Andrew Dipper

Anti-cuts comedy to tour the North East

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An anti-cuts comedy featuring sketches, songs and stand-up will tour the North East in the run up to the General Election.

The Accidental Activist has been storylined by North East playwright Ed Waugh, whose comedy hits (co-written with Trevor Wood) include Dirty Dusting and Maggie’s End, which involved the death of Margaret Thatcher.

After a sell-out run at the Gala Theatre, Durham, Maggie’s End later transferred to London to mark the 25th anniversary of the Miners Strike and caused controversy nationally and internationally over its subject matter.

Newcastle-based comedian John Scott and South Tyneside-based comedy writer John Gibson have provided additional material to a show that has the backing of the Durham Miners Association, the national RMT union, Durham & District NUT and South Tyneside UNISON.

Scott, who writes for and hosts political panel show Sod the Tories at The Stand Comedy Club in Newcastle, said: “Ed came to see Sod the Tories and thought it was great. I asked him to storyline a play against the cuts and he came up with the Accidental Activist.

“John Gibson and I added our bits and we have a show that will not only make people laugh but will also make them think.

“It’s a bit like a cross between The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and Citizen Smith with a bit of Russell Brand hoyed in. It’s canny funny!”

LISTEN: Sod The Tories podcast

He continued: “It will be a fantastic production.

“We’ve called on Russell Floyd from EastEnders, The Bill and Maggie’s End to star and direct, and have enlisted top North East actresses Rachel Adamson, an award winner in the play Motherland, and Sammy Dobson, who was in Byker Grove and Joe Maddison’s War.”

The story is about how comedian Johnny Snowball (Russell Floyd) wants an easy life but, confronted by more government austerity measures, reluctantly enters the battle to fight the cuts.

Scott added: “None of us is a member of any political party but we are all angry and frustrated that the rich are get disgustingly richer at a time when there are food banks, inadequate housing, zero hour working and young people with no future.

“It’s simply untrue that there is no alternative to cuts and austerity. Sadly that voice is not being aired by any party at the moment.”

Tickets at all venues cost £10.

The Accidental Activist will tour the following venues:

27 and 28 April: The Stand Comedy Club, Newcastle (0191) 3009700

30 April: The City Theatre, Durham, DH1 3RA (0191) 384 3515

1 May: Westovian Theatre, South Shields, NE33 2JS (0191) 454 4167

2 May: The Dun Cow (Head of Steam), Sunderland, SR1 3HA