NEXT week Gaynor Faye bids farewell to a show which has been thrilling audiences around the country.

Looking Good Dead, based on the Peter James novel and featuring his best-selling fictional detective Roy Grace, is heading to The Lowry as part of its first UK tour.

Gaynor - known to TV audiences for playing Judy Mallett in Coronation Street and Megan Macey in Emmerdale - plays Kellie Bryce a woman juggling a hectic family life and dealing with her own inner demons. When her husband Tom, played by EastEnders and I’m A Celebrity star Adam Woodyatt, picks up a USB stick left on a train, the family becomes embroiled in a murky world and find their lives are in danger.

“I’ve absolutely loved being part of this tour,” said Gaynor. “and I can’t think of a place I’d rather be ending my run than at the Lowry.”

Looking Good Dead will continue to tour until the summer with Laurie Brett taking over from Gaynor.

“The Lowry has always been a brilliant place for me, it’s such a wonderful theatre. We did Band of Gold there (written by Gaynor’s mum Kay Mellor) and it was so well received.

“For a long time a lot of people actually thought I was from Manchester and I certainly feel as though I have been adopted by the city. I don’t mind in the slightest being a Yorkshire/Manchester girl.”


Looking Good Dead - Adam Woodyatt as Tom Bryce and Gaynor Faye as Kellie Bryce (Photo: Alastair Muir)

Looking Good Dead - Adam Woodyatt as Tom Bryce and Gaynor Faye as Kellie Bryce (Photo: Alastair Muir)


Although Gaynor and co-star Adam are effectively soap royalty, they had never met until the first day of rehearsals for this show.

“That’s crazy isn’t it?” said Gaynor. “Adam’s been in EastEnders forever and I’ve been in two soaps in the past 20 years or so and usually our paths always cross with other soap actors. I know most of the soap people as you meet each other at dos but our paths had never crossed. I’d seen him receive an award at a ceremony I was at but that was it.

“I think we were both little bit reticent when we first met. But there was no need to worry. I have to say he’s just such a wonderful, kind generous man and he’s got a heart of gold and do anything for you. I love working with him. That has helped make the tour so joyous to be part of. All you need is one bad egg in a cast and it can be horrible.”

Adam went straight from the stage and Looking Good Dead into Gwrych Castle in Wales as a late addition to I’m A Celebrity where he was the sixth contestant to be eliminated.

“I’ll soon bring him back down to earth if all that has changed him,” laughed Gaynor.

Looking Good Dead is the latest Peter James bestseller to be adapted for the stage.


Looking Good Dead - Gaynor Faye (Kellie Bryce), Luke Ward-Wilkinson (Max Bryce), Leon Stewart (Branson), Adam Woodyatt (Tom Bryce) Photo: Alastair Muir

Looking Good Dead - Gaynor Faye (Kellie Bryce), Luke Ward-Wilkinson (Max Bryce), Leon Stewart (Branson), Adam Woodyatt (Tom Bryce) Photo: Alastair Muir


“I wasn’t really au fait with the Roy Grace series,” said Gaynor. “I don’t really read crime thrillers although I was aware of Peter James. That’s more my dad’s kind of thing. He’s a massive fan and has shelves full of crime novels.

“I know there have been other productions which have been more central to the Roy Grace character but here it’s about the Gryces and Grace comes in to solve the drama.”

Gaynor particularly enjoyed being part of a new production from the outset.

“I’ve been very lucky in that respect,” she said. “To be first cast in any shows is wonderful and I’ve had that with Calendar Girls, Band of Gold and now this.

“Our director Jonathan O’Boyle made us all feel as though we were part of the creative process from the outset and we got the chance to fiddle with a few things. Certainly Kellie’s character definitely grew and became more in-depth which was wonderful.

“It’s always integral for me that the character has a reason to be there rather than just being the wife for example. I’d never do anything that the writer was not happy about and you have to respect what they have done but if you can then put a layer on it and then the director adds a layer and the technical side and you get this incredible piece.”


Gaynor Faye in Looking Good Dead

Gaynor Faye in Looking Good Dead


Apart from just being able to perform in front of a live audience again, Gaynor has found the audiences’ reactions to the play a real joy.

“That’s what’s so wonderful about the theatre,” she said. “You can feel an audience getting it or piecing it together. We do have those gasp moments. Much as I love TV you don’t get that. You can sense the moment when several hundred people get it at the same time.

“I think we all love a whodunnit and as a nation we love to play detective. This one keeps you guessing right to the end. You do work things out along the way but there are still twists at the end which always take people by surprise.”

As her run in the show comes to an end Gaynor is hoping to start work on a film in February.

“I’m not taking anything for granted,” she said, “given the current situation. I ‘ll know when it happens when I’m either on set delivering my lines or on a stage doing the same. It’s in the lap of the Covid gods.”

Looking Good Dead, The Lowry, Salford Quays, Tuesday, January 18 to Saturday, January 22. Details from