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Preview: Cathy at Durham Gala Theatre

Theatre presents poignant retelling of iconic 1960s drama

Durham Gala Theatre
Tuesday 5 to Saturday 9 May 2020

The emotional tale of a mother and daughter who fall on hard times is the latest in-house production at a County Durham theatre.

Tickets are now on sale for Cathy, which runs the at Gala Theatre in Durham City from Tuesday 5 to Saturday 9 May.

Cathy was first performed by theatre company Carboard Citizens in 2016 
The play, by award-winning playwright Ali Taylor, was inspired by Ken Loach's 1966 television drama, Cathy Come Home, and follows Cathy and her teenage daughter Danielle, who are forced out of their flat by spiralling living costs.

The powerful story looks at the consequences for the family when they struggle to find a suitable home. Reluctant to move away, Cathy seeks help from the local housing office, only to find herself falling through cracks in the system, with no one willing or able to stop her descent.

Originally produced in 2016, to mark the 50th anniversary of Ken Loach's seminal film, Cathy is a powerful and timely reflection on the lives of those at the sharp end of economic austerity and opened to great critical acclaim.

Ali wrote the poignant play for theatre company Cardboard Citizens, who make theatre with and for homeless people. As part of her research, Ali interviewed a host of people with first-hand experience at the sharp-end of homelessness, as well as council housing staff, weaving elements of their tales of hardship into the story.

Since its first performance in 2016, the hard-hitting production has played in theatres, prisons, hostels and even the House of Lords, exploring what a nowadays Cathy would look like and giving audiences a chance to see what has changed since the premiere of Ken Loach’s seminal film. The Scottish Mail on Sunday described it as “essential, gripping, soul-wrenching stuff.”

Robin Byers, manager of Gala Theatre and Cinema, said: “We are proud to be producing Ali Taylor’s moving play, Cathy at Gala Theatre. Cathy Come Home broke new ground when it was released, and this updated story remains a powerful and important statement about community and humanity.”

Cathy is the latest in a run of in-house productions at Gala, following past successes including classic comedy Educating Rita, light-hearted school-based play Teechers and clever barroom drama Two. Cast and crew appointments for the production are still to be announced but the whole play will be produced, designed and directed in County Durham, continuing the Gala’s reputation for nurturing and showcasing local talent.

Tickets cost between £10 and £16 with under 25s tickets just £5 and can be booked by calling the Gala Theatre Box Office on 03000 266 600 or online at

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