A Northern Street Is Main Character in New Play

It is not often that an inanimate object plays a character in a play, but in Alison Carr’s new play, Dust of the Street’s Shining, a whole Northern street plays a pivotal role.

The brand new play, directed by Bob Beagrie and performed by Jacqueline Phillips, is set to be performed at both ARC Stockton and Bishop Auckland Town Hall Theatre in the coming weeks.

The play centres on Una, a strong Northern female character who has seen her fair share of tragedy, who finds herself stuck at a bus stop in the rain during a panic attack.

Alison said, “Una, like so many women, has been through a lot, including the tragic loss of her only son. My piece reflects the different layers of life at different stages. Una came to me a while ago, no doubt informed by all the strong women in my family and her story just grew and grew, until she was there before me fully formed,”

She continued, “but for me the street is as dressed and as vibrant as a person with a story to tell. I’m interested in what story the street can tell. The play is minimally set using projections to create atmosphere and a magical element to the piece.

Bob Beagrie who is the Artistic Director of the new play, told us, “It has been so rewarding to see Alison’s notes and ideas develop through our collaboration. The psychological investigation of character and behaviour to create this stunning lyrical and highly emotive script has been fascinating.’

As Una waits her never ending wait for another bus, she charts the demise of the street, reflecting the degeneration of some of our Northern towns, and with that she faces some of the most difficult times in her life,  including being abandoned when pregnant, and then the later murder of her son Declan.

Alison, from Bishop Auckland, is a prolific writer, saying that to her “writing is like breathing”.  Dust of The Street’s Shining is her fourth play to be produced by Little Cog, which is a company specializing in supporting disabled artists bring their work to the stage.

She said, “It is a poignant play as Una has had a harsh life but it’s got lots of funny moments too as her life has made her the character she is, and she is perfectly performed by Jacqueline. I hope people will take different things away from it – it will have different meanings to different people.”

The piece is performed by experienced actress Jacqueline Phillips, who recently starred in the critically acclaimed one woman drama Butterfly by Vici Wreford-Sinnott, and who has who has previously appeared in Emmerdale and TV crime dramas George Gently and Vera.

Find out more about the play here.