Wednesday 7th March
Washington Theatre Group Remembrance Night by Marie Lovell / John Cairns
“Remembrance Night” is inspired by the life of Ernie Reynolds. As Bert and Liz (“the daughter”) struggle in their own ways with Bert’s dementia, we see the intimate moments and the heart wrenching acts that this illness imposes. In showing us Bert’s life from a heroic 18 year old to a – still cheeky – 91 we consider what a memory is and whether those we love ever really leave us. Bert’s reminiscences contrast with the scenes played in the now, which show his debilitated condition and its impact. Its heart wrenching, gritty and amusing.
Holmside Productions Night Watches by Allan Monkhouse
Allan Noble Monkhouse (1858-1936) was born in Barnard Castle but then worked for many years for the Manchester Guardian. There he helped James Agate in his important news reports from the wartime front line. Monkhouse wrote plays for the Gaiety Theatre, Manchester, and with Harold Brighouse and Stanley Houghton formed what became known as ‘the Manchester School’ of dramatists. In 1916 he published a group of three plays known as ‘War Stories’, and Night Watches, set in a Red Cross Hospital in 1916, is one of these. It was revived at the Finborough Theatre, London in 2015 as part of a programme ‘Hornimans Choice’.
Thursday 8th March
Matchbox Theatre Company Space Cowboy by Chris Masters
A summer afternoon and a park bench is the setting for a space obsessed schoolboy who takes time out to reflect on past events. His tale of friendship and betrayal takes the audience on a journey that has led him to be on this bench as he contemplates the consequences of his actions. Space Cowboy takes real life events and weaves them into a story addressing issues faced by many young people today and has been created in collaboration with Joe Casling – the Space Cowboy of the piece.
Durham Shakespeare Group Julius Caesar (pt1) by William Shakespeare
One of Shakespeare’s classic plays, addressing the triumphant return of Julius Caesar after his military defeat in Pompey. It has all the hallmarks of Shakespeare, with conspiracies and power struggles intertwined with cultural clashes that make this drama come to life on the stage.
Friday 9th March
Durham Dramatic Society Grannies by Jean McConnell
Barbara and Jenny at first appear to be just two grandmothers giving their grandchildren a breath of sea air. However it soon becomes apparent that Jenny is a reluctant grandmother, having thought her days of tending to babies were over, whilst Barbara is quite the opposite. As the play develops the focus moves from Jenny to Barbara, who seems to fret and over react to Jenny’s comments and questions, making Jenny feel suspicious about her. This all leads up to quite a poignant climax.
Royalty Theatre, Sunderland Too Faithed by Lee Stewart
Michael and Faye are a married couple stuck between that grey area of no longer being starry-eyed lovers, yet not quite at that stage where they want to kill each other – they just irritate each other (Well, it’s mainly just Michael irritating Faye!) And, when Michael realises that Faye is going out for the night and will be left to fend for himself, cue Scott – Michael’s similarly-childish best mate – who comes over and states he needs ‘grow up and start acting his own age’. There’s only one way Michael knows how to provide friendly support for this – get the PlayStation on!
Saturday 10th March
Moon in the Sky Theatre The Muse by Tom Casling
A writer is sat on a bench looking for his muse in the tranquility of a park. Unfortunately his peace is disturbed by a series of people and exacerbated by the arrival of young down to earth mum, Janet. Will he ever manage to find his muse or will his frustrations get the better of him?