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Preview: THE STEAMIE at Newcastle's Peoples Theatre
THE STEAMIE by Tony Roper, music by David Anderson
Newcastle The People’s Theatre
Tuesday 1 – Saturday 5 April 2014 7.30pm
It’s Hogmanay at Newcastle's Peoples Theatre's latest production, and the women are working as usual, washing and drying clothes and blankets for their families.There’s fun in the air, though, and good times and good gossip to be had with friends and their neighbours in the steamie.‘The Steamie’, a comedy written by Tony Roper of Rab C. Nesbitt fame, has become one of the most performed plays in Scotland since its opening in Glasgow in 1987.
It shows the lives of a group of four women, Magrit (Sarah McLane), Dolly (Anna Dobson), Doreen (Jessica Hannah) and Mrs Culfeathers (Maggie Watson) as they work in a Glasgow steamie, a communal washhouse.
It’s the early 1950s, and the women are concerned about the coming of the new fangled launderette, and what it might do to their sense of community.They’re worried about the impact that television might have, too, but not about the impact of hapless floorwalker Andy (Keith Henderson). Their lives are hard, but warm, and not just from the hot water and steam.There’s an awareness of the way they are exploited – ‘What are we?Skivvies, unpaid skivvies’ – but really this is a funny play, touching and nostalgic at times but hilarious at others.Nobody who sees the mince and tatties scene ever forgets it.
Tickets for this People’s Theatre production, directed by Tony Childs, are on sale now (and would make a wonderful Mother’s Day present!)
In addition, the People's Theatre have recently revealed that their Christmas Panto this year will be RAPUNZEL. Join the long-haired heroine, along with Prince Flynn, Queen Rosita, Jenny Jangles, Jasper and more, on their adventures to save her from the tower and defeat the wicked Mother Gothel. This tangled tale is written by Philip Meeks and directed by Anna Dobson, who brought us last year's hugely successful Peter Pan. The show will run from Saturday 6 to Sunday 14 December.