Gaynor Faye ‘excited’ to bring late mum Kay Mellor’s The Syndicate to stage

Gaynor Faye has said she is “extremely proud and excited” to be bringing the theatrical adaptation of her late mother’s TV series The Syndicate to the stage.

Leeds-born writer Kay Mellor, who also wrote other hit shows including ITV’s Girlfriends, Band Of Gold and Fat Friends, died in May last year.

Actress Faye, who has starred in Coronation Street, Emmerdale and The Chase on BBC One, a series which she co-wrote with her mother, will make her directorial debut with the stage version of The Syndicate.

National Television Awards 2015 – Arrivals – London
Gaynor Faye arriving for the 2015 National Television Awards at the O2 Arena, London (Archive/PA)

She said: “It is extremely special to be a part of this new theatrical version of The Syndicate and one which my mum was really excited to stage.

“Having acted in the last series on TV, when she asked me to assist her on directing the show – I jumped at it.

“Now, it has become my first solo directing role and whilst I am so sad not to be doing it with her, I am also very proud and excited to bring mum’s vision to the fore.

“Josh Andrews is a fantastic producer who I’ve worked with on several shows and with a fabulous creative team and, of course, an incredible script, we’re going to reach for the stars and make mum’s wish come true, bringing another Kay Mellor classic to theatres across the country.”

Gaynor Faye will be directing a stage adaptation of her mother, Kay Mellor’s, TV drama The Syndicate (BBC)
Gaynor Faye will be directing a stage adaptation of her mother, Kay Mellor’s, TV drama The Syndicate (BBC)

The first series of The Syndicate aired on the BBC in 2012, with the drama telling the story of five supermarket workers whose lives are changed with a joint lottery win.

It starred Timothy Spall, Gavin & Stacey’s Joanna Page and Harry Potter star Matthew Lewis.

The fourth and final series of the programme aired in 2021 and was set between Yorkshire and Monaco and followed the workers at Woodvale Kennels, with a cast including Katherine Rose Morley, Kieran Urquhart, Liberty Hobbs, Emily Head, Neil Morrissey and Kym Marsh, as well as Faye.

Faye told the PA news agency: “I’m feeling extremely proud and excited to be bringing The Syndicate to the stage because it is something that my mum really was excited about, so for me to honour that wish and that excitement is wonderful, you know, real sense of pride.”

Mellor’s Bafta-nominated series Fat Friends, which focused on the members of a slimming group in Leeds, and starred James Corden, Ruth Jones and Alison Steadman, aired from 2000 until 2005 and was also turned into a musical.

The stage version of The Syndicate, the final play created by Mellor, will tour for 15 weeks in 2024 from April to July and will visit Leeds, Norwich, Newcastle, Salford, Sheffield, Glasgow, Birmingham and more.

Faye added of the popularity of The Syndicate: “People want to see what people do with that money.

“And we see, I think my mom really cleverly showed all the different people affected by it, and some for the good and some for the not so good.

“And that’s what this play does really well. It shows us how winning the lottery can completely transform your life and give you something to be able to stand up for yourself… and it also can also give you so much money that you tie yourself in knots with it and lose complete focus and lose yourself.”

Casting for the play will be announced soon.