Royalty season opens with classic

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A spooky comedy with a connection to a top TV hit of the 1970s is on stage in Sunderland this week.

The Royalty Theatre has begun its 92nd season with a production of The Ghost Train.

The play was written by the man who played Private Godfrey in Dad’s Army, Arnold Ridley.

The production follows a group of travellers who become stranded at a lonely Cornish railway station.

Despite well known stories of a ghost train, they choose to spend the night in the station – and it’s not long before they begin to question their decision.

Director Billy Towers said: “I obtained a copy of this play after seeing a review of a production in Manchester.

“It was first performed in 1925, but I was delighted to discover that the passage of time has not dated the play at all.

“It still stands as a great piece of writing and is a brilliant play with which to start our new season.”

The play is the first at the theatre since the decision was made to cancel The Pitmen Painters in June on safety grounds

Chairman John Appleton has praised the efforts of the theatre’s volunteers.

He said: “Over the summer our voluntary staff have been amazing – they’ve put in a lot of their own time arranging the work that has been required to get us back up and running.

“It’s a testament to the fantastic community spirit we have at the theatre and now we’re all looking forward to welcoming audiences back when The Ghost Train starts.”

The show prouduction is on at the Royalty Theatre until Saturday. For tickets visit www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/EHGKFM