Rehearsals are underway for the return of Lee Mattinson’s hit play, Donna Disco.
Having first been staged as a rehearsed reading as part of Live Theatre’s Live Lab programme in 2010, it’s more than fitting that the one-woman show, will kick off a national tour at the Newcastle theatre.
The play stars actress Paula Penman as Donna, a disenfranchised 14-year-old girl who develops an unlikely, but ultimately life-changing, friendship with her colourful cross-dressing neighbour Stuart.
Directed by Laura Lindow, the story sees Paula, who was most recently seen at Northern Stage in the wonderfully crackers Christmas show Get Santa, present a host of eclectic characters who satellite around one girl’s experience of alienation.
Displaying a bubbly melting pot of physical comedy and crushing observational skills, the audience are taken on a journey through the pitfalls of teenage life.
Following its debut Live Lab outing, the show went on to enjoy a successful run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and New Wimbledon Theatre in 2011 as well as a sell out run at Live Theatre in 2012.
Lee said: “Donna Disco was the first play I ever wrote. It was scribbled in between split shifts at the then Café Live into an exercise book in pink felt tip. It swiftly disappeared into the trademark ‘bottom draw’ of unproduced work where it sat until a pact was struck up with Paula Penman to attempt to make something together.
“I remembered Donna, whipped her out and so our adventure began.
“It seems fitting that we bring Donna back to her spiritual and theatrical home to kick of her first national tour, which will run until the end of March.
“Since the first outing the show might have grown in confidence but little Donna hasn’t so we’re looking forward to sharing her compelling and ultimately heartbreaking story which explores why, for one girl, life is more complicated than Mama Cass and Diet Coke.”
* Donna Disco plays Live Theatre from February 26-28. Call 0191 232 1232 or visit www.live.org.uk to book tickets.