Announcing the Third Thunder Girl: Coleen Nolan Stars as ‘Anita’ in… The Thunder Girls!

Coleen Nolan

27 March, 2019

Coleen Nolan is announced as the third star to be cast in the all-female world premiere preview of The Thunder Girls. Coleen will star alongside Coronation Street’s Beverley Callard and West End’s All About Jamie star, Mina Anwar.

The Thunder Girls is a true celebration of women. All four of The Thunder Girls actresses are over 50, one of the most under-represented demographics in the UK entertainment industry.  The show has a female writer, female producer and female director and all from working class roots – another area which is under represented in mainstream media.  The debut play by Melanie Blake is an adaptation from her first novel of the same name which will be released by Pan Macmillan this summer. The week long premiere preview will open at The Lowry, Salford on 24th September 2019 and tickets are on sale now.

Coleen Nolan takes on the role of Anita, a former pop star who has been in hiding for over thirty years since an international tabloid scandal left her humiliated and tired of the fame game.  Anita’s grudges over the injustice of her downfall have been left to fester for decades and she has a major axe to grind.  When she returns for the reunion dinner showdown from hell, her former band mates will find she is a very different woman from the girl they knew 30 years ago.  If Anita finds out anyone is trying to rip her off or mislead her again, there will be hell to pay.

The Thunder Girls follows an ‘80s girl group reuniting 30 years after greed, envy and egos tore their friendship and the band apart. The play focuses on what goes on during the night from hell when lead singer Chrissie tries to reunite the band she dumped. Chrissie is desperate to salvage herself from bankruptcy after being conned out of her fortune by her toy boy husband.  But is there a fee which can heal the wounds?  Or maybe some friendships never die, even if you want them to?

They say write about what you know, and as one of the UK’s most powerful music managers, Melanie has lived and breathed The Thunder Girls. Melanie came from nothing but was inspired by Jackie Collins’ books and ‘80s television to believe that she could become whoever she wanted to be.  She started her career at Top of the Pops working with the biggest names in showbiz from Destiny’s Child to The Spice Girls and went on to become a music manager to some of the biggest names in pop.

Coleen Nolan said: I’ve been lucky enough to have been offered several West End shows as well as tours over my career, but never felt ready to take on my first official acting role until I read The Thunder Girls.  To be cast in the first line-up of The Thunder Girls with such amazing actresses is a dream come true.

I’ve lived and breathed the ups and downs of girl band life and I knew as soon as I read the script that this is the real deal. The audience will love this show!  It’s like the ultimate sneak peak behind the velvet curtain of showbiz and what really can go on behind closed doors – to say it’s explosive would be an understatement! The Thunder Girls is a bit like the Christmas day episode of a soap when you wait all year for someone to get their comeuppance!  It starts off at a hundred miles an hour and doesn’t stop until the curtain comes down.

I’ve always had terrible stage fright and never had the confidence to star in a play before but I feel I can do ‘Anita’ justice because I can draw on my past to play her.  I’m also incredibly inspired by the fact that this play has created roles for women who are fabulous over 50.  I am nervous, but Anita was just too delicious to turn down – I can’t wait to play her!

Steve Cowton, Head of Theatre Operations at The Lowry, said: We love being able to host exciting new work. We’re particularly looking forward to welcoming The Thunder Girls premiere as it’s a story that is rooted in the North West and we’re sure our audiences are going to love the show.

Angela Squire, Producer, said: We are thrilled that Coleen Nolan has chosen The Thunder Girls as her first ever acting role and this is a real testament to the script. Coleen has lived this story and her experience adds to the truth and authenticity of the piece.

Melanie Blake said: To be returning to my home city 25 years since I left with my debut play premiering at The Lowry is an honour and a privilege – and proof that dreams really can come true. It’s taken nearly two decades to bring The Thunder Girls play and book to the public and I can’t wait to come home and see the audiences’ reaction to this strong female narrative. It’s time we saw more strong female leads in theatre and my play is about four incredibly powerful and empowered women and I can’t wait to see it staged in Salford.”

For all interview requests and for press tickets please contact Tory Lyne-Pirkis at Midas PR on [email protected] / 020 7361 7860

About Coleen Nolan
One of the Queens of Daytime TV, The Nolans’ diva has celebrated over 18 years of TV success at ITV1 co-hosting two of their flagship Daytime shows Loose Women and This Morning. She’s also co-hosted ITV1’s Dancing on Ice with Philip Schofield (stepping in for the then pregnant Holly) as well as co-hosting the ITV1 spin off primetime show Dancing on Ice Friday with Ben Shepherd. Coleen famously came 4th in the actual show in 2009. Coleen’s biggest passion is her role on ITV’s multi award winning Loose Women where she has been sitting in her famous ‘seat number 2’ as a regular panellist since 2000 making her the show’s longest running panellist!

Coleen has the iconic role as the Daily Mirror’s agony aunt. Coleen’s column is read by over ten million a week as Coleen advises on readers’ problems, however big or small.  A lover of reality TV, Coleen has entered the famous Celebrity Big Brother house twice, coming second in 2012, missing out by just 2% before returning to the All Star Celebrity Big Brother House in 2017 where she was finally won the crown by a whopping 33%!

About Melanie Blake and The Thunder Girls
Melanie Blake started her music career at Top of the Pops working with acts such as Destiny’s Child, All Saints and The Spice Girls.  Melanie went on to become a manager to members of Bros, Steps, Five Star, Spandau Ballet and reformed original ‘80s girl group, The Nolans, for their sell out 2009 reunion tour which took over £2 million at the box office.  Melanie’s true passion has always been writing.

On her debut novel that the play is adapted from, Melanie’s editor at Pan Macmillan Wayne Brookes has said: “I have been a fan of this genre for decades. Think Valley of the Dolls meets Jackie Collins’ Rock Star. It’s a sexy thriller fest with female friendship at its heart. Melanie is a real insider and has worked with many popstars throughout the years. This is now her time to shine. I’ve published many novels in this genre, but never have I had someone like Melanie Blake behind it. Come September when her play based on a segment of the novel comes out The Thunder Girls will go wild.”

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