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New film starring Wigan actor captures Manchester Arena bomb terror

Forever Manchester aims to tell the story of two parents caught up in the wake of the Manchester Arena bomb
Forever Manchester aims to tell the story of two parents caught up in the wake of the Manchester Arena bomb

A Wigan actor is set to star in a new film that retells the harrowing events of the Manchester Arena bombing.


Greg Patmore has been cast in Forever Manchester, a film which “focuses on the fear and anguish of parents of youngsters” who were caught up in the terrorist attack on May 22, 2017.

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The film, which is set to premiere at the Kinofilm Festival in Manchester next month, tells the story of two parents, James, played by Greg, and Lisa Barnes, played by Jules Horsfield, and their desperate attempts to get in touch with their daughter Abi who is at the Ariana Grande concert.

It was a horror all too real for many families who struggled to find their loved ones after the blast, which killed 22 people.

Greg is best known for playing Johnny Smith in Coronation Street and also starred alongside Kevin Costner in the TV mini-series Hatfields and McCoys.

He said: “The first time I read the script it actually made me cry.

“It really brought home to me how little we think about the day to day consequences of events such as the Arena bombing, 7/7, all such senseless attacks, how they destroy the lives of so many around the victims themselves forever.

“The film is simple, understated, very intense, but handles the subject matter with respect and grace, beautifully written and sensitively filmed and directed.”

Produced entirely in Lancashire, director Iain Cash and writer David Stokes wanted to make a film that showed what the families of those at the arena, who were waiting at home, went through.

“It was an element of the event that hadn’t been looked at previously,” said Iain.

And while the events of that tragic night are still raw for many people across Greater Manchester and beyond, Iain took great care to handle the story with sensitivity.

“We wanted the film to be real and powerful, even uncomfortable, viewing,” he said.

“But, more importantly, we wanted to create a film that showed nothing but the utmost respect to anyone who was affected by the events of that terrible evening.”

David wrote the screenplay after thoroughly researching the attack to ensure that the story, while a work of fiction, was factually correct.

Iain, a self-employed TV cameraman who funded the project himself, said: “I wanted to pay tribute to all those affected by the bombing, both the victims at the arena, and the families left in limbo as the tragedy unfolded.”

Forever Manchester has been selected to be premiered at the 15th Kinofilm in Manchester, the city’s International Short Film & Animation Festival, in November.

“I couldn’t think of a better place to present the film than the city where it happened,” said Iain.