Amazing Grace is a brand new play written by Ed Waugh & Trevor Wood, about Northumberland heroine Grace Darling. It’s a modern day twist on the true story of a daring rescue of survivors from a shipwreck off the Northumberland coast in 1838. The story follows the attempts of a local girl called Grace Armstrong to make a film about her idol.
Above: Ed Waugh (left) with Trevor Wood.
The play will travel around theatres in the region where it is set, in October and November this year, and Potts caught up with Trevor in the run up to the premiere at Alnwick Playhouse on the 17th of this month…
What’s Amazing Grace all about?
Amazing Grace tells the story of Grace Armstrong who wants to make a film about her hero, Grace Darling, but things don’t turn out quite how she hoped. It’s a funny, heartfelt tribute to the Northumberland heroine who in 1838, with her lighthouse keeper father William, rescued 9 survivors from the wreck of the SS Forfarshire.
Does the main character Grace Armstrong share any qualities with her hero Grace Darling?
Yes, both Grace’s are brave, resourceful and determined. Grace Armstrong also has a very close relationship with her father, Ted, as Grace did with her father, William. However, Grace Armstrong actually seeks the limelight whereas Grace Darling sought to avoid it.
How has the play been received by the Northumberland theatres that will stage it (and the inhabitants of the towns)?
There’s been a brilliant response by the theatres and the people in those areas. It’s a play that’s been written in the North East, cast in the North East and is all about a North East heroine. It’s being embraced by all and sundry. The play is being co-produced by Alnwick Playhouse and they’ve really thrown their weight behind it. Tickets are flying out of the door so people should be quick if they want to see it. We’ve had equally good responses in Blyth, Berwick and Hexham.
How has the University of Sunderland been involved with the production?
The University’s been right behind the project since its inception. In particular, the play includes quite a bit of film footage and that’s been shot and edited by Contrapunto, a group of film studies graduates who have formed a company based at the University. It’s going to really add to the quality of the production and help give some idea of what a Grace Darling film might look like. The University has provided all the equipment for free.
Are there any tickets still available?
There are still tickets left at all the venues but they’re disappearing quickly, so I’d advise people to book as soon as possible!
The three-week north east tour will begin with a world premiere at Alnwick Playhouse, the co-producer of the play, on Wednesday 17th October, as follows:
Wednesday 17th October – Friday 19th October
7.30pm (2.00pm matinee Thursday)
Saturday 20th October
3.00pm and 7.30pm
Hexham Queen’s Hall
Monday 22nd October – Tuesday 23rd October
7.30pm (1.00pm matinee Tuesday)
Gala Theatre (Durham)
Wednesday 24th October – Thursday 25th October
7.30pm (2.30pm matinee Thursday)
Friday 26th October
Gateshead Old Town Hall
Saturday 27th October
Customs House (South Shields)
Monday 29th October – Tuesday 30th October
7.45pm (2.30pm matinee Tuesday)
Blyth Phoenix Theatre
Wednesday 31st October
The Maltings (Berwick Upon Tweed)
Thursday 1st November – Friday 2nd November
7.30pm (1.00pm matinee Friday)
Playhouse Whitley Bay
Saturday 3rd November
2.30pm and 7.30pm
And finally, you can find out about Trevor and Ed’s other work on their website: www.edwaughandtrevorwood.co.uk
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