Royal seal of approval for story of heroine

The letter received by Ed Waugh from Buckingham Palace.

The letter received by Ed Waugh from Buckingham Palace.

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A PLAY coming to Blyth later this year has been given the royal seal of approval.

The Queen has taken time out from preparing for her diamond jubilee celebrations to send a letter of support to the writing team behind a new play about the 19th century sea rescue heroine Grace Darling.

The play, called Amazing Grace, will be performed throughout the north east this autumn, starting at Alnwick Playhouse on Wednesday, October 17.

The Queen wrote to playwrights Ed Waugh, of South Shields, and Trevor Wood, of Newcastle, to express her interest in their latest work and to wish everyone involved “a most successful and enjoyable tour”.

Trevor said: “Obviously we’re absolutely delighted the Queen has expressed her support for the play.

“We were really keen to celebrate the life of Grace Darling and remind the world about the heroic and selfless rescue she and her lighthouse keeper carried out on the Farne Islands during a storm in 1838.

“Grace was sent £50 by the young Queen Victoria and, after Victoria, became the best known woman in the country.

“The present Queen is patron of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

“Amazing Grace tells the story of Grace Darling through the eyes of a modern-day writer called Grace who wants to make a film about her famous namesake.

“Given the subject matter, we were particularly keen to use the play to help the RNLI, and at the end of the shows at each of the ten venues there will be a collection for the magnificent work these selfless volunteers do.”

The play will be staged at the Phoenix Theatre in Blyth on Wednesday, October 31.

For details, call the Beaconsfield Street theatre on (01670) 367228.