A Goth Weekend in Scarborough and Newcastle

Peter Lathan

Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre and Newcastle’s Live Theatre have joined together to co-produce Goth Weekend, a new comedy with music by Ali Taylor, whose play Cathy came to Northern Stage in January of this year and has just been awarded 5 stars by BTG reviewer Keith Mckenna at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Goth Weekend is a very different play. It tells the story of Anna who wants her recently bereaved dad, Ken, to get out more. To meet people. To start dating again. Then Belinda comes along. She’s the newly single singer in Belle Epoque, a Geordie Goth band, with her disgruntled teenage son, Simon (a.k.a. Bram), on keyboards. She’s a disaster—for Anna.

Ken has had his head turned and his wardrobe will never be the same again. Things get worse for Anna when Belinda and Bram, arriving in a customised purple hearse, move in, to rehearse for a gig at Goth Weekend in Whitby.

Belinda is played by Tyenside-based Jessica Johnson who last appeared at Live in Open Clasp’s Key Change, whilst the other three actors—Sean McKenzie (Ken), Amy Trigg (Anna) and Gurjeet Singh (Simon)—are making their Live Theatre debuts.

“This is a play that’s fundamentally about family,” said Taylor, “about growing up and working out who you are. It’s full of music, humour, jokes and fun but also, I hope, with a poignant core expressing what it’s like to be an outsider in today’s society.

“The inspiration came from a trip to Whitby Goth Weekend, which happens in spring and at Hallowe’en each year. Goths from all over the country come to Whitby to listen to some of the great music from the early '80s and '90s. It’s a warm-hearted comedy about a family of Goths from Gateshead playing a gig at Whitby Goth Weekend. We’ve got songs, laughs and brilliant costumes!”

Goth Weekend is directed by Stephen Joseph Theatre Artistic Director Paul Robinson and runs from 14 September to 7 October in Scarborough and from 11 to 28 October in Newcastle.