Funny thing happened on the way

The writers, cast and director of 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Durham', which is being performed at the Phoenix Theatre in Blyth.

The writers, cast and director of 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Durham', which is being performed at the Phoenix Theatre in Blyth.

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A play written to celebrate the return of the Lindisfarne Gospels to Durham is heading to Blyth this weekend.

‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To Durham’, written by north east playwrights Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood, is calling in at the Phoenix Theatre, Blyth, on Saturday, July 13, as part of its regional tour.

Ed said: “We are delighted with the play and the response and, of course, the fantastic turn out. It is our tenth full play and once again, the people of the region have responded to our work.

“It’s great to have such loyal support.”

A cast of just three manage to pack in 1,400 years of north east history in to under two hours of hilarious sketches. Influenced by the comic style of Monty Python and Blackadder, the pace of the play is reminiscent of The Reduced Shakespeare Company productions.

The almost historically correct scenes rely heavily on props and quick costume changes to tell this incredible tale.

The “irreverent romp through the centuries” starts with the fall of the Roman Empire and takes in a comical journey that includes the Synod of Whitby and the Easter Bunny, St Cuthbert’s “miracles”, the Viking invasion, Alfred the Great, the French invasion of 1066, Henry VIII and Sherlock Holmes.

Ed is thrilled to be taking the show to Blyth.

He said: “We played Blyth Phoenix for the first time last autumn when we visited with Amazing Grace. More than 200 people attended and gave the show a fantastic response.

“We had such a great time at Blyth we specifically asked for this to be on the tour of ‘A Funny Thing Happened’.”

Commissioned by Visit County Durham and directed by Gareth Tudor Price, the all-star cast of three (who play 39 characters) comprises Chris Connel (Pitman Painters, Close The Coalhouse Door), Viktoria Kay (Pitman Painters) and Robert Hudson (The Rise and Fall of Little Voice).

Tickets for the performance on July 13 are £15 for adults, concessions £13 (suitable for age 14 and over). To book contact 01665 510 785.