A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Durham is an irreverent and anarchic take on the story of the Lindisfarne Gospels.
A sketch-based play, featuring around 40 characters played by just three actors, AFTHOTWTD covers more than 1400 years of English history in just 90 hilarious minutes and includes encounters with many famous historical figures, including five Kings of England, a Saint, several vikings and monks, a leper, a spin-doctor, the Easter bunny, and of course, Sherlock Holmes.
The play premiered at Durham Gala from Tuesday July 2 to Saturday July 6 before touring around the North East. It starred the dream team of Chris Connel, Viktoria Kay and Robert Hudson. Chris was one of the original cast of Pitman Painters which conquered Broadway while Viktoria toured on the British leg of the same play. Robert Hudson is a familiar face on television, having starred in ITV’s The Bill as PC Tony “Yorkie” Smith and appeared in Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Peak Practice.
The show was directed by Gareth Tudor-Price, former Artistic Director of Hull Truck Theatre Company and the long-time collaborator of theatre legend John Godber.
The play drew some brilliant audiences and the reviews were universally great!
“Cramming 1400 years of history into a 90-minute play is no mean feat, managing to fill a theatre with laughter for every one of those 90 minutes is nothing short of masterful” Evening Chronicle
“Ram-packed with genius comic moments” The Crack
“An amazing work packed with ingenious touches… Nothing short of genius” Sunderland Echo
“A string of clever one-liners and sketches… enough skeletons from history to delight any scholar with a sense of humour” Northern Echo
“You may learn something if you can stop laughing long enough” www.whatsonstage.com
“A rip-roaring romp… a sure-fire success” www.uktheatre.net
“A history lesson like no other… I will never forget it” www.thegoodreview.co.uk
“A wonderful recount of the past 1400 years… the audience are sucked in and taken along for the whistle-stop ride” www.whatsonnortheast.com
The tour of AFTHOTWTD took in most areas in the North East including, Hamsterley Village Hall, The Maltings, Berwick, Alnwick Playhouse, Phoenix Theatre, Blyth, Darlington Civic, Consett Empire, Middlesbrough Theatre, Bede’s World, Jarrow; Bowes Museum and Whitley Bay Playhouse.
You can see Ed and Trevor talking about the play on Sky News here
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Durham was commissioned by destination management agency, Visit County Durham, with production partner Gala Theatre Durham.