ONE of TV’s most familiar faces is to lead the cast of a play that is heading to South Shields.
Actress Barbara Marten, who has starred in shows such as EastEnders, Casualty and Whitechapel, is to head the cast of Get Up And Tie Your Fingers.
The play, honouring the women behind Britain’s fishing heritage, gives a fictional account of three women who watched the Eyemouth fishing disaster in 1881. Twenty ships were lost in the tragedy, and 189 men died.
Barbara, who most recently starred in Channel 4 hit drama The Mill, will be joined on stage by Scottish actresses Sian Mannifield and Samantha Foley.
The show, co-produced by The Customs House and Newcastle-based company The Guild of Lillians, will now begin rehearsing for a three-month tour of the east coast, following the traditional route of the herring fleets from Scotland to the south coast of England.
The play, which will stop at 12 venues on the tour, will arrive at The Customs House on May 19 and stay until May 22.
The production forms part of Follow the Herring – an arts project linking the shared heritage of east coast communities – and will be accompanied at each town on the tour by a visual arts display called Coat for a Boat; a life-sized wooden replica of a fishing boat, swathed in knitting created by men and women from across the UK.
The tour will begin in May at The Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, before heading to Cockburnspath and Berwick in the Borders, then further south to South Shields, continuing down to Hartlepool, Hull, Grimsby, Kings Lynn, Margate, Hastings, Folkestone and Great Yarmouth.
Follow the Herring is supported by Arts Council England and the University of Northumbria.
For further information about the project, visit www.customshouse.co.uk/followtheherring.