A new book released by the Wisecrack team – Geordie Plays, is a compilation of North East scripts from successful plays Hadaway Harry, The Great Joe Wilson and Carrying David written by Ed Waugh.
‘In our small way, Wisecrack Productions try to give a voice to our forgotten heroes who have given us so much yet barely mentioned today.
We are taught at school that ‘our’ history is about kings and queens. Rubbish! It’s the working class who create the wealth in society and yet our real history is ignored by the London-centric educational establishment’.
‘One example is children are taught about the Great Fire of London in 1666, yet the great fire of the Quayside in 1854 is never mentioned. That fire started in Gateshead and spread across to Newcastle and laid waste to both quaysides’.
‘Around 700 working people were made homeless and many dozens died. This loss was much greater than the Fire of London but how many Geordies know about our fire?
A script featured in the book is about a former Durham miner, Harry Clasper, the story follows his journey from working class pitman in Jarrow, to rowing Champion of the World.
‘When you tell people about Harry Clasper who invented the sport of rowing that we know today – people can’t believe it. Nor can they grasp that 130,000 people attended Harry’s funeral in 1870’.
Waugh has also included the story of North East singer and song writer, Joe Wilson.
‘Joe chronicled working class life and supported workers on strike, yet he doesn’t appear on the educational curriculum, even in the North East where he was a superstar. The Scots celebrate Burns Night annually. We should be celebrating Joe Wilson Night every year’.
The third script in the book, Carrying David, focused on two McCrory brothers, one severely disabled and the other who became boxing’s Cruiserweight Champion of the world.
‘Glenn’s story about becoming a world champion is incredible but add in the inspiration he got from terminally ill brother David, and you have something special. Rocky 1 is a great film but Carrying David, about a ‘Country Durham Rocky’ is better’.
‘To be champion of the world at anything is a tremendous accomplishment but as a boxer, that takes dedication and skill. David was the one pushing Glenn to bounce back when it looked like his career was over. An incredible, heart-warming, funny and emotional story’.
Both Hadaway Harry and Carrying David are touring North East theatres, Carrying David in September 2021 and Hadaway Harry in June 2022. Both are planned to be hitting London stages.
The Geordie Plays book launch will be held on Saturday October 16, in Newcastle City Library at 2pm & 7pm. The afternoon show will be a free illustrated talk, evening tickets priced £3 will include songs and entertainment from the cast of the plays.
Ed added ‘Obviously, this is subject to what happens with the pandemic and could change but we are very confident the talks will go ahead on that date’.
Volume One of Geordie Plays can be bought from Tyne Bridge Publishing website, online at Waterstones, Blackwell’s, WH Smiths, Amazon, Wordery and Foyles.
Also available from high street shops Waterstones, Meander, The Baltic and Newcastle City Library.
Posting soon a new interview with Micky Cochrane who stars in the one man show ‘Carrying David’ in theatres during September 2021.
For full tour dates contact:
Gary Alikivi August 2021