Play about KP crisp factory in Billingham set to hit the stage at Durham's Gala Theatre

Shoulder pads, tiaras and cheese and onion crisps – beauty pageants and North East factory lines collide in a must-see play set in the 1980s.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 9:17 am

Miss Crispy 1988 tells the story of a group of female friends whose working life at a North East crisp factory is turned upside down when they are invited to enter a beauty contest.

The production is set to entertain audiences at Durham’s Gala Theatre at 7.30pm on Friday, January 17 and is inspired by the stories of workers at The Crispy – the nickname given to the KP crisps factory in Billingham.

The factory was a major employer in the area in the 1980s and theatregoers can look forward to big hair, legwarmers and plenty of Northern wit in this nostalgic yet moving comedy about female friendship, love and overcoming adversity.

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Miss Crispy is heading to Durham

Miss Crispy 1988 was written by David Tuffnell and is produced by Less is More, a Middlesbrough-based theatre company with a passion for telling stories from working-class communities.

It received rave reviews when it first toured the region in 2013, and the Less is More team cannot wait to bring the show to the Gala.

The theatre is close to the heart of the play’s director Laura Lonsdale, who is currently appearing as the genie in this year’s Gala pantomime, Aladdin.

Writer David said: “I think Miss Crispy has received such a positive reaction because it’s a story that is set in our region with characters people can relate to. Those of us who lived through the 1980s will enjoy the sense of nostalgia it evokes – the music, the clothes, the big perms.

The play is about the KP crisp factory

“However, the 1980s were also an important period in history and a time of great change, especially for women. This is explored in the play through the thoughts, experiences and ambitions of five unique but very relatable female characters.”

Tickets for Miss Crispy 1988 are available now priced at £15, £13 for concessions and £12 for Gala members. To book, visit or call 03000 266 600.