Coronation Street’s Julie Hesmondhalgh warms hearts in new theatre show based on dad’s memoirs

Ten years on since the death of her dad, Corrie’s beloved Julie Hesmondhalgh, is bringing audiences a heartfelt reflection of life through his memoirs.

‘These I Love’ is a piece written and devised by Julie about her experiences growing up in the 1970s and 80s

These diaries, which Julie found after her dad’s death, took her on a journey through his life as she got to discover the bright and poetic man he was in his teenage years.

“When I’m reading it, and doing it, it’s like I’m spending time with him again,” says Julie. ““He had a very tragic childhood, so when I was growing up his outlook on life was full of wordplay, games, song, and a lot of fun – and completely at odds with this tragic childhood of his own.”

A few days after filming her final scenes in Coronation Street, Julie took a trip to the Lake District, and without thinking, brought her dad’s poems and writings with her.

The show will be at The Octagon in Bolton this week

Intending to relax and reflect on the last year, she started reading them and found herself devising from the moment her eyes hit the pages.

Julie said: “It was a beautiful and profound experience.”

Diary entries range from stories to poems and captured in his words are snapshots of the childhood experience he had growing up in the 40s and 50s, a period Julie says he found difficult.

Julie’s father never understood her career in acting, but was very proud of her nonetheless, and Julie attributes her love and passion for acting to his creative nature.

“All he wanted for us was security and safety, and he would’ve loved nothing better for us to become bank managers,” she added.

Julie is a passionate supporter of regional theatre and took the decision to premiere this at the Octagon in Bolton as it is the closest theatre to Accrington, where she grew up.

She is also involved in a campaign to save Oldham Coliseum, another regional theatre she believes holds a special place in people’s hearts, after it closed in March 2023.

After each performance, Julie will be doing a Q&A and book signing of ‘An Actor’s Alphabet’ – a book she released in 2022 as a guide to help actors prepare for auditions, managing the ups and downs of the industry and protecting their mental health.

She added: “There was a massive piece of my life where the industry changed almost beyond recognition in areas such as representation, diversity […] so I suppose it’s part memoir, part advice.”

Julies previous works include 16 years in ITV soap Coronation Street, Broadchurch, Happy Valley, and most recently, hit ITV drama Mr Bates vs The Postman.

You can catch ‘These I Love’ tonight (February 14) at 7:30pm and Friday (February 16) at 2pm at the Bolton Octagon Theatre, but if you miss it, it will be heading to Live Theatre in Newcastle for a limited run in March 2024.

Tickets can be found at These I Love | Octagon Theatre Bolton (

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