When the Boat Comes in playwright to give talk on turning father’s TV series into stage show

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Fans of a 1970s TV classic are being given the chance to hear from the son of its creater.

Peter Mitchell has based his play When the Boat Comes In on the drama written by his father which, in its heyday, attracted 15 million viewers.

Ahead of its showing at The Customs House, South Shields, on August 16, he will be at The Word, South Shields, to talk about bringing the show from the small screen to the stage.

The landmark and much-loved series was created by James Mitchell and was the first mainstream TV drama to be set in the North East.

During the talk, Peter, who will be joined by director Katy Weir, will reveal why he has decided to adapt his father’s work for stage and why he is revisiting the characters, while Katy will talk about the current production, casting and her take on the play.

The story begins with Sgt Jack Ford returning from active service in WW1 to discover the place he left is still battling poverty, ill-health, unemployment and discrimination. He has set his sights on the high life and is determined to get what he wants.

Tania Robinson, Head of Marketing and Culture at The Word, said: “The TV series was a classic which really brought the hardships of the region, between the wars, to life.

“We are delighted Peter and Katy are coming to talk about their stage version, which will bring the drama to a whole new generation.”

When The Boat Comes In - An Evening with Peter Mitchell and Katy Weir, will take place on Friday at 6.30pm.

Tickets cost £2, must be booked in advance by visiting www.theworduk.org or visit the venue’s shop, Shop @ The Word.