Durham’s Gala Theatre is to stage a play featuring a mix of shoulder pads, tiaras and … cheese and onion crisps.

Miss Crispy 1988 narrates the adventures of a bunch of north-east friends working in a crisp factory who get drawn into the world of beauty pageants. And it isn’t long before their lives are changed utterly.

The play draws its inspiration from a real north-east crisp factory – the KP plant in Billingham that was nicknamed The Crispy.

The Crispy was a major employer in the area and some of the stories of its workers have had an influence on the play. Theatregoers should expect Miss Crispy 1988 to be full of leg warmers, big hair and plenty of dry northern humour.

The play also explores the themes of love, female friendship and triumphing over adversity.

Written by David Tufnell, Miss Crispy 1988 is produced by Less Is More, a Middlesbrough-based company dedicated to telling the stories of ordinary working-class people.

Miss Crispy 1988 first toured the north east back in 2013, when it earned glowing reviews.

The play is directed by Laura Lonsdale, a Middlesbrough native who is currently starring as the genie in this year’s Gala panto, Aladdin. Laura has also taught at the Gala Theatre Stage School and has over the years cast some of the school’s former students in her productions.

Laura said, “It’s always a joy to come to the Gala Theatre. County Durham audiences are a pleasure to perform to and I know they will love Miss Crispy 1988.”

“It’s the tenth anniversary of Less is More this year and what better way to celebrate than to tour a show that epitomises what we are all about: honesty, drama and humour.”

David Tufnell said, “I think Miss Crispy has received such a positive reaction because it’s a story that is set in our region with characters people can relate to.”

“Those of us who lived through the 1980s will enjoy the sense of nostalgia it evokes – the music, the clothes, the big perms.”

“However, the 1980s were also an important period in history and a time of great change, especially for women. This is explored in the play through the thoughts, experiences and ambitions of five unique but very relatable female characters.”

Miss Crispy 1988 will be performed at the Gala Theatre on Friday 17th January at 7.30 pm.

Tickets for the play cost £15, £13 for concessions and £12 for Gala members. To purchase tickets or learn more, please go to http://www.galadurham.co.uk/ or telephone 03000 266 600.

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