Bus brings storytelling to Sunderland seafront

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A MINI-BUS will be bringing story-telling to Sunderland’s seafront.

The unusual performance event, which takes place in Roker on Tuesday, will see Alexander Kelly tell his story, Cape Wrath.

Just 14 people will be able to enjoy the intimate performance piece which is part of Sunderland Stages, a drive to bring more theatre, drama and spoken word to people’s doorstep.

Cape Wrath is a story of family, travellers, whisky and chocolate on the longest bus journey in Britain.

The show, which premiered in Edinburgh, delves into Alex Kelly’s family history, retracing one man’s journey to his roots.

In September 2011, Alex travelled from his home (roughly in the middle of England) to Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly point of the British mainland.

He took public transport all the way there and back: coach, bus, ferry, minibus and train. In doing so, he recreated the same journey taken by his grandfather in September 1988, also travelling by public transport and hitch-hiking.

Writer and performer Alexander said: “In September 1988, when I was 19 and he was in his early 60s, my grandad went on a trip, on his own, from Walsall in the West Midlands, to Cape Wrath. Though not particularly eventful, the story of this trip has been retold by my family over the years. 

“My grandfather was Scottish, Glasgow born and bred. But I don’t think he had ever been as far north as Cape Wrath before. He used public transport as far as he could, then hitch-hiked the last bit of the journey. My grandad sat on the cliff at Cape Wrath, sat and thought about his life and a couple of hours later he went home.

“I’ve often thought about this journey, in the years since, and what it must have been like to do it. So I set out to recreate his experience. I couldn’t do the journey exactly the same way as my grandad did it, but I did it as closely as possible.”

The show explores the ways in which encounters with fellow travellers lay down shared memories, out of which individual stories will be built.

l Third Angel presents Cape Wrath on Roker Seafront, on Marine Walk next to The Smugglers Pub, on Tuesday at 6pm and 8pm. Tickets are £8.50 / £6 (conc) and can be purchased by calling the Box Office on Tel. 219 3455 or at www.sunderlandstages.co.uk

There are 14 seats per performance.