Brand New Play at Stocktonís ARC Shows Strength in Community
By fmttm
Wednesday 12 Sep 2018 09:38:00
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A 15-strong Teesside community chorus is joining forces with actors with a string of stage and TV credits including Coronation Street and Emmerdale for a brand new play at Stockton’s ARC on Wednesday 26 September.


Occupation, written by North East based writer and performer Pauline Heath, is a hard-hitting, moving and often hilarious play, focussing on a disability rally, where people who normally wouldn’t dream of taking part in a protest have gathered together to draw attention to real stories of disabled people today.

Director Vici Wreford-Sinnott said: “This is an amazing play to work on. It really highlights that people are much stronger when they join forces and work together, a real strength in community values. We wanted to reflect that by involving local people directly in the production, and it’s been so exciting for everyone involved.”

Little Cog Theatre Company have brought together a strong cast of Patricia Jones, Coll Metcalfe, Andrew McLay and Charlie Fennell who take the lead roles in the fast-paced play. A disabled Falklands veteran, a homeless young man, a professional senior manager and a single mum with a disabled son all have their own daily struggles to survive.

Describing the play, Pauline Heath said: “In a world of sanctions, forced treatment, and divided communities, people are being pushed to the edge.


“The characters all take their places around a monument at a disability rally, and shine a light on how austerity has affected disabled people and their families, and what it means for generations to come. They are being pushed onto the streets to make their voices heard. They just want someone to listen to them.”

Vici said, “We’re thrilled with our community cast who all add to the drama of the piece, and it’s such a privilege to be joined by such talented actors from stage and screen.

“Between them Patricia, Charlie, Andy and Coll have appeared with many of our best theatre companies and in well known television programmes including Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Eastenders, Holby City, Doctors, and the North East's very own Vera.

“It's brilliant to have them on stage in Stockton working with us, and the audience are in for a really inspiring and memorable day here.”

  • Occupation: ARC, Stockton. Weds 26 Sept. 1.30pm & 7pm. Pay what you decide. Starring Patricia Jones, Coll Metcalfe, Andrew McLay, Charlie Fennell & a 15-strong community chorus. Original music by Keith Mills. BSL interpreted by Sue Lee. Further info, and reserve seats in advance at or call the box office on 01642 525 199.

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