Amazing Grace story comes to stage

Writers Ed Waugh (centre) and Trevor Wood with actress Catherine Dryden, who plays Grace Darling (pictured below)
Writers Ed Waugh (centre) and Trevor Wood with actress Catherine Dryden, who plays Grace Darling (pictured below)

PROMOTERS of a play about a North-East heroine are urging Hartlepool theatre-goers not to miss out.

The Amazing Grace production is coming Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre later this month as part of a tour of the North-East.

But promoters are encouraging people in town not to miss out on the story of heroism, as just 29 tickets have been sold so far.

Amazing Grace is a comedy play written by former Hartlepool Power Station worker Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood.

The duo have penned it to celebrate the achievements of Grace Darling, who died aged 26, four years after she helped save nine people in a dramatic sea rescue off the Northumberland coast in 1838.

Grace and her lighthouse keeper father lived on Longstone island when the SS Forfarshire struck Harcar rocks at the Farne Islands in a storm.

Grace and her father selflessly manned a fishing boat to rescue nine people stranded on the dangerous rocks.

Queen Victoria awarded her the Silver Bravery medal, making her one of the most famous women of the time.

The play tells the story of Grace through the eyes of a modern-day writer, also called Grace, who wants to make a film about her famous namesake.

Ed said: “We’ve played the biggest theatres in the region but I always wanted to bring one of our plays to Hartlepool.

“We have sold nearly 2,000 tickets for the show throughout the region.”

A collection for the RNLI will be held at each performance.

The play has also won the backing of legendary North-East comedy writer Ian La Frenais, who co-wrote The Likely Lads and Auf Wiedersehen Pet.

It is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Ed added: “It’s a funny, modern take on a wonderful story and will appeal to everyone aged from 13 to 113.

“We want to celebrate Grace’s achievement whilst illustrating how the Hollywood machine can play fast and loose with the facts– just as novelists and other writers did back then.

“Grace was the first working-class female celebrity and the play is a tribute to her achievement.”

Amazing Grace will be performed at Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre, Raby Road, Hartlepool, on Friday, October 26.

For ticket details contact the box office on (01429) 890000.