Award-winning play of execution returns

Peter Mortimer's controversial and highly charged World War One play Death at Dawn, returns to Tyneside later this month with performances in Wallsend and central Newcastle.

Friday, 5th February 2016, 15:46 pm
Updated Friday, 5th February 2016, 15:49 pm
Heather Carroll performing ion Death at Dawn.

Based round the real-life execution in France in 1916 of William Hunter, a young North Shields soldier, and performed by the North Tyneside-based Cloud Nine Theatre Company, the play won two awards and was short-listed for a further two following its premiere at the Linskill Centre, North Shields in 2014.

It played to packed houses and received enthusiastic reviews.

Now it is coming back, and with most of the original cast intact.

One tragic blow was the death, aged only 47, of its director Jackie Fielding.

Jackie’s work on the play won her the Best Direction category in the British Theatre Guide Regional Awards for 2014.

Death at Dawn will now be directed by Neil Armstrong, a personal friend of Jackie’s who has worked with Cloud Nine for more than 15 years.

A professional cast of seven is supported by four young North Tyneside drama students roughly the same age as William Hunter when he was shot.

The production is funded by Arts Council England, North Tyneside Council and the Northumbria World War One Commemoration Project, and is performed in the round.

As is the company’s habit, the play is performed in non-tradtional theatre venues. It is on at Wallsend Memorial Hall from Friday, February 19 to Tuesday, February 23, and from Friday, February 26 to Wednesday, March 2, in the Great Hall of the Discovery Museum, Newcastle.

Tickets, which cost £10 and £8, are available from Newcastle, North Shields, Whitley Bay and Wallsend libraries, online via or direct from the ticket hotline on (0191) 259 2743.

Cloud Nine are giving away three double sets of tickets to any performance of your choice of Peter Mortimer’s Death at Dawn.

Simply email the answer to the question below to by no later than Thursday, February 18. The subject matter should be PLAY QUIZ. Winners will be contacted by Saturday, February 20.

Question: In what year was the North Shields soldier William Hunter shot?

A host of unique prizes are on offer at a special fundraising auction in aid of the play Death at Dawn.

Included are a chance to win a theatre performance in your own home, a working trip on the high seas with a Cullercoats fisherman, a made-to-measure poem, a free three-week pass to Whitley Bay Film Festival and a host of other unusual offerings.

The esteemed auctioneer Bertie Foster will be the host on Tuesday, February 16, at the cafe in The Jam Jar Cinema, Whitley Bay, where around 20 lots in total will be auctioned.

Entry is free. There’s a music set from the coastal duo The Creels, free snacks and a licensed bar.

There will also be a raffle where, for £1, someone has to win a DFDS mini-cruise for two.

The auction starts at 7.30pm and no tickets are required.