PREVIEW: Tony Warren celebrated in new exhibition

Besi Besemar August 25, 2017

“Coronation Street is four miles in any one direction from the centre of Manchester. Emotionally, it’s wherever you want it to be in your own heart”, Tony Warren 1995

Image courtesy Granada TV
Image courtesy Granada TV

The early life and career of Tony Warren, creator of Coronation Street, the world’s longest running continuing drama, is to be remembered in an exhibition at¬†Salford Museum & Art Gallery.

Four Miles from Manchester; Tony Warren’s Coronation Street¬†runs from Saturday October 21, 2017 to Tuesday, July 3 2018 and entry is free.

The exhibition will showcase aspects of Tony’s life, documenting him growing up in Pendlebury, Salford, where he absorbed the streets, people and sounds surrounding him, eventually leading him into a career in script writing.

Original scripts and other items from his early writing career will be on show as Four Miles from Manchester tells the story of the Salford legend’s journey to creating Coronation Street, an innovation of its time, telling stories of ordinary people, on an ordinary street.

As a child, Tony remembered visiting his grandmother’s house, where he would sit under the table and listen to the speech patterns of his female relatives. The exhibition will bring these moments to life and will include a replica living room scene from the 1950s/60s, the opportunity to watch the first episode of Coronation Street and showcase personal items and photographs of Tony Warren together for the first time.

1950s Salford was full of terraced houses, cobbled streets. industrial sights and sounds, and this scene is set at the exhibition with specially created paintings by local artist David Coulter, who grew up in the same place and time that Tony Warren did. David’s paintings show his love for cities and capture the atmosphere and grittiness of urban surroundings.

Kieran Roberts
Kieran Roberts

Kieran Roberts, ITV’s Executive Producer of Coronation Street, said: “Coronation Street is the story of the everyday lives of ordinary folk living on a cobbled back-street somewhere in Manchester. The unique blend of heart-warming comedy and powerful drama has been at its heart since the very first episode in 1960.

“Tony Warren was a wonderful and brilliant man who created not just a programme but an entire genre of British television. Tony left a huge legacy which is still growing and evolving. Coronation Street is the nation’s street and I hope that many people will enjoy this new exhibition that gives fascinating insights into the genesis of the programme and the genius of its creator.”

David Tucker of Tony Warren’s estate, added: “Tony was an amazing writer and he was a fantastic man who genuinely had an interest in anyone that he encountered. His knack for putting everyday drama down on paper and bringing it to life on our TV screens was second-to-none. I wanted the items from his career to be shared with the public and not shut away or sold. Tony approved an exhibition before he died. I am sure that he would be as thrilled as I am that it will be in his native Salford.”

Cllr Dennett
Cllr Dennett

Paul Dennett, Salford City Mayor, said: “We are truly honoured that the museum is hosting this interesting and extremely important exhibition about Tony’s life and career; the museum is a key driver in articulating and bringing alive Salford’s social history; something that Tony himself has contributed to enormously. He brought the lives of ordinary Salford people to the television screen, which hit a note with the nation and continues today.”

Event:¬†Four Miles from Manchester; Tony Warren’s Coronation Street

Where: Salford Museum & Art Gallery

When: Saturday, October 21, 2017 to Tuesday July 3, 2018

Cost: Free

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