THE sequel to a stage play based on the best-selling book by acclaimed Wirral author Helen Forrester will premiere at the Liverpool Empire next year.

By The Waters Of Liverpool - at the city centre venue from October 2 to 13, 2018 - follows the smash-hit success of Forrester's Twopence To Cross The Mersey.

More than 170,000 people have seen Twopence since it was premiered and now the long-awaited sequel visits the theatre where it all began.

Wirral-born Rob Fennah, who wrote the stage adaptation of Helen Forrester's best-seller as a musical and then a straight stage play, was given the blessing of Helen's family to take on another of her books, By The Waters Of Liverpool.

This next chapter in Helen's life story is once again produced by Pulse Records Ltd in association with Bill Elms.

At 17, Helen had fought and won two bitter battles with her parents; the first to educate herself, the second for the right to go out to work.

Her parents are as financially irresponsible as ever, wasting money while their children still lack adequate food and clothing.

But for Helen, things are looking up as she begins to make new friends and develop some social life outside the home.

Rob Fennah said: "Over the years people have asked me when the next part of Helen's story was going to hit the stage.

"Now I have an answer for them - next October at the Liverpool Empire!

"I adapted By The Waters Of Liverpool as a stage play for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it was intended by Helen to be her final volume of autobiography.

"Secondly, By The Waters Of Liverpool was as big a seller as Twopence and all Helen’s readers out there have waited long enough to see it on the stage.

"The fact that her family has fully endorsed the writing of the new show is the icing on the cake. I have always said that, without their full support, I would not do it.

"Helen entrusted me with her most famous work and it is my responsibility to make sure all her readers recognise it as the story they know and love so well.

"Being back at the Empire Theatre, the place where it all started, is also something I am really looking forward to.

"Helen loved the Empire and she would have been thrilled to know we were going back there."

The new stage adaptation is fully endorsed by the Helen Forrester estate, and is part of the Liverpool Empire’s celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of the city’s highly-successful European Capital of Culture year.

The production is endorsed by Helen's son Robert Bhatia, who said: "I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Twopence To Cross The Mersey as a stage play.

"The staging was innovative and appropriate to the book. And the cast, led by Maria Lovelady who played my mother, was superb!

"I am now looking forward to the new production of By The Waters Of Liverpool when it opens at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool next October.

"This is where my mother attended the premiere of Twopence, so for my family and I it will be a very special occasion."

Empire Theatre director, Diane Belding added: "We're absolutely delighted to present the premiere of By The Waters Of Liverpool during the Liverpool Capital of Culture 10-year celebrations.

"It's going to be fantastic to have a Liverpool story during such an exciting time for the city and we're pleased to have been chosen to host the first performance of this show, particularly after we hosted the premiere of its prequel Twopence To Cross The Mersey!"

Tickets from Empire's box office on 0844 871 3017