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Bombed-out-church stages Esther Wilson drama

Tony Teardrop examines dark and gritty world of homeless man

Written by . Published on February 22nd 2013.

Bombed-out-church stages Esther Wilson drama

 LIVERPOOL'S bombed out church (St Luke's) will provide the backdrop, next month for the stage premiere of Tony Teardrop, a gritty play about the plight of the homeless, written by the award-winning Esther Wilson.

And the drama, from Cut to the Chase productions, puts its money where its mouth is - by involving some of the city's homeless people.

The company's outreach director, Carl Cockram, will create a programme of creative workshops based around Wilson's work, using it as a springboard for participants to create their own.

Hollie Jay BowesHollie Jay BowesAlong with actors, clients and graduates from bridge-to-recovery rehab service Genie In The Gutter, Cockram will take the creative programme to homeless people in "challenging areas of Liverpool". Genie In The Gutter will also be involved in the main production.

Manchester actor Neil Bell will take on the title role of Tony.  He has appeared in many UK films such as 24hr Party People, The Crew and Powder, with probably his most notable role being Soz in Shane Meadows’ Dead Mans Shoes.

It's the first time St Luke's has been used for a large-scale professional theatre production and joining him are Hollie-Jay Bowes who until recently played the role of feisty Michaela McQueen in Hollyoaks, and up and coming Liverpool star of stage and screen Bob Schofield (son of actor Drew Schofield).

Lisa Parry, Brian Dodd and Laura Campbell are also on board for the Jen Heyes-directed production.

Tony Teardrop was originally written as part of a regional voices scheme with the National Theatre in 2004 but has never been produced for stage until now.

St LukesSt LukesSet in and around a residential support centre for the homeless and inspired by real stories, Tony Teardrop is a biting, humorous play about people living on the edges of society.

Tony is on a journey through his interior landscape looking for the true meaning of home. Audiences see the world through his relationship with fellow "space cadets" and his struggles with the manager of the centre... until things come to a head when he takes the staff and residents hostage.

Esther Wilson’s credits include Unprotected (winner of an Amnesty International Award), Ten Tiny Toes, Call The Midwife, The Street, The Accused and The Pursuits of Darleen Fyles.

Cut to the Chase productions artistic director, Jen Heyes, will direct and produce the show, which runs between 21 March and 6 April, 2013. Heyes' most recent projects Epstein: The Man Who Made the Beatles at the city’s Epstein Theatre and the large scale multi media production TREASURED at the Anglican Cathedral.

The Cubical, who will be providing the music (along with compositions by Dan Wilson, Esther's son) have spent the last few years building up a reputation across Europe. Their latest album, Arise Conglomerate, just earned 4 stars in MOJO magazine.

Cubical--001Cubical, The There are several other strands to the project, including a photography exhibition, writing masterclasses from Wilson and extensive outreach programme.

Tony Teardrop is funded by ACE and Liverpool PCT trust and production partners include organisations Urban Strawberry Lunch, The Basement, Genie In The Gutter and Spider Project.

*Tickets (£10-£16)  are available through the Tony Teardrop production partner - Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse. To call, ring 0151 709 4776, or  for group Bookings 10+: 0151 708 3733.

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