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Perfecting their performance in the pub

Published September 19, 2018 9.31am


A north-east actress has been pulling pints at a city pub in preparation for her role in an upcoming theatre production.

TWO actors John Duck

Actors Jess Johnson and Christopher Price rehearsing in The John Duck

Jess Johnson visited the John Duck in Durham, alongside co-star Christopher Price, to rehearse scenes from TWO, a bar-based drama which will run at the city's Gala Theatre next month.

The traditional ale-house became the make-shift stage for the performers to develop their characters, from landlord and landlady to an elderly couple, allowing them to get to grips with a real bar.

Written by acclaimed northern playwright Jim Cartwright, TWO centres around working-class life in a northern bar, with Chris and Jess playing 14 different characters between the two of them.

Originally set in the north-west in the 1980s, director Tom Wright has moved the action to a fictional Durham pub, also called The John Duck, allowing him to draw on the north-east actors' own memories and experiences. 

Jess said: "Like a lot of actors, I've worked in pubs for the best part of my life on and off, so I know my way around behind a bar, but it's fantastic to have the opportunity to perform in one. Putting on the costumes and running lines in these familiar surroundings, imagining the smells and sounds of a real pub helps to bring that extra authenticity to the roles, and both me and Chris take that into our performances at Gala."

TWO runs at the Gala Theatre from Tuesday 2 October to Saturday 6 October at 7.30pm, plus additional performances at 2.30pm on Thursday and Saturday.

Tickets, costing £15, £13 for concessions and £12 for Gala members when attending the first night and matinee performances, are available from the Gala Theatre and Cinema website, from the box office in person, or by calling 03000 266 600.

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