Burnley actress to star in theatre production on life of Manchester terror attack victim Martyn Hett

Burnley actress and familiar local face Sonia Ibrahim is to star in a forthcoming Lowry Theatre production about the life of one of the Manchester terror attack victims.

Sonia Ibrahim
Sonia Ibrahim

Sonia Ibrahim, best known for playing Coronation Street’s Mel Maguire, has joined the cast of Hope Theatre Company’s '#BeMoreMartyn: The Boy with the Deirdre Tattoo.'

Sonia (30), well-known locally through her family restuarant business Continentals, will take to the stage in June to play the part of Martyn Hett's school friend Rachel.

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The play about Martyn Hett, who lost his life in the Manchester Arena bombing, is embarking on its second UK tour which finishes with a homecoming run at The Lowry, Salford Quays from Thursday June 20th to Saturday June 22nd.

Sonia said: "I am truly excited to be joining the talented cast of #BeMoreMartyn. It is an honour and a privilege to share the story of this amazing young man's life.

“The memories and legacy of Martyn and the other beautiful souls who we lost that day are proof that love will always endure against evil. I am thankful for the opportunity to share Martyn's story with the world."

All of the words spoken on stage are taken word-for-word from interviews with eight of Martyn’s closest friends. They will take audiences on a journey from the cobbles of Canal Street to his legendary Eurovision parties celebrating Martyn’s favourite divas along the way.

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Coronation Street star Sue Nicholls (Audrey Roberts) and Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus are among those celebrities that feature in stories recounted by Martyn’s closest friends.

Nicholls’ portrayal of Coronation Street’s Audrey Roberts and the so-called ‘Audrey Roberts Noise’ was the focus of one of Martyn’s biggest social media hits - with over 580,000 views on YouTube. McManus, meanwhile, was one of Martyn’s favourite performers, the focus of a number of his social media posts, and one of the celebrities to perform at his funeral in June.

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Ibrahim will take over the part of Rachel from Corrie alumni Paula Lane who is currently starring in the national tour of Kinky Boots. Rachel, Martyn’s school friend, talks of their first night out in the gay village, Martyn’s coming out and his idolisation of Coronation Street.

Adam Zane, artistic director of Hope Theatre Company, said: "Rachel’s stories are just fantastic; heart-warming and funny so we’re absolutely delighted that Sonia is joining the cast and will be sharing them with our audiences."