Coronation Street’s hour-long live episode was a triumphant tribute to 50 years of the soap.
It was cleverly scripted, well shot and on the whole, stunningly delivered by the talented cast.
The only slight slip-ups came when cameras failed to focus, actors cried but failed to produce tears and when Sally Webster was supposed to be wearing a safety helmet, yet it never appeared.
Sally, played by Sally Dynevor, was involved in one of the most moving scenes of the show as she comforted Molly Dobbs whilst firemen attempted to free the young mother from the rubble of the corner shop.
Upon entering the shop, a fireman insisted Sally would have to wear a safety helmet… but it was never seen. Instead, the rescuer seemed to shield her head from the tumbling debris with a torch!
But this minor oversight was completely outshone by the fine acting between Sally and Vicky Binns. As Vicky played out her final breaths, she revealed that Sally’s husband Kevin is in fact the father of her baby, Jack. Not the revelation you want to hear from your dying friend.
Other standout performances came from Fiz, played by Jennie McAlpine, who screamed and puffed her way through labour with true conviction.
Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) and Leanne Battersbry (Jane Danson) were completely believable in their moving wedding scene on Peter’s death bed. As the alarms on his breathing apparatus went off, does it signal the end for the lovable rogue?
Claire, played by Julie Haworth, was also extremely convincing in her role as the grieving widow, after learning of heroic husband Ashley’s death.
Credit has to be given to the talents of the Corrie script writers who managed to combine the tragedy of the tram crash and explosion, with a touch of the much-loved Street humour that truly sets the soap apart.
Pattie Clare, who plays mad Mary Taylor, provided a moment of light relief when she burst into Roy’s rolls reciting Guys and Dolls to the love-of-her-life, Norris.
Sunita, played by Shobna Gulati, even managed to deliver a comic line when she was lying in hospital, telling Dev that he had to “promise to get rid of that shirt.”
With two deaths confirmed, fans will have to wait till tomorrow to find out who else will perish in the dramatic storyline. Will Peter pull through? Has John Stape managed to kill Charlotte or will she come back from the brink? And what about baby Hope and Rita?
For now, the stars are off to enjoy their well-deserved after-party. After tonight’s performance, they certainly have something to celebrate.
- Video: ITN report confirms death of residents
Video: Let Richard Arnold take you behind-the-scenes of the live episode and after party