Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

This Double Act's Play-Writing Talent Is No Joke; DAVID WHETSTONE Reflects on the Successes of a North East Play-Writing Double Act

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

This Double Act's Play-Writing Talent Is No Joke; DAVID WHETSTONE Reflects on the Successes of a North East Play-Writing Double Act

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID WHETSTONE

AS you can see, Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood are celebrating - and it might go on for some time.

As they work their way through the barrels of beer evidently at their disposal, they find time to share with us details of an action-packed 2010.

The two friends, neither of them products of drama college or even a creative writing course, saw their first play staged in 2002.

It was Good To Firm, a domestic comedy with a horse racing backdrop that tickled the punters' fancy at the Customs House, South Shields.

Heartened by that early success - fuelled, as it was, by a love of jokes (good and groan-worthy ), journalistic training and Ed's highly developed promotional impulses - the pair have gone on to create a string of professionally produced plays which have proved surprisingly durable.

Each seems to have hit the mark with audiences and therefore with venue managers.

Even if they never win a fancy award - and I wouldn't stake any money on that - you've got to hand it to them: they get people through the theatre doors and that's a trick many a seasoned producer fails to pull off.

If Customs House boss Ray Spencer gave them their first break, Simon Stallworthy at the Gala Theatre, Durham, and Philip Bernays at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle, have also championed their work, perhaps encouraged by the bar takings (if you think Ed and Trevor can shift beer...).

Dirty Dusting (great title) has been their greatest hit, gaining the sort of laughs once enjoyed by Benny Hill, Carry On and countless saucy seaside postcards. In 2009 it was performed in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the UK - and it's back at the Customs House from January 20-30 with its original venerable cast of actresses. It is also heading back Down Under for a five-month run, which takes some beating.

The Customs House, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, is giving more stage room to Ed and Trevor in the autumn, presenting their so-called Bob and Shirley trilogy. …

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