Play about Washington woman who advised Winston Churchill to tour the region

Gertrude Bell
Gertrude Bell
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A play is celebrating the life of local heroine Gertrude Bell - with a string of North East dates.

The Desert Queen, produced by Hands On NE, celebrates the achievements of the remarkable Washington woman, born in 1868, who went on to become an explorer, travel writer, archeologist and diplomat.

As well as becoming the first woman to gain a first class degree in modern history from Oxford University. Gertrude’s expertise in politics was so invaluable that she was called in to help Winston Churchill as the future of the Middle East was discussed.

During the First World War, where the Gallipoli Campaign ran from 1915-16, her experiences of Mesopotamia saw her assist British intelligence and at the end of the war she focused on the future of the country, playing a part in Iraq’s kingmaking.

Her love of archeology kept her in the country, where she was honorary director of its antiquities and founded the Iraq Museum in Bagdad.

Following a sell out 2018 summer tour, The Desert Queen, by award winning playwright David Farn and directed by Neil Armstrong, returns with a string of regional dates.

The tour includes:

•April 17-18 at Pier Pavillion, South Shields

•April 23 at Park View Community Centre, Chester-Le-Street

•April 29 at Royalty Theatre Sunderland

•May 10-11 at The Lit & Phil Society, Newcastle

Tickets for The Desert Queen are available from and relevant theatre web sites