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A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Durham

Published by: Steve Burbridge on 4th Jul 2013 | View all blogs by Steve Burbridge


 A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Durham – The Gala Theatre, Durham

The Lindisfarne Gospels are currently on loan from the British Library and will be on display in Durham’s Palace Green Library until 30 September. To commemorate this momentous occasion, Durham’s Gala Theatre have teamed up with Visit County Durham to commission a theatre production chronicling 1400 years of North East history.

The monumental task of writing such a piece was bestowed upon Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood, the prolific North East duo who have a string of credits to their name (including other plays based firmly in the North East locale including Alf Ramsey Knew My Grandfather and Amazing Grace).

Only a partnership with the chutzpah of Wood and Waugh could have concocted such a fast-moving and irreverent dash through our regions past. Staged in a manner which is reminiscent of Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories and written in a style that, arguably, adopts traits of the Carry On’s, Blackadder and Monty Python, Wood and Waugh (in their incomparable, inimitable, trademark style) refuse to let anything as significant as historical accuracy stand in the way of a rip-roaring romp. Indeed, a line in this ‘play within a play’ asserts that “facts don’t matter”.

A cast of three (Chris Connel, Robert Hudson and ViktoriaKay) portray 39 different characters and, in doing so, they demonstrate a level of skill which makes such an undertaking seem completely effortless.

With a firmly tongue-in-cheek approach to our shared history, this production may not appeal to purists – but if you are looking for two-and-a-half hours worth of unashamedly populist humour it is a sure-fire success.

Steve Burbridge.


2-6 July         Gala Theatre, Durham

10 July           Hamsterley Village Hall

11 July           The Maltings, Berwick

12 July           Alnwick Playhouse

13 July           Phoenix Theatre, Blyth

15 July           The Civic Theatre, Darlington

17 July           Consett Empire

18 July           Middlesbrough Theatre

19 July           Bede’s World

20 July           Bowes Museum

21 July           Whitley Bay Playhouse



1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 5 years ago
    This sounds like great fun! Thanks, Steve.
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