Star of stage and screen Gaynor Faye and her son, Oliver Anthony join the cast of the world premiere UK stage tour of The Syndicate, written by Gaynor’s mother, Kay Mellor, when it visits Newcastle Theatre Royal Tue 7 – Sat 11 May 2024 as part of its premiere UK tour.

The smash-hit, critically acclaimed BBC One drama of the same name was a family affair long before it burst onto television in 2012, although written and produced by titan of TV Kay Mellor, her daughter Gaynor Faye was the series script editor.

“I just knew that it was going to be a hit because she captured the whole arena of what winning the lottery and such a substantial amount of money brings to people – both the good and the not so good!”

Gaynor tells of how her “Mum writes for people, not accolades. The people who watch her shows are the people she relates to, the people she champions and admires. She encapsulates them and shows what it is to be a normal, every day person.”

When it aired on BBC One with a cast including stars Timothy Spall and Joanna Page, Kay Mellor’s The Syndicate was a huge hit and went on to enjoy success with three more series. “At times it’s funny, at times it’s dramatic or moving, but the key thing is that everyone can see themselves in her characters and that’s why people love her work.” Gaynor adds.

The first series has now been adapted for the stage by Kay Mellor in what was her final venture into theatre before her untimely death in 2022. She had already asked Gaynor to co-direct the

project with her, and now the actress is going it alone in a move that she confesses has been rather daunting.

Gaynor says, “Mum’s shoes are big ones to fill, but I understand what her vision was for this production because I have been by her side from the very beginning. I’m excited for everyone to see it.”

Bringing three generations of the Mellor family together, The Syndicate sees Kay’s daughter Gaynor Faye making her directorial debut, as well as starring alongside her son Oliver Anthony. The star cast also includes Brooke Vincent (Coronation Street) and Samantha Giles (Emmerdale).

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Adding to the family feel of The Syndicate is the news that Gaynor’s son, Oliver Anthony, has joined the cast in the role of Jamie. He believes having three generations of one family involved in the show brings a unique experience for audiences: “There’s real heart to this show, there’s a lot of love for it, it just feels special.”

Oliver shares his grandmother, Kay, had been mentoring him for the last four years, and as someone who knew how hard the industry could be, had said she saw potential in him.

“She took me under her wing and really helped me learn the business both in front of the camera and behind. To now be involved with the stage show, and Gaynor, my mum directing it too, it just feels special. I have so many wonderful memories of my grandmother, every day beside her was a dream.”

Such is the success of Kay’s writing that her stories have become a hit on the stage as well as the screen with the hugely successful stage adaptions Fat Friends – The Musical, which played to sell-out audiences at Newcastle Theatre Royal in 2018, and Band of Gold, which, like The Syndicate, were also collaborations between Kay’s company Rollem and theatre producer, Josh Andrews.

The Syndicate star cast also features Samantha Giles (Emmerdale) and Brooke Vincent (Coronation Street) and tells the story of five supermarket workers whose lottery syndicate numbers come in just as their jobs and livelihoods are under threat. Will a share of the jackpot make their dreams come true or their nightmares a reality?

The Syndicate plays Newcastle Theatre Royal Tue 7 – Sat 11 May 2024. Tickets can be purchased at or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010.

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