PARTS of a new play will be performed by a group of actors, from their own homes.

In January, before the first lockdown, Sunderland Culture commissioned playwright Scott Young, from Darlington, to create a new community play.

The Northern Echo:

Work on the play, Pursuers of the Future – which is a mix of myth, folklore and conversations with the people in the city – has continued despite the Covid-19 restrictions.

The cast of about 20 community actors will share sections of the second draft from their homes, linked online, this Sunday and wants the public to watch and give feedback.

Corinne Kilvington, of Theatre Space North East, who is producing and directing Pursuers of the Future, said: “We’re inviting anyone who would like to join us to do so, and would love to hear their feedback – what’s great and what could be improved. That feedback will help inform the last draft of the play.

“There are two threads to it: there is an intimate portrayal of a Sunderland family, their thoughts and tribulations, and then there is a more epic tale involving the Lambton Worm. It’s about Sunderland’s past, present and future.”

The Sunderland Culture commission was for a playwright to work with residents and community groups to write a new play based on their hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future of the city. The play’s premiere was meant to be an outdoor performance in September.

“Obviously we’ve had to work round some pretty tricky restrictions, but we’ve managed and the cast have been great. The company we’ve put together responded to a call-out and is a great mix of people. Sunderland College students are also involved after lecturer Lauren Robinson asked to be involved and we now have some of the college’s HND and A-level students taking part too,” said Corinne.

Corinne ran workshops at the college and at the University of Sunderland: “The workshops helped us get the piece on its feet as there were some areas we just couldn’t do online – for instance when everyone is talking over each other, which is difficult to do virtually.

“This is the first time I’ve worked with Scott, but he’s a talented young writer and it’s been super fun working on this project with him. It’ a great script with some large, Greek-chorus style set pieces and then beautifully observed, intimate family moments.

“Doing this online is going to be nerve-wracking and exciting; terrifying and brilliant, but it’s amazing what technology can do. I’d never even heard of Zoom last year and here we are producing a play on it.

“The tech also gives an audience the opportunity to ask questions, leave comments and feedback on the piece to help us structure the final draft.”

The live streaming of sections of Pursuers of the Future, will be on Sunderland Culture’s Facebook page on Sunday, at 7pm.