FOR Timperley actor Andrew Sheridan, the Royal Exchange Theatre is a very special place.

It was here the 35-year-old saw his first play, Jim Cartwright’s gritty Road, and it was the RET that gave him his first stage job after drama school.

Now he’s back at the world famous theatre-in-the-round, joining a cast that includes former Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh in a new play by Simon Stephens.

Andrew takes on two roles in what he describes as a “dark” piece of writing, set in 1979. Theatregoers will see him as John Connolly, a character “with a bit of a shadowy past.”

He said: “He moves to Stockport and he falls in love with a girl and it’s about two people who shouldn’t really fall in love. When a man meets a woman and they’re really bad for each other. In the last quarter of the play i play John’s son and I come back to meet the girl my dad fell in love with.”

While John isn’t totally bad, Andrew said it’s more fun playing characters who aren’t whiter than white. He’s also enjoyed rehearsing with Hesmondhalgh, the lovable Hayley Cropper to millions of soap fans.

Andrew said: “She’s great - she’s a really generous actress and it’s great to be working with her.”

He said it was seeing Road that set Andrew, a former student of what is now Wellington Academy, on his chosen career path.

So far his career has included acting in Shakespeare’s Henry VI parts one, two and three at London’s Globe Theatre and Andrew said there’s National Theatre interest in two of his plays.

* Blindsided by Simon Stephens is at the Royal Exchange Theatre from January 23 to February 15 at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from 0161 833 9833 or