Alan Plater’s daughter pens new play on real-life struggles of Sunderland women

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THE lives of Sunderland women have shaped a new play.

Lydia’s House, written by Janet Plater, daughter of one of the UK’s leading stage and TV writers, Alan Plater, tells the true story of five Wearside women and their struggles against adversity.

At a Hendon workshop, women are given an opportunity to learn, train and gain access to the world of work.

The pioneering Doll’s House project is run by Lydia’s House, a social enterprise aiming to help women with problems such as alcoholism, depression, drug addiction or long-term unemployment.

Writer Janet Plater has taken the real stories of five women and brought them to life in Lydia’s House, which starts a regional tour tonight.

“The workshop gives many of the women a reason to get up in the morning,” she said.

“These Sunderland women and their stories have never been represented on stage and their stories need to be told. I sat in on the workshops and listened to their stories and watched how they went about their work on the dolls’ houses.”

Washington-based actress and producer Christina Berriman Dawson has been instrumental in getting the play staged. She said: “I was incredibly moved by the life stories of some of these women and knew Janet would be the perfect writer to bring these stories to the stage.”

Lydia’s House opens at Arts Centre Washington tonight, then moves to The Canny Space in Holy Trinity Church, Hendon, tomorrow and Saturday. It closes at The Customs House, South Shields, on Thursday, June 26. Tickets are available from the venues.