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Bite-size taboo goes to Royal Court

A PLAY which premiered in a Newcastle city centre bar has earned a run in one of London’s most famous theatres.

A PLAY which premiered in a Newcastle city centre bar has earned a run in one of London’s most famous theatres.

Fiona Evans’ Scarborough was one of the plays in the inaugural Bite Size season which took place at lunchtime last summer in The Apartment.

Several plays were commissioned by New Writing North, but Scarborough proved the most successful.

After its Newcastle run it transferred north of the border to be performed during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The short play is about the relationship between a teacher and an under-age boy pupil. It is set in a Scarborough hotel room where they have gone for a weekend of romance.

Inevitably things don’t quite work out as they had planned.

The play is now to be performed at the Royal Court Theatre in London, a famous bastion of new and experimental theatre. But this time there will be an extra twist.

As well as a mature actress to play the teacher, producers Northern Firebrand are seeking a girl.

Interviewed last year, the playwright mused on the sex of the under-age protagonist, wondering if people’s reactions would be the same if it was a male teacher with an under-age girl.

We surmise that Fiona Evans, one of the region’s best up-and-coming playwrights, is now to explore this gender issue. Auditions are taking place today and tomorrow at Space 7, Culture Lab, King’s Walk, Newcastle. The producers are looking for a girl and a boy who are aged 16 to 19 but look younger than 16.

“We are looking for two actors who ideally have some acting experience, but more importantly should be confident and comfortable acting in front of large groups of people in close proximity,” according to Justine Watson of Northern Firebrand.

Anyone interested should ring Justine on 07515 479503 to arrange an audition slot.

Rehearsals are scheduled to take place in mid-January with performances from February 7 to March 8 next year.

James Baxter, who played the boy in the Newcastle and Edinburgh runs of the play, was shortlisted for one of our Culture Awards 2006 as best newcomer.

Scarborough won a coveted Fringe First award in Edinburgh.

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