Hartlepool play to be shown all over the world

A play being staged in Hartlepool is set to reach potentially thousands of people worldwide – including its writer some 8,500 miles away.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 6:06 pm

Elysium Theatre Company has teamed up with the town’s Northern School of Art for its latest play, Hello and Goodbye by leading South African playwright Athol Fugard.

Local film and TV production design students have also set up and will manage the live streaming of the show at 7.30pm on Wednesday, June 23.

Elysium’s founder Jake Murray has forwarded a link of the play to Athol in South Africa and hopes he will be watching, too.

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Hannah Ellis Ryan and Danny Solomon in Hello and Goodbye.
Hannah Ellis Ryan and Danny Solomon in Hello and Goodbye.

He said: “It is amazing to think that Athol Fugard could be watching one of his own plays online for the very first time, thousands of miles away from where it is being performed.

“He’s one of the world’s great playwrights and a living legend. We wanted to broadcast the show online, instead of embarking on a tour, so that if we were in

lockdown we could still do it as planned.”

The play is a collaboration between Elysium, the Northern School of Art and the Queen’s Hall, in Hexham, Northumberland.

Hannah Ellis Ryan and Danny Solomon with producer Jake Murray, centre.

Featuring just two characters - Johnnie and Hester Smits – Hello and Goodbye is set in the 1960s in Apartheid South Africa.

It is a funny, moving drama about families, siblings, love, regret and the debts we owe each other, emotional as well as financial and stars Elysium’s co-founders Danny Solomon and Hannah Ellis Ryan.

Hannah, who is Australian, found stardom after appearing in Coronation Street in 2018 as “baddie” Hannah Gilmore.

She said: “I am so excited. Even my mum in Brisbane will be able to watch me for the first time in years.

“We want to give the audience the feeling of an authentic theatre experience, even though they aren’t in the room.”

Danny added: “It is great that the play can be available to so many people at once, without them having to leave their home. It is a wonderful idea.”

Tickets for the show can be purchased for £5 or £3.50 concessions at www.queenshall.co.uk/events/hello-and-goodbye

Ticket holders will be given a link and a password, and can watch live on Wednesday or “catch-up” from June 25 until July 1.