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Ex Corrie's Richard Fleeshman to star in Manchester stage version of Ghost

PUBLISHED: 17:16 16 March 2011 | UPDATED: 11:02 09 October 2012

Richard Fleeshman photo by Matt Crockett

Richard Fleeshman photo by Matt Crockett

Former Street star Richard Fleeshman is about to step into Patrick Swayze's shoes, as Amanda Griffiths reports

Richard in his best known role as Craig Harris in Coronation Street, with on-screen girlfriend Rosie Webster, played by Helen Flanagan. Other television, film and stage credits include:

The role of the school team captain in a TV film called An Angel for May.

In 2007 he played a character called Ben Holroyd on Blue Murder, alongside Jill Halfpenny.

He played the role of Gillen in ITV comedy drama Monday Monday, which aired in August 2009.

In 2009, Richard worked alongside his dad in All The Small Things, a BBC television drama, in which he played an autistic boy, Kyle Caddick.

In June 2010, Richard joined the cast of Legally Blonde in London, a stage production recently nominated for five Olivier awards.

Exclusive reader offer

Ghost The Musical opens at the Opera House in Manchester on March 28th and runs until May 14th and Cheshire Life readers can take advantage of a special offer.

Readers who call the box office on 0844 847 2295 and quote Cheshire Life can claim 5 off top price seats, which normally cost 43.50.

The offer is valid on performances from Monday to Friday between April 22nd and May 2nd.

A booking fee applies and the offer is only valid on price band A seats, not premium seats. The Cheshire Life offer can not be used in conjunction with any other offer and is not available retrospectively. Standard Ambassador Theatre Group booking Terms and Conditions apply.

Richard Fleeshman made his name as Craig Harris in Coronation Street but he returns to Manchester this month, starring in the world premiere of Ghost the Musical, to prove theres more to him than Craig.

Since he left the Street Richard has had a number of roles in television dramas, has written, recorded and released an album, made his stage debut in Legally Blonde, and found time to tour with Elton John. Not bad for a 21-year-old.

Touring with Elton John was crazy, he laughs. I got a phone call saying hed heard my album and would I like to support him on his summer tour, that led to the Christmas tour and then the European tour.

It was amazing, I learned a lot from him, just seeing his professionalism and unwavering commitment, he never stops working. He was really generous with his time. While I was on tour I was asked to write a track for All The Small Things, the drama I was working on at the time, and he ended up writing it with me. For any writer to get the chance to work with someone of that calibre is amazing.

Richards musical ability isnt confined to writing and singing - he also plays piano and guitar and he is now combining his love of music with acting in musical theatre, stepping into the shoes of Patrick Swayze, who played Sam Wheat in the film version of Ghost.

People wait a lifetime to play a part like this, Im really excited about the next 12 months, he says. The show is based on the film which I remember watching as a kid.

Were really lucky because Bruce Joel Rubin, who wrote the screenplay, has also written the play, so its as true to the original as can be and its great to have him there in the rehearsal room with us because we can turn to him if were unsure about anything.

The show premieres in Manchester at The Opera House on March 28th before transferring to the West End in June.

The former Cheadle Hulme School pupil grew up in a theatrical family - his mum is former Brookside actress Sue Jenkins and his dad is actor/director David Fleeshman but Richard said: I think they would have been over the moon if Id said I wanted to be a surgeon or something.

When they realised this was what I wanted to do of course they were supportive. People often think it was as simple as them picking up a phone and making a couple of calls for me but it never worked that way.

I started acting when I was 12 and learned everything on the job. I often talk about drama school with mum and dad and what I might have missed by not going, but Ive got friends who did go and who say they learned more on their first day on set than in their time at drama school.

Corrie was a great place to learn the craft. I worked with great writers and actors in a very intense atmosphere. Things move much quicker in something like that than other parts of the industry. I think if you can work like that you can do anything.

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