|David Cook and Peter Calvert|
GOING STRAIGHT ... starring David Cook and Peter Calvert.
CRIMINAL thespians will be going straight in their next play, which is dedicated in memory of a South Tyneside policeman.
Members of the Westovians will be performing Going Straight – a play following two of London’s toughest East End villains – next week.
However, it will be dedicated to an avid Westovian patron Chris Dew, who died suddenly on January 24, after heart failure.
The much-loved 58-year-old, from Beaconside, Marsden, South Shields, was a detective constable with Northumbria Police, and a member of the regional crime squad for many years.
Ruth Burn, the show’s producer, said: “Audiences will note from the programme that this play is dedicated to Chris.
“And this is a production we’re sure he wouldn’t have missed under any circumstances, bearing in mind the storyline.
“Chris’s long-term partner, Irene Tait, and his family kindly requested donations in lieu of flowers to be made to the Westovian Theatre.
“That’s a most generous gesture, which the society is more than honoured to accept. We are all humbled and touched by their kindness and support.”
The play, by the late Richard Harris, stars David Cook as Michael, the former head of a London gang now living the high life in southern Spain with his new wife, Francine (Mary Stephinson).
But Michael is paid a visit by his former right-hand man Ray (Peter Calvert) and his long-suffering wife Brenda (Val Dawson), who haven’t done quite as well as their former associates in crime.
However, when television researcher Polly (Amy Jeffles) is thrown into the mix, things begin to develop.
Ms Burn said: “The play, which is set in Spain, will inevitably draw comparisons to the 2000 film Sexy Beast, which starred Ray Winstone.
“But I know this does not deter our new director Dean Jukes.
“He’s had taken a number of ‘gangster’ films into consideration for this production, and feels the most successful of the genre take a gritty and realistic approach.”
* Going Straight runs from Monday to Saturday at Pier Pavilion in Pier Parade, South Shields.
Shows start at 7.30pm, Tickets cost £5 for performances on Monday and Tuesday, and £6 for the rest of the week.
To book, call the box office on 454 6612.