling, Alfred (17 February 2014). "An August Bank Holiday Lark – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- Hutchinson, Charles (31 May 2013). "Review: Beyond The Veil, Mikron Theatre Company, Scarcroft Allotments, York". The Press. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- Stelfox, Hilarie (27 September 2014). "Mikron Theatre Company has show that's food for thought". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- Brennan, Clare (17 May 2015). "One of Each review – the joys of fish and chips explored". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- Brennan, Clare (15 October 2017). "Dirty Laundry review – dark truths unearthed in the Potteries". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
- "Prof Margaret House on Twitter".
- "Deborah McAndrew installed as Chancellor of Leeds Trinity University". Leeds Trinity University. 15 June 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.