Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Comics Help to Put Accent on War Play's Authenticity

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Comics Help to Put Accent on War Play's Authenticity

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson Reporter

GEORDIE stars like Sarah Millican and Ross Noble are to provide accent inspiration for actors hoping to portray a North East war hero.

Actors chasing parts in a new play in Australia on the short life of Tyneside war hero John Simpson Kirkpatrick have been told to study the Geordie accents before applying for the role.

Known as "the man with the donkey", South Shieldsborn Kirkpatrick served with the Australian and New Zealand forces in the First World War at Gallipoli under the name of John Simpson.

He rescued hundreds of wounded soldiers from the front line, using a donkey to carry casualties day and night amid fierce enemy fire from the head of Monash Valley down Shrapnel Gully to the beach.

Kirkpatrick's heroism has never been forgotten in Australia and New Zealand and now the Genesian Theatre in Sydney will present a new play about the Tynesider, called Simpson, J. 202, from April 10 to May 2. It will be performed in what is the centenary year of his death at the age of 22.

He was shot and killed after 25 days of retrieving the wounded using his donkey.

Auditions for the play are being held throughout this week.

The theatre says the part of Kirkpatrick will "require the actor to use a convincing Geordie/South Shields accent".

A Geordie accent will also be required from the actress who plays Annie, his older sister.

And to help prepare John Simpson Kirk-|patrick, who died in action actors for the auditions,, the theatre has issued the advice that "the British comics Sarah Millican and Ross Noble have Geordie accents."

It also advises hopefuls to watch the 1970s British TV series When The Boat Comes In, starring James Bolam, for accent and cultural detail.

Another part is that of schoolteacher Mr Woodvine - "with any British/ Irish regional accent but ideally Welsh, Yorkshire or Geordie."

The Genesian Theatre is one of Sydney's most active theatre companies, staging six productions a year. …

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