Playwrights bring Grace Darling story to the stage

Lifeboat heroine ... Grace Darling is the subject of a new play.
Lifeboat heroine ... Grace Darling is the subject of a new play.

THE legendary story of Grace Darling is being brought to the stage by a South Tyneside playwright and his writing partner.

Amazing Grace will celebrate the achievements of the young Northumberland woman who became a Victorian female heroine after she helped her lighthouse keeper-father rescue crew members of the SS Forfarshire when it was shipwrecked off Seahouses in 1838.

Grace died four years later at the age of just 26, but became a legend for her heroics in the storm-lashed lifeboat – helping row it for more than a mile.

She was celebrated internationally and showered with honours, including the RNLI’s Silver Medal for Gallantry.

Now Ed Waugh, from Lawe Top, South Shields, and Trevor Wood, from Newcastle, have produced a play which will tell Grace’s journey, through the eyes of a modern-day writer called Grace who wants to make a film about her famous namesake.

Mr Waugh said: “It’s a funny, modern take on a wonderful story and will appeal to everyone.

“We want to celebrate Grace’s achievement, but also illustrate how the Hollywood machine can play fast and loose with the facts.”

He added: “Grace was the first working-class female celebrity – the Cheryl Cole of her time – and the play is a tribute to her achievement.”

The play, which is being backed by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, will include film of some famous Northumberland landmarks and is being co-produced by Alnwick Playhouse with the support of Sunderland University.

Its three-week North East tour will begin with a premiere at Alnwick Playhouse on Wednesday, October 17, and include the Customs House, in South Shields on October 20 and 30.

For more information on tickets, call the Mill Dam venue on 454 1234.

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