REVIEW: Tyne, Live Theatre, Newcastle

LOCAL PRIDE ... the Live Theatre production of Tyne 'by Michael Chaplin', directed by Max Roberts.

LOCAL PRIDE ... the Live Theatre production of Tyne 'by Michael Chaplin', directed by Max Roberts.

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WHEN I left Live Theatre after watching Tyne - a celebration of the history of the great River - I had an overwhelming sense of pride.

I was proud of my Tyneside ancestors, proud of the river’s illustrious history and proud of the people who have populated and worked on the banks of it, and on it, for centuries.

I was also proud that this heartfelt, touching and hugely entertaining play has seen the light of day and exists to remind people of all of the things I mentioned above.

The play tells the story of a man who has left the North East but returned following his dad’s death, going on a “journey through time and space” retracing his father’s life and career up and down the river.

There were more than a few moments when I had a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye - either because of some re-jigged memory from my own family history or due to one of the many poignant stories that are included in the piece.

It was written by Port of Tyne writer-in-residence Michael Chaplin but also includes songs from Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell, Jimmy Nail and a premier of a new Sting song and short pieces from other Tyneside writers including Alan Plater, Sid Chaplin and Julia Darling.

The performances were all great but South Shields’ George Irving as Dad Ralph and Victoria Elliott as his daughter Kate were superb.

I was with a friend who isn’t from the North East and when we left he said he felt jealous that he wasn’t a Geordie.

He loved it, so whether you’re from Tyneside or not, I can’t recommend going to see Tyne enough.

Until July 20.

Twitter: @PDClifford