Dramatic new winter programme at Eastgate

NO MANS LAND by Pinter,       , Writer - Harold Pinter, Director - Sean Mathias, Set and costumes - Stephen Brimson Lewis, Lighting - Peter Kaczorowski, Sheffield, 2016, Credit: Johan Persson
NO MANS LAND by Pinter, , Writer - Harold Pinter, Director - Sean Mathias, Set and costumes - Stephen Brimson Lewis, Lighting - Peter Kaczorowski, Sheffield, 2016, Credit: Johan Persson

Eastgate Theatre’s recently-launched winter programme reveals a host of exciting drama for the New Year.

There will be major names from stage and screen. And they don’t come much bigger than Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart who, following a hit run on Broadway, return to the West End in No Man’s Land, a brilliantly entertaining plays by Nobel Prize laureate Harold Pinter.

Screened on January 19 in a National Theatre relay, the play revolves around two ageing writers, Hirst and Spooner, who, having met at a Hampstead pub one summer evening, continue their drinking long into the night.

As the pair become drunk, and their stories increasingly unbelievable, the conversation soon turns into a revealing power play, further complicated by the entrance of two sinister younger men, played by Owen Teale and Damien Molony.

The drama moves closer to home on January 21 when Ideoms Theatre Company presents Willie Wastle’s Account of his Wife. The play, starring John Nicol, represents Willie Wastle’s riposte to Burns following the Bard’s insult to his wife, Kirsty, in the song Willie Wastle Dwalt on Tweed.

Originally created by Rowan Tree Theatre Company, the play is based on John Wilson’s Tales of the Borders. Fast and very funny, giving a wonderful insight into 18th century Borders life.

And Willie Wastle’s amusing comeback to the Bard sets audiences up nicely for Songs of Robert Burns an’ a’ That (January 25) – a celebration of Burns’ role in Scottish culture, arranged for harp and tenor by local harpist Esther Swift and Ayrshire tenor David Douglas.

Then, February 2, Fair Pley brings us right up-to-date with The Cause of Thunder. Set two years after the Scottish referendum, the play explores the No vote, Brexit, the refugee crisis, and other issues on the mind of one Bob Cunningham. All the thinking puts Bob – played by David Hayman – in story-telling mood as he tries to fathom what to do about the onset of old age and his country’s past and present.

Details from www.eastgatearts.com or call 01721 725777.