Sunderland writer hits the big screen as play is turned into film starring actor from Peaky Blinders

A film based on a Sunderland writer’s hit play is being released in cinemas.

Friday, 6th September 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 9th September 2019, 2:04 pm
The poster for the film Scarborough, based on the play by Sunderland writer Fiona Evans.

Scarborough by Fiona Evans has been adapted into a film starring Peaky Blinders actor Jordan Bolger. The “tale of forbidden love” will be premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, in Scarborough, on Friday, September 6, at 7pm.

Directed by Barnaby Southcombe, son of screen legend Charlotte Rampling, it will later be in seven other cinemas around the country, with more to be announced and also in Canada.

The controversial play was first performed in Newcastle in 2006, with Sunderland actor and Still Open All Hours favourite James Baxter in a lead role.

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Sunderland playwright Fiona Evans. Her play Scarborough has been adapted for cinema.

It moved to the Edinburgh Festival in 2007 where it won the Fringe First award. In 2008 it was performed at London’s prestigious Royal Court, where it starred Jack O’Connell in his first theatre work before he appeared in Skins and a string of films.

Another performer launched to stardom in Scarborough is Rebecca Ryan of Shameless and Casualty fame.

The play is about two couples escaping from life at a weekend by the seaside. For reasons that soon become apparent, both couples need their anonymity.

Former St Anthony’s pupil Fiona is a prolific writer. Four of her plays have been published and she has written for radio and television, including Eastenders and Casualty.

Scarborough, by Fiona Evans, has been adapted into a film.

It’s been a busy time for Fiona, now Dr Evans after attaining a PhD for her work adapting Greek drama. In addition to the premiere, she is working on dramas for BBC Radio Four. She also breeds racehorses.

Fiona said: “Scarborough started off as a 40-minute lunchtime pub theatre piece produced by New Writing North in 2006.

“It’s been on a huge a journey for a little play, from the North East to the Edinburgh Fringe and then on to the Royal Court, where it expanded from a two-hander to a cast of four, before being adapted into a film.

“Barnaby makes beautifully crafted films, and I can’t wait to see his version of Scarborough on the big screen.

“I’m delighted that it’s being premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, a theatre and place I love, which has produced two of my other plays.