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REVIEW: Lasagne at Newcastle Live Theatre


Newcastle Live Theatre

Until Saturday 11 March 2023

and then on tour

The Open Clasp Theatre Company return with yet another strong theatrical experience that is based upon the real stories of women in the North East. Upholding their usual high standards for storytelling, they continue to highlight the issues that others may shy away from. They set the gold standard for showing what a powerful tool theatre can be. Without casting any judgement on the two worlds that are presented, writer Catrina McHugh raises awareness on a number of issues.

Sally (Beth Crame) has moved in near neighbour Jane (Zoe Lambert). Jane lets on in the street and tries to be friendly - thought she misheard Sally's name and keeps referring to her as Ally. Trying to do the good neighbourly thing, Jane cooks, and delivers a lasagne. Sally is clearly not used to such neighbourly behaviour and is not entirely sure how to take the gesture.

On the evening Jane heads for bed, only to be kept awake by the music from the party at Sally's place. Jane decides to head to her shed in order to make some furniture - as this appears to be one of her hobbies. When a couple of friends leave, we are given a disturbing dual account from both ladies - one endures domestic violence from their partner, the other examines a worryingly lump in her breast.

The first national covid lockdown then begins and the two neighbours continue to interact. Memories come back about the oddities of social distancing and the lack of toilet roll.

The two actors, under director Laura Lindow, are able to present both their own individual story and that of their mutual co-existence as neighbours. By working with members of Pause North East, who are part of a national charity who support women who have had their children taken into care, the story evaluates the collapse of social care too. It has had image issues and struggles to recruit - and over the hour of the show - you get to see a tiny slither of the bigger picture.

In order to tour, this set is kept relatively simple, however, along with the lighting, it is extremely effective in presenting the overlapping lives of two characters. The sound that has been composed by Roma Yagnik is never intrusive but it lays down the foundation, particularly in the more disturbing parts of the performance.

The production works because you believe in Sally and Jane. Strong acting by Beth Crame and Zoe Lambert ensures that you feel that this is really their stories rather than an amalgam of number of real case studies that have been shared with the theatre group. There is a real depth to the work, and the show deserves to be seen by a much wider audience.

Review: Stephen Oliver

Photos: Von Fox Promotions

Cast & Creatives

Cast: Sally Beth Crame Jane Zoe Lambert

Writer Catrina McHugh MBE 

Director Laura Lindow 

Set & Costume Designer Verity Quinn 

Lighting Designer Sherry Coenen 

Composer & Sound Designer Roma Yagnik 

Senior Creative Producer Carly McConnell 

Production/Stage Manager Rachel Glover 

Project Co-ordinator (on tour) Colette Conlin 

Co-created with women from Pause, North East

Tour and Tickets:

Tour dates

Alongside community centres, professional settings, prisons and universities, Lasagna will tour to:

• Live Theatre, Newcastle (8-11 March)

• Tuned In, Redcar (13 March)

• Gala Theatre, Durham (16 March)

• The Forum, Darlington (20 March)

• The Black Cherry, Bournemouth (22 March)

• Blue Elephant Theatre , London (23 March)

• West End Women and Girls Centre, Newcastle (28-29 March)

More dates and venues to be confirmed, for information and tickets visit

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