Coronation star Glenn Wallace is captured on a hijacked bus by terrorists;

The Belfast native returns to the stage this month in Under The Black Rock after a decade on television in series such as Coronation Street. With the comedy thriller set in his hometown in 1979, Glen shared some revealing childhood memories during an exclusive interview with, reflecting on the phenomenon of growing up in the midst of tragedy.

The 46-year-old actor first rose to fame in the UK as Malachy Fisher on the hit TV series Hollyoaks, before making guest appearances on Emmerdale, Holby City and Casualty and most recently joining Coronation Street as Lucas Kempton.

This month, the actor returns to his theatrical roots with a poignant piece about the Troubles in Northern Ireland, as the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement approaches.

Growing up during one of the most turbulent times in Northern Ireland’s history, Glen says for the first time that he has “very limited memories of that time”.

However, he soon noticed that what others found shocking was “normal” for him.

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He shares poignant memories: “Someone was injured in front of our house.

My mother and I were taken on a bus that was firebombed and hijacked by terrorists.

“It’s not normal, but it becomes normal until you take some distance, whether it’s geographical or temporal.

“It’s almost PTSD because it affects you.

Although he had been interested in acting since his teenage years, Glenn first attended Belfast Art School before moving to London to explore his entertainment dreams. He also remembers his graduation being cut short tragically.

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He continues: “The night we graduated from art school was called the night of paramilitary action.

“What they were doing is they were warning you: If you’re not going out tonight, don’t go out because there’s going to be trouble.

“We have just graduated from a four-year course, and we are not going to move on.”

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Instead of the festive evening that Glenn and his classmates envisioned, they resign themselves to enjoying the festivities, eating “quick Chinese” and heading to someone’s house for the evening.

Glenn adds, almost with exasperation, that their plans must be changed “because someone else decided they had something better to do.”

Reflecting on this period, the actor didn’t just experience tragedy as he used the full force of a bar of soap to reconnect with Belfast in 1979 for the play.

The Hollyoaks star revealed that the day before Under The Black Rock’s press night, his partner arranged massages to unwind after a long week.

He shared: “One of the massages was done with coal tar soap. As soon as I smelled it, it took me back to Sunday evenings in Belfast, where we took a shower before getting up to go to school the next day.”

Before going on stage the next day, he visited Glenn Butts and picked up a bar of coal tar soap, along with a can of Brut deodorant, adding, “If it doesn’t mention Belfast, no problem”: “If it doesn’t mention Belfast 1979, I don’t know what.” he says so.”

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Glenn continues, ‘It’s the little things. The success of the press night is probably down to an 85p bar of soap.

“It’s amazing how something like that, smell, taste or sound, whatever it may be, moves you instantly.”

Beneath The Black Rock is playing at the Arcola Theater until March 25th.

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