Shireen’s roughing it for her latest role

CHALLENGING ROLE ... Shireen Hamlani in costume and, below, at work.
CHALLENGING ROLE ... Shireen Hamlani in costume and, below, at work.

A NURSE from South Tyneside is roughing it to get in character for a famous musical’s amateur theatre debut.

Shireen Hamlani is performing as Madame Thérèse Defarge in Durham Musical Theatre Company’s version of The Tale Of Two Cities next month.

nurse Shireen Hamlani

nurse Shireen Hamlani

This is the first time Ms Hamlani, a specialist sexual health nurse from South Shields, has had such a non-glamorous role.

She said: “It’s a very serious and emotional role. I’ve have found it very challenging, to be honest.

“It’s completely different to what I am used to.

“The character knits all the time and even smokes a clay pipe, so that’s taking some getting used to.

“I’m used to being dressed up to the nines, but this time round I am rather rough.”


Based on the classic Charles Dickens novel, the musical is set against the backdrop of the French Revolution.

It is a fast-moving show switching between Paris and London, which explores injustice, vengeance and the redemptive power of love.

This will be the first time the musical has been performed outside London’s West End.

Ms Hamlani said: “Because it’s a premiere I think there will be a bit of curiosity, because it’s the first chance many people will have had to see it.

“It’s such a powerful musical. I really think it will appeal to audiences of all types, and I hope lots of people come along to support us.”

The play will be performed at the Gala Theatre, in Millennium Place, Durham, from April 8 to 12, with evening performances at 7.15pm, and Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.15pm.

Tickets cost from £16.50. To book, call 03000 266 600.

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