A DRAMATIC play about the stories of the Derwent Valley will make its debut next week.

The show at the Empire Theatre in Consett is based on a special script exploring the past, present and future of the area’s heritage.

Searching for the Heart of the Land of Oak and Iron is produced by Harmony Associates and will be performed on Friday for the first time, as part of a wider theatrical celebration of the history and heritage of the region.

Karen Daglish, partnership manager at Land of Oak and Iron, said: “Folklore of the forest, dreams of the Derwent, courage of our communities, our new play has it all and will take us on a journey through time, while exploring the past, present and possibly the future of our vibrant heritage.

“Thanks to all of this history and heritage, the region is just bursting with stories to be re-told, helping to keep the memory of this area alive for generations to come.”

Searching for the Heart of the Land of Oak and Iron will form the second act of the evening’s performances, with the first half featuring traditional live music and dancing performed by local people who share a passion for the area.

Harmony Associates has been working with from Highfield Middle School in Prudhoe and Blackhall Mill Youth and Community Theatre on the show.

Bex Mather, musician and co-director at Harmony Associates, said: “We were commissioned by Land of Oak and Iron to work with local children, young people and adult residents to help bring the stories of our past to life and to consider what those stories mean for us today and into the future.

“The talent of the children taking part in the performance is phenomenal and we’re delighted with how rehearsals are going.

“With little less than a week to go, we’re putting the finishing touches to the play and are really excited to share what we’ve been working on as part of the evening at the Empire Theatre.”

The first act starts at 7pm and tickets cost £6 for adults and £4 for children. To book call 03000-262- 400.