Sex & Docks & Rock 'n' Roll to play Durham Miners Gala
PUBLISHED: 03:38 16 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:30 20 February 2013
Durham miners' gala will play host to a new production of Red Ladder's SEX & DOCKS & ROCK 'N' ROLL, which will play at The Gala Theatre, Durham on 12 July and Easington Colliery Club on 13 July.
Durham miners gala will play host to a new production of Red Ladders SEX & DOCKS & ROCK N ROLL, which will play at The Gala Theatre, Durham on 12 July and Easington Colliery Club on 13 July. The production is supported by a new partnership with Unite the Union, which will see Red Ladder produce pop-up gigs at Unite events over the next two years.
SEX & DOCKS & ROCK N ROLL is written and composed by Chumbawamba founder member and guitarist, Boff Whalley, with musical direction from former band mate Harry Hamer. A musical comedy set to get families laughing their socks and string vests off, SEX & DOCKS & ROCK N ROLL is set in Liverpool in 1960, and follows the trials and tribulations of striking dock worker Ronnie and his wife Jean. The show is directed by Red Ladders Liverpool-born artistic director Rod Dixon, who will also be playing the role of Ronnie in this production.
Its 1960 and the Liverpool seafarers and dockworkers are on strike. Uncle Paddy, leader of the Seamens Reform Movement, is in jail, while cousin Ronnie, dad of the McDermott family, sits in his pants all day reading the Daily Worker and watching Z-Cars as his harried wife Jean tries to keep the household together (sneaking the occasional peak at a well-fingered copy Lady Chatterleys Lover). Meanwhile, teenage son Jacks band have the biggest gig of their lives on Saturday night but have one major problem: they cant find a drummer. Could bobble-hatted cousin Barry be just what the band are looking for? And will that be their only problem? Throw in an untimely visit from a police officer and a riot and the bands hopes of success, as well as the dockworkers hopes of a fair deal, are thrown into question. A family comedy about love, music and the power of a good cup of tea, featuring live music and a lotta, lotta scouse singing, shouting and striking.
Rod Dixon became Artistic Director of Red Ladder Theatre Company in 2006, following his role as associate director at the Barbican Theatre in Plymouth. He has also ran The Hub Theatre School in Cornwall and been an actor with several companies including Kneehigh Theatre. Past credits for Red Ladder include WHERES VIETNAM?, RIOT, REBELLION & BLOODY INSURRECTION AND UGLY. Rod Dixon is currently directing Anthony Clavane's best-selling book PROMISED LAND, a love story between two people and Leeds United.
On the production Boff Whalley comments:
Going right into the heart of a Liverpudlian parlour, Z Cars in one corner and upright pianner (not a piano them are for posh people) in the other, seemed a perfect way to look at how the world can change, bit by grinding bit. This was a time when Lady Chatterleys Lover sold 200,000 copies on its first day on sale after being banned. When big London record companies were telling The Beatles that guitar groups are dead. When strike leaders were regularly put in jail. The states machinery was constantly playing catch-up with ordinary people and their culture, and through it all ran a vein of piss-taking, irreverent humour. Thats what this play tries to capture that, and the idea that theatre can be a place for a riotous and no-holds-barred evening, where the line between the audience and the stage isnt sacred. Class politics with choruses and punchlines.
Boff Whalley was a founder member of Chumbawamba. His past theatre writing credits for Red Ladder include a highly successful tour of RIOT, REBELLION & BLOODY INSURRECTION. Other theatre writing credits include ITS A LOVELY DAY TOMORROW, co-written with Dominic Grace as part of West Yorkshire Playhouses Northern Exposure showcase of new writing. Boff recently received critical acclaim for his production of BIG SOCIETY which was performed at the City Varieties in January 2012 and starred Never Mind the Buzzcocks panellist Phill Jupitas.
The cast of SEX & DOCKS & ROCK N ROLL includes ex-Chumbawamba drummer Harry Hamer playing the hapless, bobble-hatted Barry. Harry worked as composer on WHERES VIETNAM? and as actor /musician in RIOT, REBELLION & BLOODY INSURRECTION. Other cast members are Rod Dixon, Kyla Goodey, Lisa Howard, Nigel Lister and Adam Smith.
Red Ladder is a radical theatre company with 40 years of history; acknowledged as one of Britains leading national touring companies producing high quality theatre contributing to social change and global justice.
Tickets for SEX & DOCKS & ROCK N ROLL at The Gala Theatre, Durham can be booked by visiting www.galadurham.co.uk or calling Box Office on 0191 332 4041.
Tickets for SEX & DOCKS & ROCK N ROLL at Easington Colliery Club can be booked by calling 0191 527 0219.