Long time panto villain Neil Armstrong will be back on stage next month but not in a Pantomime – this time he will be performing in his own play Remember Jim a comedy thriller set in a panto dressing room, coming to ARC on Thur 4 Apr.
This is the story of two actors performing in a provincial pantomime. They are both sick of their lot – slap bang in the middle of a matinee performance of a rather dodgy production of ‘Dick Whittington’ – this is show 34 and they still have another 24 to go – or do they? Unbeknownst to them, an unexpected visitor has other plans for them.
The idea for the play came to me via Simon Stallworthy the man responsible for directing the pantomimes at the Gala for the last five years. Simon suggested a panto dressing room might be a good place to set a play. Seeing as though I’ve spent more than twenty-five Christmas’s in one – I thought I’d give it a go. I’ve always been a fan of thrillers and I thought it would be an interesting twist to see what happened if you threw a raging psychopath into a panto dressing room while two blokes were trying to get through a performance of Dick Whittington.
Neil, who for the last five years has been wowing audiences at The Gala Theatre Durham as their resident Panto Villain, will be re-united on stage with three top North East actors. Peter Peverley, who has just returned from a successful stint with the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as his one man show – The Little Waster recently performed at Newcastle Theatre Royal, David Tarkenter, fresh from the Mercury Theatre rep season and Christina Berriman Dawson who is currently appearing in Zendeh’s production of Flock at Northern Stage. Neil said,
It’s great to be performing alongside the rest of the cast – Peter and I ran a company back in the eighties and nineties called “The Red and White Theatre Company” David and me go back a long way too – we both appeared in Panto together in Carlisle for three years – once as the Ugly Sisters – although David had the better legs!
Remember Jim is produced by Neil’s own Theatre company Theatre of Moths based at Art Centre Washington which he co-runs with Christina Berriman Dawson and Duncan Allan.
We performed the play at the Arts Centre last September – It went down really well and there was a great deal of interest for us to get the show on tour. Theatre of Moths aim is to produce exciting new theatre that combines original writing with original musical composition, harnessing the vast array of talent that exists in the North East.
Remember Jim promises to be a highly entertaining night out with laughs, suspense, terror and mayhem all rolled into one.
• Theatre of Moths present Remember Jim at ARC on Thur 4 Apr at 7pm. Tickets are priced F: £6.50 and can be purchased here.