Swashbuckling adventure tale Treasure Island brought to life in Sunderland

Set sail with a swashbuckling tale of adventure as a Sunderland theatre group prepare to stage Treasure Island.

Thursday, 9th December 2021, 4:01 pm
Thearte Space NE CIC costume rehearsals of Treasure Island with performers Jack Waterman, Emily Corless and Lawrence Neale.

Theatre Space North East are in the full swing of rehearsals for their annual festive family tour, which will take in venues across the North East.

Renowned for the Plays in the Parks season of free outdoor Shakespeare performances, which have taken over green spaces in Sunderland every summer for over a decade, the troupe are planning to whisk audiences on a daring high-seas expedition with a specially-adapted version of Treasure Island, which will be performed at St Andrew’s Church, Roker, on December 14 and 22.

Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale has been specially adapted by local writers for this tour, featuring all of the memorable parts with Theatre Space’s own unique twists.

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Thearte Space NE CIC costume rehearsals of Treasure Island with performers Jack Waterman and Emily Corless.

Brave Jane Hawkins is in search of the dastardly pirate Captain Flint’s treasure, said to be buried somewhere on the fabled Treasure Island.

Along the way, she encounters a menagerie of colourful characters and seafaring scallywags, all of whom wouldn’t mind a slice of the pirate’s bounty.

The theatre company, based at Nile Street, Sunniside, is one of the Sunderland arts groups to benefit from the lifeline Culture Recovery Fund to help their work continue following the crippling impact of the pandemic on the arts and culture sector.

Corinne Kilvington, creative director at Theatre Space North East, said: “Despite all of the challenges our industry has faced throughout the pandemic, we’ve been incredibly lucky to be able to continue bringing live theatre to the North East.

Thearte Space NE CIC costume rehearsals of Treasure Island with performers Jack Waterman, Emily Corless and Lawrence Neale.

"Through the culture recovery fund, we’ve created jobs at our Sunderland HQ, supported numerous freelancers and local creatives and delivered a full season of summer and winter productions, bringing theatre to communities who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access it.”

She added: “Now more than ever, as theatres and production companies try to recover from the huge losses we’ve faced, it’s vital that audiences support their local creatives and live venues. The festive period is the backbone of many small and large theatre businesses alike and it ensures all of the work throughout the year can be delivered.”

Since the start of the pandemic, the company has been able to support more than 40 creatives, freelancers, actors and practitioners and provide performing opportunities to many performers who were facing up to having to leave the industry due to the nationwide shutdown of UK theatre.

Funding from the Culture Recovery Fund has also helped to fund this production, allowing the company to keep ticket prices capped at £10 for adults and £8 for concessions and emergency services personnel, ensuring affordable, accessible theatre is available to all. The fund will also go towards staging an innovative dystopian play Girl in the Machine, touring in early 2022.

Tickets for Treasure Island are available at www.theatrespace.org.uk/productions/ (booking fees apply) and must be booked in advance.

On the door sales are not available. Strict covid safe procedures continue to be in place, including the wearing of face coverings at indoor performances, temperature checks on arrival and extra sanitisation stations throughout the performance area.

Audiences may be required to show proof of a negative lateral flow test or their COVID vaccination status upon entry. Patrons showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend.

Treasure Island tour dates (performances are twice nightly at 6pm and 8pm)

::December 9 – The Bike Garden, Newcastle

::December 10 – Jarrow Hall

::December 11 – St Paul’s Church, Murton

::December 14 – St Andrew’s Church, Roker

::December 15 – Hexham Abbey

::December 16 – Locomotion, Shildon

::December 17 – Trimdon Village Hall

::December 18 – Sedghill Community Centre, Cramlington

::December 20 – Hedley Hall, Hebburn

::December 21 – Emma Hall, Ryton

::December 22 – St Andrew’s, Roker

::December 23 – Greenhills Centre, Durham

Dates at Hexham Abbey and The Bike Garden are outdoors. Audiences are advised to wrap up warm and dress for the winter weather.

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