FROM being in a band to training to be an actress, Stella Grundy chuckles that she never wanted a “proper job”.

Now the former Intastella front woman is bringing the cautionary tale of a Madchester rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle to The Met in Bury on Wednesday.

The Rise and Fall of a Northern Star, written and performed by Stella, offers an insight into the music industry, with a blend of comedy and tragedy interspersed with original music and pacy dialogue.

Growing up in Moston, she became a member of alternative rock band Intastella who had four top 75 hits in the UK during the 1990s.

Stella said: “I get to perform songs but without having to join a band again.

“It’s funny how so many people identified with it.

“That idea of you having those dreams in your bedroom as a teenager.

“To a lot of people, music means so much.

“I never wanted to be in a band that was successful.

“I think being in a band was more like a way of life than an ambition.

“The original thing was being able to hang out with your friends and say, yeah, I’m in a band.”

Speaking of why she called time on Intastella, the mother-of-one said: “I had a baby. I was looking after my daughter and then I went to drama college and trained to be an actress.

“I didn’t want a proper job.”

Stella first performed the one woman show as part of festivals including the Library Theatre Company’s Re:Play Festival and it has now been developed for larger theatres, with director Iain Bloomfield, and will kick off its autumn tour at The Met.

Seeking to escape the drudgery of her day-to-day life in 1980s Manchester, Tracy Star sought to make something of herself in the burgeoning male dominated Madchester music scene, becoming The Manc Madonna before life in the music industry took its toll.

A story of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, it also features a script developed from nine of Stella’s original songs.

She said: “I think obviously, it came from some of my experiences of being in a band but there’s a lot of fantasy in there.

“It grew from a need to tell a story, there’s definitely stuff that’s come straight from my life.

“Tracy Star is a lot more dangerous, a lot more brave than I was.

“It was not cathartic but it was something I had to get out there and do.

“It was nerve-wracking.

“It was written as a way of ending a chapter in my life and beginning afresh.

“It is an intimate story that contains universal themes which many recognise and connect with, seeing themselves and others in the troubled central character, Tracy Star.

“It is, first and foremost, a work of love.”

Stella has also created a mock documentary with interviewees including Clint Boon, from Inspiral Carpets, Louder than War’s John Robb, DJ Dave Haslam and Mike Joyce, from The Smiths.

They form part of the central character's narrative, adding depth by reminiscing and providing humorous anecdotes about Tracy reacting to real historical moments from Manchester’s musical past.

Stella said: “I knew I wanted it to go into theatres.

“We’ve used some theatre techniques and added some sparkle and bells and whistles.

“There’s some really good elements that we were not able to do in the first show.

“It’s really exciting to see if that works and what people think of it.

“We are touring it again next year.”

Tickets to see The Rise and Fall of a Northern Star are £10. For more information or to book, phone the box office on 0161 761 2216 or visit