The Duke in the Cupboard

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The Duke in the Cupboard

The Duke in the Cupboard

Posted: 12 Oct 2015

By Susan Wear

 

The Customs House, South Shields

7 October

 

A six-strong cast, powerfully led by Graham Overton, more than did justice to the opening night of a new play by Susan Wear.

‘The Duke in the Cupboard’ is based on the true story of a 61-year-old Tyneside bus driver who managed to steal and conceal an original Goya portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery – not for personal gain but to aid his determined campaign for free TV licences for the elderly. 

It sounds like a serious plot but a packed opening night found it a genuinely funny and highly entertaining evening that ventured into a farce that was aided by impeccable timing, which was doubly commendable for the first night. Credit here too for director Katy Weir.

Near namesake, playwright Susan Wear, could well have an ongoing success on her hands with her first play. As Director of Corporate Affairs for the Port of Tyne, Susan couldn’t have chosen a better venue than the Customs House, still my favourite north-east theatre.

A star-studded audience included actress Melanie Hill, as well as sports stars Steve Cram, Brendan Foster, Dick Malone and Ritchie Pitt. Maybe they know when they’re onto a winner?

 

Rob Mason

           

 

 

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