Actress Becky Hindley goes from Corrie cobbles to the Lancaster Dukes Theatre

PUBLISHED: 17:18 08 September 2011 | UPDATED: 21:37 20 February 2013

Becky Hindley at The Old Rectory in her home village of Warton

Becky Hindley at The Old Rectory in her home village of Warton

Becky Hindley has swapped the Coronation Street cobbles for the wild Yorkshire moors in her latest role at Lancaster's Dukes theatre

In just a few months shes gone from playing the victim of a serial killer to a woman who caused the downfall of a man born into one of Englands most famous literary families.

But to anyone living in Warton near Carnforth, Becky, 46, is just a villager whose busy career has taken in radio drama, numerous theatre appearances as well as an eight month stint on Coronation Street where she played teacher turned stalker, Charlotte Hoyle.

I was originally cast for two episodes but the writers told me they could see the madness behind her eyes, says Becky, so they carried on writing this brilliant character with a fantastic storyline.

Beckys time on The Street also coincided with the 50th anniversary of the soap and the famous live episode featuring a devastating tram crash.
Id just been hit over the head by John Stape so during the live episode I was unconscious and being dragged around the back streets. It wasnt very glamorous, but to be there for the 50th anniversary was more than I had expected, she says.

With her character killed off, Becky has returned to the stage, taking on the role of Lydia Robinson in Northern Broadsides world premiere of We Are Three Sisters, a new look at the story of the Bronte sisters playing at The Dukes Theatre in Lancaster from September 27 and a highlight in the theatres 40th anniversary celebrations.

We Are Three Sisters focuses on the lives of Charlotte, Anne and Emily Bronte but also features others who played a major part in their lives including Lydia Robinson, Beckys character.

Lydia is the woman who, while still married to a vicar, is said to have led astray the Brontes brother, Branwell, and whose ultimate rejection of him led to his downward spiral of heavy drinking and drug abuse.

Such was her reputation that she is said to have inspired the Mrs Robinson in the 1960s classic film The Graduate and the hit Simon and Garfunkel song.

Apparently, Lydia Robinson was a bit of a one, says Becky. She was only in the Brontes lives for a short time but made quite an impact.

For Becky, it will be her Dukes debut, joining a host of celebrities including Miranda Richardson, Alex Kingston, Amanda Burton, Andy Serkis, Ashley Jensen, Dame Harriet Walter and another Coronation Street actress, Cherylee Houston who plays Izzy Armstrong, who have all trodden the boards at the Lancaster theatre during its 40 year history.

Becky, who has lived in the district for six years and was previously in Burton-in-Kendal, is looking forward to appearing at her local theatre where her friends and family, including her partner Alistair and parents Pat and Jeff, who live in Yealand Conyers, will be in the audience.

As part of her preparation for the role, she has been researching the Brontes and learned of their connections with various villages not far from her Warton home.

The Rev Carus Wilson lived at The Cove in nearby Silverdale. It is claimed that Charlotte Bronte stayed there during an outbreak of fever at the Clergy Daughters School at Cowan Bridge. The Brontes were educated at this school, founded by Rev Wilson, and said to have been the model for Lowood School in Jane Eyre.

For many years, Silverdale was also the popular holiday haunt of novelist Mrs Gaskell, Charlotte Brontes biographer, who was sued for libel by Lydia Robinson after claiming she had led to Branwells downfall.

Tunstall Church in the nearby Lune Valley also has Bronte connections as it was where the sisters worshipped while at school in Cowan Bridge. The walk they made across those fields more than 150 years ago can still be followed today.

To find so many Lancashire connections to writers so powerfully linked to Yorkshire is a bonus for Lancastrian Becky.

Brought up in Parbold, she was educated at Scarisbrick Hall School at Ormskirk and then Winstanley College near Wigan. Becky cites Anna Jones, who used to produce little plays at Sunday School, as her inspiration.

After taking a creative arts course at Trent Polytechnic, Becky won a bursary to East 15 acting school in London.

Early acting jobs were difficult to come by before Becky joined the Radio Drama Company where she was taken under the wing of producer, Enyd Williams.

From there, she has enjoyed a varied career which has included working with Alan Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough and in the West End.

But on hitting 40, Becky decided to settle back up north. The quality of life is much better and my work hasnt suffered, in fact, it has been brilliant. I feel very lucky.

The print version of this article appeared in the September 2011 issue of Lancashire Life

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