Wedding Of The Year Play To Be Staged In Newcastle

The annual Newcastle Summer Season programme welcomes The Bart Players with their comedy drama, Wedding of the Year by Norman Robbins, at 8pm on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 August at the Newcastle Centre, Central Promenade in Newcastle.

[caption id="attachment_51043" align="alignleft" width="360"]The Bart players in action. The Bart players in action.[/caption]

Alison Murchison, at first glance, wouldn’t strike you as a typical heroine; she isn’t tall, slim and blonde, with perfect hair and perfect teeth. No-one has faith in Alison except her Uncle Frank, who has the good sense to look beyond surface appearances and enter Alison as a prospective candidate in a Wedding of the Year competition.

Uncle Frank organises everything from the dress to the catering. The only thing left is to find her someone to marry! His eye falls on Melvyn, a frustrated inventor and an appallingly clumsy young man.  However, you know what they say about the best-laid plans! Throw in two crazy aunts and a neighbour you’ll love to hate and Wedding of the Year is guaranteed to deliver a great night at the theatre.

Norman Robbins, one of Amateur Theatre’s most popular authors, wrote his first stage show almost 60 years ago whilst working for the Yorkshire Evening Post.  An avid theatre-goer, he was equally fascinated by operettas, musical comedies, oratorios, plays and pantomimes.  A keen amateur actor and frustrated musician, he began directing plays aged 18 and in his mid 20’s made his professional debut, appearing in pantomime with Ken Dodd.

masksIn 1979 Robbins was invited, as a visiting professor, to teach at Iowa State University, where he directed one of his own pantomimes, as a result of which his version of Cinderella became the first pantomime to be staged in New York for almost 100 years.  On his return to Britain he gave a number of lectures on pantomime history and for the next twenty years continued his acting, directing, lecturing and writing career, until his retirement from the stage in 1999.

The Bart Players are an amateur drama group based in Stranmillis, Belfast. The group produce and perform three shows per season in their home venue in Stranmillis and in a variety of venues around Northern Ireland.  They entertain audiences both near and far with shows ranging from light comedy to serious drama, and everything in between. The membership of Bart Players is wide and varied, drawing people from all age ranges and sections of the community.

Above all, their purpose is to entertain their audiences and have fun doing it! The group welcome new members with open arms, so if you would like to get involved, either as a member of cast or crew, simply talk to a member of the group after the performances in Newcastle or visit their Facebook page: To purchase tickets (£10 / £8) and for further information on any Down Arts Centre events, please contact the box office on 028 4461 0747. The complete Down Arts Centre Season Programme is available to download at:]]>