FIRST REVIEW: Amazing Grace, at Alnwick Playhouse, Wednesday, October 17.
Amazing by name, amazing by nature.
Last night’s premiere of Amazing Grace at the Alnwick Playhouse went down a treat.
This new play, by Tyneside-based writers Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood, brought the story of Grace Darling to life in a quirky, original and contemporary way.
The drama was complemented by a nice blend of comedy, with jokes in plentiful supply, ranging from jibes at certain celebrities to gags with a local reference
A surprise ending, with a clever twist, brought the curtain down on a truly entertaining play which more than did justice to the legacy of wor Grace.
It’s a good job too.
Because the folk of north Northumberland have clearly taken this Victorian heroine to their hearts – a point epitomised by a packed Playhouse auditorium last night.
And with tickets selling well for shows today (2pm and 7.30pm) and tomorrow (7.30pm) at the Alnwick venue, Grace is clearly in demand.
In her early 20s, she came to fame in the autumn of 1838, after joining her father on a rescue mission from Longstone Lighthouse to heroically pluck survivors from a watery grave, after their ship, the SS Forfarshire, had struck the Big Harcar rocks.
More than a century and a half on, it is a tale that still captures the imagination.
And Catherine Dryden gave a heroic performance as Grace, ably-supported by Sean Wildey (playing Barry Charlton) and Trevor Cuthbertson, who raised many a laugh throughout.
Interspersed with video footage and finely directed by Emma Roxburgh, this was a memorable play.
After this week’s stint at Alnwick Playhouse, Amazing Grace is heading out on another 20 dates across the North East, including Durham, Hartlepool and Gateshead.
For more information, visit www.edwaughandtrevorwood.co.uk
For Alnwick Playhouse tickets, visit www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk or call 01665 510785.
SEE FULL REVIEW IN NEXT THURSDAY’S NORTHUMBERLAND GAZETTE