New play about scandal involving former Berwick MP Lord Lambton to be performed at Northumberland venues

A new play by R J Flynn and Tideline Runners takes a darkly comic look at a national political scandal that had a former Berwick MP at its centre.
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The Honourable Gentleman follows the immediate aftermath of the Lord Lambton scandal of 1973, charting events from the news breaking to his eventual retirement from the political stage.

The play opens for a four-night run at The Black & Gold in Berwick from February 28 to March 2 (7.30pm start), with tickets available from The Maltings Box Office and its website, followed by a one-night-only performance at Alnwick Playhouse on March 13 (7.45pm start), with tickets available from its Box Office and website.

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Writer/director Rob Flynn said: “When someone asked if I had ever thought about writing about this, I told them ‘No’ because for one I had never heard of this man and secondly, I’m not drawn to naturally salacious material.”

Pictured are Bee Kerr (Norma Levy) and John McEwen (Lord Lambton).Pictured are Bee Kerr (Norma Levy) and John McEwen (Lord Lambton).
Pictured are Bee Kerr (Norma Levy) and John McEwen (Lord Lambton).

His mind was changed when he read about the other person in this story, ‘high-class call girl’ Norma Levy.

He added: “What happened to Lord Lambton was a professionally orchestrated exit from the stage and an act of widely accepted contrition. Norma Levy had to flee for her life.

“It was the canyon-wide difference to both parties in response to this event that caught my attention. It is something that is still sadly true to this day – men are for the most part forgiven, women are not.”

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It was this motive that led to the structure of the play where Act 1 tells the story from the point of view of Lord Lambton from beginning to the end, as he perceived it, and Act 2 switches to the perspective of Norma.

Rob said: “Part of what I love about writing for theatre is how to use the natural break an interval provides. The second half is essentially a whole new play told and performed in a very different way.”

With a large and talented cast, this is set to be a much talked about show from the Tideline Runners, who put on the shows Sam & Isla Forever! and The Smallest Story that were hits both critically and with audiences.

The Honourable Gentleman is suitable for audience members aged 15-plus as the play contains strong language, violent scenes, and, sex and drug references.

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