A NEW play has been commissioned to celebrate the exhibition of the Lindisfarne Gospels in Durham next summer.
North East writers Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood have been asked to pen the history of the Gospels and St Cuthbert and have come up with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Durham.
Commissioned by tourism agency Visit County Durham with production partner Gala Theatre Durham, it will premiere in Durham on July 2 next year.
Ed, who was the behind the Mackem Nativity at the Sunderland Echo Christmas Carol concert this week, said: “We are really pleased to be asked to write this play. While we will have utmost respect for the subject matter, we can assure everyone it will be very funny.
“We have some amazing material to work with and there will be 1400 years of North East history crammed into one unmissable production.”
Melanie Sensicle, chief executive of Visit County Durham, said: “Lindisfarne Gospels Durham will be a catalyst for a celebration of the region’s cultural and artistic heritage.
“There will be a host of events around the region and one of the most exciting and original will be this play.
“As the title suggests, this is a lighthearted and fun performance which takes a humorous look at the story of the Lindisfarne Gospels, featuring St Cuthbert, St Aidan, the Venerable Bede, the Kings of Northumbria, 390 cows and of course the Viking invasion of 793.”
Robin Byers, programming and operations manager at Gala Theatre, added: “We are really pleased to have Ed and Trevor on board, as they are synonymous with the North East and have produced loads of successful and very funny plays.”
The Lindisfarne Gospels and St Cuthbert Gospel, Europe’s oldest surviving bound book will be on loan from the British Library as part of a partnership with Durham University, Durham County Council and Durham Cathedral.
The Lindisfarne Gospels will be on show in world-class exhibition facilities on Durham’s Unesco World Heritage site from July 1 to September 30 next year.
For more information on the Lindisfarne Gospels Durham go to: www.lindisfarnegospels.com
Tickets for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Durham are on sale now. Contact Gala Theatre box office on 0191 332 4041 or book online at www.galadurham.co.uk.