Eve Steele has worked as an actor for many years.
She might be familiar to Corrie fans for playing Anne Malone who died in a freezer.
After being called for the same old roles that lacked depth, Eve turned her hand to scriptwriting to write more challenging roles to play.
Since then, Eve has staged a play at the Edinburgh Fringe, and radio plays for the BBC.
Her new play Work it Out was commissioned by HOME and opens there in March.
We caught up with Eve to find out more about how the play came about and why she loves Manchester.
Where did you get the idea to write Work It Out?
I was in a Zumba class once and a friend of mine hissed in my ear between tracks: ‘If she dances right in front of me one more time I’m gonna punch her in the face.’
It made me laugh (and get ready to break up a fight!) but it stuck in my head and I started thinking about the dynamics in fitness classes, personal space, self-consciousness, our relationships to our bodies, shame, hope… and I thought that for people who are struggling to manage their day to day lives and emotions, those triggers would be even more challenging.
A keep fit class is a great setting because it attracts a variety of people. Does that make it easier to write the characters?
I think so. I love being around diverse groups of people with very different personalities, so that was something I tried to portray in Work It Out.
I’m interested in the group dynamics when people who’ve never met each other before are thrown together, especially when there are people who have some social anxiety (like a lot of us do)
What is it about Manchester that means we have so many creatives working and performing here?
I think it’s a big, vibrant, diverse city with a good mix of cultures and the fact there’s already a lot of creativity means more creative people are attracted to it.
So it’s probably evolved like this over a long time.
I’m sure the crap weather gives us a better sense of humour, as some sort of coping mechanism.
Also, it’s a lot cheaper to live here than in London, and artists aren’t renowned for being well-off!
What does this city mean to you?
It feels like a real part of my identity. Growing up here, exploring, going into town as a kid, amazed by how big and busy it was, traipsing around the cold streets as a teenager, getting to know how different areas joined up, then having my kids here and seeing them get to know the city themselves.
It feels more like my home than any of the individual flats or houses I’ve lived in.
Is there anything you would change if you could?
So much. I’m heartbroken and furious about the fact we live in a society that isn’t taking care of people.
So many ill people are in desperate need as the NHS buckles through lack of funding, a huge housing crisis from homelessness to people having to spend so much of their income on rent or a mortgage that they can hardly afford to eat.
Massive numbers of necessary food banks.
And meanwhile more millionaires than ever before.
The money is being carefully filtered in the wrong direction.
And now we are looking at a mass extinction because of global governments putting relationships with fossil fuel companies before tackling climate change. I want a revolution.
What do you hope audiences get from coming to see Work It Out?
I hope they will have a good night out and a laugh.
I hope they will be moved and inspired, and they will see something of themselves in the characters.
I hope they will leave feeling like, even though there is so much wrong in the world, there are people all around us who are amazing, kind, heroic and loveable.
Work It Out runs at HOME from 1st – 16th March and tickets are available here.