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Preview: Gamble at Newcastle Northern Stage


Newcastle Northern Stage

Thursday 19 – Saturday 21 May 2022

Hannah Walker is trying to earn back £100,000. So she’s making a theatre show explaining how and why it was lost. Based on her own experience of being in a relationship with a compulsive gambler, Gamble is a new multimedia theatre production peering behind the glittery curtain of jackpots and big wins to explore the complexities of addiction and the effects it has on themselves and their loved ones.

The theatre show explores addiction, gambling, loss, and resilience, all underpinned by love, and premieres in May when a long-awaited and delayed government white paper on gambling legislation is due to be published.

From the perception that gambling was all about the attainment of the star prize at the monthly village bingo, Hannah soon discovered the dark world of late-night casinos accompanied by the sinister pull of 24/7 online access in the palm of her partner’s hand.

Gamble features interviews with experts, health professionals, those in recovery and their loved ones, and places particular importance on the impact gambling has on the deaf community, with little consideration or support given. The show works to capture the breadth of addiction and its far-reaching ripple effects.

The gambling industry is worth an estimated £14.3 billion, and has the highest rate of suicide of all addictions, between 250 and 650 people a year. Recently, there were calls for the government to enforce stricter regulations on the industry, and a landmark study published by Gamble Aware in March 2022 has shown that gambling addiction could be nine times higher than the betting industry claims.
Gamble will premiere in Hannah’s home city of Newcastle Upon Tyne in May 2022.

All performances will have integrated BSL interpretation, and each performance at Northern Stage is followed by a post-show discussion with Dr Matthew Gaskell, Clinical Lead and Consultant Psychologist for the NHS Northern Gambling Service. A filmed version will be screened in London to gambling industry professionals in conjunction with Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones OBE, director of The National Problem Gambling Clinic. 

Hannah Walker said, ‘This is a significant national issue and it’s not going away. There is still a huge taboo around gambling and compulsive gamblers often feel deep shame that prevents them from seeking support from friends, family and health professionals. It’s so important that people understand that compulsive gambling is an addiction; it has nothing to do with someone’s character.’

Hannah Walker is a comedy performer and theatre maker. She creates autobiographical shows to open up conversations about stigmatized aspects of everyday life. Subjects that are mundane, curious, dangerous or delightful, she makes performances that are relatable and entertaining for her audiences. She is an Associate Artist with The Six Twenty and regularly performs with them. She co-hosts PUG: an alternative performance night, co-facilitates Coax: a performance workshop and is a reader with InterAct Stroke Support. 

Running Time: 55 mins 30 min post show | Suitable for ages 14+

BSL Integrated Interpreter: Faye Alvi
Co- Creator:
 Rosa Postlethwaite
Creative Developer and Digital Artist: Paul Trickett
Director: Paula Penman
Lighting Designer and Stage Manager: Craig Spence
Original Music: Jamie Cook
Mentor: Amy Golding
Deaf Consultant: EJ Raymond

Tickets cost| £10 and are available from or from the box office:  0191 230 5151

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