ACCRINGTON actress Julie Hesmondhalgh has won a theatre award for her portrayal of Sylvia Lancaster.

The Coronation Street actress best known as Hayley Cropper won Best Performance in a Studio Production. The play also won the plaudit of best Studio Production.

The Manchester Theatre Awards have awarded Julie the plaudit for her part in the play Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster at the Royal Exchange Studio The actress is initially took two months off to star in the stage show as Sophie’s mum Sylvia. The stage show was a moving response to the death of 20-year-old student Sophie from Bacup. She was beaten to death in 2007 in Stubbylee Park, because she was wearing gothic style clothes.

At awards held at The Palace Theatre, Manchester Julie dedicated her award to Sylvia and Sophie. The Accrington actress also invited the team from The Sophie Lancaster Foundation on stage to discuss the importance of their work as part of her acceptance speech.

The play will be back on stage at The Royal Exchange this time next year.