Hayley & Me
Coronation Street’s Hayley Cropper appeared in our living rooms three times a week. Though well-loved, she was somewhat overlooked, despite her revolutionary transgender storyline. Bringing Hayley back into the limelight, the show takes a nostalgic look at the impact of this classic Corrie character, her place in trans history and the relationship between her storylines and Kate’s own journey. Featuring a hilarious poignant illustrated journey through Hayley’s Wikipedia page, audience interaction, lots of Spice Girls and a very iconic anorak. ‘Hayley & Me’ explores themes of visibility, expectations, progress, escapism and a lack of visible role models for transgender people. The show premiered in 2016 and has played to audiences around the UK. The climax came when Hayley herself, actor Julie Hesmondhalgh, joined Kate onstage at Contact, complete with that legendary red anorak.
Completing Kate’s trilogy of autobiographical stage pieces (‘Big Girls Blouse’, ‘Hayley & Me’) this acclaimed show was commissioned in partnership with NPO Contact Theatre in Manchester and went on to play 20 dates at Summerhallfor Edinburgh Fringe in partnership with NPO Northern Stage, plus touring for 10 dates in the UK and Europe. Reviews were incredible, audience engagement was extremely high and many trans people found a space at the performances and panels which followed where they could speak freely and come out in a loving space. The show uses a backdrop of musical glamour to wryly suggest that coming out as trans in the noughties might as well have been the 1930s. In the show Kate transitions from ‘Fred’ to ‘Ginger’ using dance, song and witty prose rooted in real life. The project saw Kate collaborate with world-renowned choreographer Lea Anderson MBE and Olivier Award-winning director Mark Whitelaw. The play is long-listed for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.
“Bold and seriously funny…” – The Stage