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A spooky night out

There will be some strange goings-on at a Tyneside theatre this week.

There will be some strange goings-on at a Tyneside theatre this week. Entertainment Editor Gordon Barr has the details.

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Past meets the present in a new play at the People's Theatre in Newcastle tomorrow.

Abandonment is a modern ghost story where the past is not as far away as we think.

In Edinburgh 2007, single historian Elizabeth moves into a converted Victorian mansion but finds it is no refuge from her friends and family.

Elizabeth also disturbs the ghosts of the past occupants of the house, especially Agnes, a 1860s governess who was seduced by her womanising employer.

Deserted by her birth mother as a baby, Elizabeth must deal with her desire to find her roots while trying to survive the family who adopted her.

It is this dysfunctional family that Agnes haunts from her Victorian roots. A traveller who had seen the world, she settled for being a governess within an unforgiving household full of secrets.

These two troubled women may be inhabiting the same house more than 140 years apart, but gradually their stories intertwine until eventually they collide.

Part modern drama, part Gothic romance, the production finds a cast of seven bringing 12 characters to life as the modern-day protagonists double-up as their 19th Century counterparts.

Each fascinating character, although divided by time and space, struggles to live in the present and let go of past incidents that haunt them.

Contemporary Chaos Theory meets Victorian spiritualism, genetic design meets historic determinism - this funny, intelligent, passionate drama directed by Chris Heckels (Cooking With Elvis, Brassed Off) should not to be missed!

Abandonment is at The Studio Upstairs at the People's from tomorrow until Saturday.

Tickets £8.50 (£6.50 concessions), ring the box office on (0191) 265 5020.

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