‘Amazing Grace’ how sweet a success

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Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood didn’t set themselves an easy task when deciding to write a play about Northumberland heroine Grace Darling.

She was, as the play rightly points out, one of Britain’s first female celebrities following her life-saving heroics off the Northumberland coast so there could well have been a risk of tarnishing her memory but the talented duo did anything but.

They managed to avoid every cheesy cliche trapdoor and the pacey and engaging script presented the cast of ‘Amazing Grace’ with the perfect springboard for their talents.

As ambitious screenwriter and actress Grace Armstrong, Catherine Dryden was the perfect leading lady. She had fantastic stage presence throughout; her warm North East accent drew you in and she displayed great humility when taking on the guise of Grace Darling herself.

As Grace’s dad Ted, Trevor Cuthbertson was the glue that held the fast-moving action together with his witty narratives and interjections. The chemistry between him and Catherine concocted a very believable father-daughter pairing.

And how could I miss out Sean Wildey’s Barry Charlton? With enough cockyness and bravado to bag himself a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, Barry was a nightmare director but a cracking character.

The plot, centered around Grace Armstrong’s determination to follow the courage of her convictions while in the glare of the bright lights of the film industry, flowed fantastically well and I doubt anyone in the auditorium saw the twist coming at the end!

They say three’s a crowd but the talented cast proved that there are exceptions to the rule. They, director Emma Roxburgh and Ed and Trevor can be safe in the knowledge they did an ‘amazing’ job.