Paul Woodson as John (Photo: Keith Pattison. Source: Northern Stage - used with permission).
Close the Coalhouse Door will be performed at Northern Stage until 5 May. It will next be performed at the Richmond Theatre, 9-12 May.
Sam was interviewed on Night Waves earlier this week (the segment about the play starts at 33:40).
An interview with him in the April 2012 issue of Living North is now available online.
Below are some excerpts from reviews.
"Samuel West's lively Brechtian production glories in its ethos... Alex Glasgow's wonderful songs, inspired by Tyneside music hall, are crucial to the play's spirit."
"The actors all combine their theatrical roles with music and song with wonderful results... If you have the chance you must go and see it. The show deserves to be a success."
Jarrow & Hebburn Gazette
"Director West’s tight and inventive direction has cast members playing musical instruments, which adds a new dimension to the show.The cast are strong in what is an essentially ensemble piece."
"From a powerful opening, the production maintains a keen rhythm... The beautiful writing in this play strikes right to the heart."
"Spread over three acts, each is so compelling it feels like it lasts half the time... this remains a triumphant piece of theatre."
"Director Samuel West has revived it with grit and sheer unrestrained joy."
The Northern Echo
"It’s pitmatic, poetic and passionate... I won’t be surprised if it runs and runs and runs."
The Public Reviews
"The cast are to be commended for their energy, versatility and talent.Director, Samuel West, keeps the action moving. Darker moments of complete stillness starkly contrast to the slick humorous scenes, bringing their poignancy home."
"This new production is helped by superb casting. Under director Samuel West, the actors are thoroughly convincing in the play’s sudden shifts between pathos, lyricism and comedy. And they do justice to the fine music of Alex Glasgow and the prose of Sid Chaplin."
"[The play is performed] as a tour de force in acting, direction, comedy and musicianship... This production really has to be seen. I mean if you really appreciate good theatre, then you have to see it."
British Theatre Guide
"Under the direction of Samuel West, the cast of nine actor/musicians are a great ensemble, as they swap from scenes at the party to historical re-enactment or perform Alex Glasgow's often wickedly funny but hard-hitting songs."
"The play’s three acts, with additional material written by Lee Hall, direction by Sam West and design by Soutra Gilmour, rattle along... Grab a ticket where – and if – you can."