Battle of the sexes in stage productions

The gloves really come off in the next Cloud Nine Theatre production which opens this month.

One of the two brand new north east plays on view takes the form of a bare knuckle fight between husband and wife as they battle over gender supremacy.

The Battling Ettricks is the debut play from Cullercoats-based Mary Pickin and is based on a real-life 18th century north east couple, the Ettricks, who were involved in prize fighting.

The couple constantly feuded, both verbally and physically over gender politics in an age when women were denied most of the rights they now take for granted.

Robbie Lee Hurst and Christina Dawson play the pugilists.

The second play, Peter Mortimer’s The Sisters, is a darkish comedy about a man simultaneously seducing two sisters, each of whom is unaware of his involvement with the other.

To add spice, the sisters hate one another. But what will be the consequences of the seducer’s dalliances?

Dylan Mortimer, Vicky Kay and Arabella Arnott make up the cast.

This is one of Cloud Nine’s most unusual productions and goes under the umbrella title of ‘The Battles of the Sexes’.

The two plays will be performed at three separate coast venues over the course of a week.

The production opens for three nights at The Low Lights Tavern, North Shields, from Monday, January 19, to Wednesday, January 21, (0191 257 6038); The Surf Cafe, Tynemouth (0191 447 1503) is the venue for Thursday, January 22, and Friday, January 23, with the final performance on Saturday, January, 24 at The Comrades Club, Whitley Bay (0191 251 3829).

For the Low Lights, tickets can also be bought online at

This is the Cloud Nine’s first production since the highly successful First World War play Death at Dawn in the autumn. Both plays are directed by Neil Armstrong.