North East actress make directorial debut with ‘coming of age’ play

Christina Berriman Dawson will be directing Grown Up Writin’ as it performs at The Customs House.

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A new ‘coming of age’ play will be taking to The Customs House stage, directed by a familiar North East face.

Grown Up Writin’ is an autobiographical play about two schoolgirls growing up in Teesside, written by Middlesbrough writer Louise Powell.

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The plot of the play will focus on Year 11 teenagers, Kayleigh and Ruth as they navigate life in and outside of school.

Experienced North East actress Christina Berriman Dawson will make her directorial debut, saying she has found “the right play and the right venue” to direct for the first time.

“It’s a great play and a venue I know so well,” explained Christina.

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Last month, Christina played the pantomime villain, Baroness Hardup in The Customs House first summer pantomime, Cinderella.

Christina further explained: “I’ve performed here many times during my 18 years as a professional actress, and I used to be a teacher in South Tyneside so a play set in a classroom is perfect for me – the right play and the right venue for my professional directorial debut.”

Supported by Arts Council England, Grown Up Writin’ is part of The Customs House’s inaugural First Play Club, which aims to give new or emerging writers the opportunity to have their work performed on the stage.

Christina said of Growing Up Writin’ said: “It’s well written, has some great dialogue and is both funny and moving. It’s set in 2007 when I was just leaving teaching so there’s also an element of ‘lived experience’ for me. There’s a dose of nostalgia with plenty of references to TV shows popular in 2007, and the music very much sets it in a moment in time.”

Grown Up Writin’ will perform at The Customs House on Friday, September 8, and Saturday, September 9. To purchase tickets, please visit The Customs House website.