Corrie star cast in Anita and Me at Grand

Shobna Gulati
Shobna Gulati
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Former Coronation Street actor Shobna Gulati will star in the new tour of Anita and Me, which is coming to Blackpool Grand Theatre.

Gulati will play the role of Daljit during the five-day run between Tuesday, March 7 and Saturday, March 11.

This poignant coming-of-age tale follows Meena, a young girl growing up in the only Punjabi family in a 1970s Black Country mining village

Joining Shobna on stage will be Laura Aramayo as ‘Anita’, Sam Cole as ‘Sam Lowbridge’, Therese Collins as ‘Mrs Worrall’ and Rina Fatania as ‘Namina’.

The tour is being presented by the Touring Consortium Theatre Company and Birmingham Repertory Theatre. It’s been adapted for stage by multi award-winning Tanika Gupta from the book by Meera Syal, directed by Roxana Silbert and features original music by the Ringham Brothers.

Meera Syal said: “I’m delighted that Anita and Me is touring the UK. It is amazing to think of so many people engaging in this story - particularly young people, who like me as a child, may be wondering how they fit in!”

A spokesman added: “This poignant coming-of-age tale follows Meena, a young girl growing up in the only Punjabi family in a 1970s Black Country mining village. Meena spends her days happily getting into scrapes with the other local children until one day the impossibly cool Anita enters her life.

“Suddenly Meena knows exactly who she wants to be but is Anita all that she seems? Soon Meena’s world is turned upside down as she is caught between two very different cultures.”

Meera Syal, the original author of the book, spoke fondly of the decision to cast Shobna Gulati.

She said: “I think she’ll bring huge authority and feeling. It’s helpful if you’re a mother to play that part because she’s so much the epitome of a mother. Shobna’s such a well-loved actress and has such a massive following so I’m sure she’ll bring an awful lot of fans into theatres as well, which is fantastic.”

She also praised Tanika Gupta for the adptation. Adding: “I think she’s done a great job. She’s really found the sort of beating heart of the two girls. I think she’s found the vitality and fun of the village and that’s why as a musical it works so well.”

Tickets are priced from £19.50. To book, visit www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk or call the box office on 01253 290190.