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Mad Alice Theatre Company in association with Queen’s Hall Arts & Action Transport Theatre Present

‘She Wins All the Races’- A tragicomedy with Biscuits

Based on the actress’s real life story of growing up with her two brothers who were born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Set in the 1970’s this brand new show is about an intelligent, happy little girl Belinda, who loves life, her two brothers and stealing The Priest’s biscuits with her best friend Angela. But her brothers are not walking properly and when she opens ‘the drawer she must never open’ her world is cataclysmically blown apart…..

‘She Wins All TheRaces’ is a dynamic, fun, heartening one-woman show about a little girl growing up with the certainty of loss. It is a celebration of the courage and resilience of the human spirit, with quirky, physical storytelling and a little bit of Abba!

 For ages 13+ and adults

Running time approx 1 hr 15 mins

Post show discussion with Q&A 

Performed by Shelley O'Brien

Lead Devisor  Pete Baynes

Devised by the ensemble and Script by David Napthine

Directed by Nina Hajiyianni

Designed by Donald Marshall

Original Music by Patrick Dineen

Mentors: Paul Harman, Geof Keys

Science Advisors: Dr Steven Lavall & Dr Mojgan Reza, Centre For Life, Newcastle 

Audience Comments

Fantastic performance! ! Humour and emotion alike...must see production!!

I can honestly say it was one of the best plays I have seen!

A beautifully crafted, emotional rollercoaster. I cried so much I forgot to eat me Tunnocks tea cake

From the heart Shell, as was every word you spoke and every action you took last night. Inspirational! 

Bravo! That was such an excellent, funny, brave show.

Thoroughly enjoyed it, extremely moving but so thoughtfully and cleverly done.  

"Clearly an accomplished actress with lashings of charisma to boot with a powerful tale to tell. A play with a heart that beats strongly and within it one of the saddest, most touching scenes I have ever seen on stage." - Hexham Courant'

Surprisingly, given the subject matter, it’s a gentle piece. Suffused with sadness, of course, but we also feel the happiness of the family’s life together and the consolations of religion.  

In a piece which could, in other hands, involve much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, O’Brien finds the positive and the good, and that’s not just in David Napthine’s writing but it also arises from her performance, from her portrayal of Belinda who is so engaging, sweet, enthusiastic and full of life that she carries us along with her, through the happy and the sad times.

We are totally absorbed throughout the whole 75mins! Thanks to O'Brien's performance and the very sensitive and imaginative direction from Nina Hajiyianni.

Peter Lathan, British Theatre Guide 

 

"Thank you so much for coming to perform your play for us. It was just wonderful, moving and thought provoking. Our students loved it and have been talking about it all day!.” (Alison Burrows, Head Teacher Thornleigh Salesian College Bolton)

‘Students thoroughly enjoyed the journey of emotion and the rawness within the story.” (Grace Porter, Marketing Officer Woodham Academy, Newton Aycliffe)

The show opened at QUEEN'S HALL ARTS CENTRE, HEXHAM, NORTHUMBERLAND. NE46 3LS 5th & 6th May 2016 and toured throughout 2016 to the following venues:

WHITBY HALL, ACTION TRANSPORT THEATRE, ELLESMERE PORT, CHESHIRE. CH65 9AE 

WITHAM HALL, 3 HORSEMARKET, BARNARD CASTLE, CO.DURHAM DL12 8LY 

GREENFIELD ARTS CENTRE, NEWTON AYCLIFFE, CO.DURHAM

ST. JOHN'S R C SECONDARY SCHOOL, BISHOP AUCKLAND, CO.DURHAM 

THE LODGE, BLACKHILL & CONSETT HERITAGE PARK, CO.DURHAM 

WOLSINGHAM SECONDARY SCHOOL, CO.DURHAM 

KING EDWARD VTH SECONDARY SCHOOL, MORPETH, NORTHUMBERLAND 

WOODHAM SECONDARY SCHOOL, NEWTON AYCLIFFE, CO.DURHAM 

ST BEDE'S R C SECONDARY SCHOOL, LANCHESTER, CO.DURHAM

THORNLEIGH SLAESIAN COLLEGE, BOLTON, CHESHIRE 

GALA THEATRE, DURHAM 

HARTLEPOOL TOWN HALL THEATRE 

PHOENIX STUDIO THEATRE BLYTH 

NETHERBOW THEATRE, SCOTTISH STORYTELLING CENTRE, EDINBURGH 

ELECTRIC PICTURE HOUSE, CHESHIRE (CHESHIRE RURAL ARTS) 

WHITBY HALL, ELLESMERE PORT (CHESHIRE RURAL ARTS)

WETHERAL VILLAGE COMMUNITY HALL (HIGHLIGHTS RURAL TOURING)

AMBLE PARISH HALL (HIGHLIGHTS RURAL TOUIRNG)

WASHINGTON ARTS CENTRE 

WOODHOUSE CLOSE COMMUNITY CHURCH 

KING JAMES ACADEMY BISHOP AUCKLAND

Blackhill Comrades Club Community Venue

Woodhouse Close Church Community Centre

Linden Hall (North Tyneside NHS Trust Conference)

Consett Academy

Derwentside College

Darlington Secondary Schools/Academies/Colleges (Polam Hall, Hurworth, Queen Elizabeth, Carmel, Wyvern, Longfield, Education Village)

Darlington College

 

 


This production is supported using public funding by Arts Council England, Muscular Dystrophy UK through their Joseph Patrick Trust, PTC Therapeutics, Isos Housing, Unity Theatre Trust, Hadrian Trust, Split Infinitive Trust, Coalition Duchenne and John Owen’s Adventures.

 

Commissioned by Queen's Hall Arts, Hexham. 

 

Supported by Leisureworks, Durham County Council Arts Development Team and The Centre For Life Newcastle Upon Tyne. 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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