Playwrights' BBC sitcom pilot will help celebrate 1900th anniversary of Hadrian’s Wall

A South Shields playwright and his long-time writing partner are helping celebrate the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian’s Wall with their own delve into the past.

A radio sitcom pilot written by Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood, first broadcast on BBC Cumbria in 2011, will be brought to life once more as part of celebrations paying tribute to the Roman frontier.

The 40-minute piece is set in AD 126 as the wall is being constructed.

The event will take place at Newcastle’s Lit and Phil, which is built on the site of a stretch of Hadrian’s Wall.

File picture of re-enactors portraying soldiers from the Imperial Roman Army (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Advertisement

Hide Ad

Jamie Brown, who recently completed a hugely successful tour as Harry Clasper in the one-man show Hadaway Harry – written by Ed – will direct .

Kay Easson, Lit and Phil Librarian, responsible for bringing the event to the venue in Newcastle’s Westgate Road, said: "Hadrian's Wall is an incredible part of North East history and culture.

"Ed and Trevor have also contributed to our cultural heritage with their impressive canon of professionally produced plays that include international comedy hits Dirty Dusting and Waiting for Gateaux, as well as more serious national successes like Maggie's End and The Revengers.

"It was a no brainer staging a read-through of their excellent, irreverent but funny radio play as a script-in-hand event."

Advertisement

Hide Ad
Playwrights Trevor Wood and Ed Waugh.

The show tells a story of two sides. Vercovicium, the magnificent fort at Housesteads, is up and running and the auxiliary troops housed there have a cushy number.

But for those based in the Milecastles, the smaller posts along the wall, life is less glamorous, especially at Milecastle 17 – Drizzlewort, which houses seven men and a female servant, who is also an undercover member of the Boadecia Resistance Army.

With grim weather, a cold stream for bathing, a hole-in-the-ground toilet, and a diet of beans, lentils and occasional bits of pork, life isn’t so great for the troops charged with building the wall, manning the gate, and keeping out the deadly Picts from north of the border.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

The celebratory event will also premiere a comedy sketch penned by Ed about Emperor Hadrian cutting the tape to officially open the wall in AD 218.

Hadrian's Wall looking west at sunset from Walltown Crags. ColobusYeti - stock.adobe.com

Tickets for It's Grim Up North, which starts at 7pm on Friday, October 28, cost £6/£8. Visit: https://www.litandphil.org.uk/events/it-s-grim-up-north-a-script-in-hand-performance-of-a-classic-north-east-sitcom or telephone 0191 232 0192.