In June 2009 Cloud Nine launched its three year New Writing partnership with The Customs House, by presenting three brand new one-act plays from aspiring Northern writers.

Second Most Disappointing, by Alison Carr, is set at the foot of The Angel of the North where a bickering step-father and -daughter are on a day out.

Double Nuts, by Louise Gallagher, is located in a mental health institute where a patient plans her escape. (Read Louise Gallagher's account of the development of this play in our July 2009 newsletter.)

Mind Games, by Joe Gallagher, takes place in a gents' toilet during an engagement party, when an unexpected guest turns up.

In all three contrasting plays, appearances can be deceptive.

Reviews in the Press...

There's such promise here we could easily be witnessing tomorrow's theatrical big hitters... a cracking night out.

Ed Waugh, The Northern Echo

Unreal was the first fruit of a new three year new writing collaboration between North Tyneside's Cloud Nine theatre company and South Shields' Customs House, three new short plays by northern writers.

The cast of Unreal: left to right
Louis Roberts, Christina Berriman Dawson, Chris Connel and Tracy Gillman

Fielding's tight direction and a very talented cast, together with some clearly very promising writers (although it has to be said that, although Gallagher and McLaughlan are new writers, Carr already has a good track record), combine to make this first part of the three year collaboration an undoubted huge success - and a hard act to follow.

Peter Lathan, The British Theatre Guide

All in all, these three plays - all directed by Jackie Fielding and featuring the same four actors - are engaging and witty. They tackle some really difficult subject matters with intelligence and sensitivity.

Victoria Watson, Evening Chronicle

Even scene changes here are entertaining... Jackie Fielding's unfussy direction and a group of highly watchable actors bring out the humour and sensitivities in each play.

Emily Taylor, The Journal

A scene from Double Nuts

Louis Roberts and Chris Connel
in Mind Games by Joe McLaughlin

The Customs House and Cloud Nine Productions are to be commended for their determination in showcasing the work of upcoming new playwrights and their foresight looks set to ensure that live theatre in the North East has an exciting and vibrant future ahead.

Ian Cain, The Public Reviews

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