Crime thriller on track to make début at Yorkshire Festival

Matthew Booth

Andrew Martin’s Edwardian crime thriller, The Last Train To Scarborough is set to be premièred at The Stephen Joseph Theatre as a highlight of the Yorkshire Festival.

Yorkshire, 1914. Railway fireman, Ray Blackburn, worked the last train from York to Scarborough, stayed the night at The Paradise guest house, and was never seen again.

Detective Sergeant Jim Stringer is sent to investigate Ray’s disappearance.

Four suspects live at The Paradise: the beautiful proprietor Amanda Rickerby; her damaged brother Adam; cultured bon viveur Howard Fielding and his lecherous associate Theo Vaughan.

Will Jim Stringer solve the mystery before he himself becomes the murderer’s second victim?

The Last Train To Scarborough is a multimedia adaptation from his detective series of novels featuring Jim Stringer.

It is being presented in association with the National Railway Museum in York and adapted and directed for stage by SJT Artistic Director Chris Monks.

Said Chris: “Being part of the Yorkshire Festival is an excellent opportunity to highlight the many fantastic and varied cultural offerings that our region offers, and in this play, from our story to our cast and filmic elements, we can certainly say that we’re Yorkshire and proud!

“We’ve filmed at the National Railway Museum and around Scarborough to create our trailer and teasers as well as sequences to be projected onto the stage.

“Theatre is constantly evolving and we’re finding innovative ways to enhance storytelling.

“This is about bringing together people’s imagination and using the technical expertise of the theatre to show the quality of work we can do with the resources we have available.”

Henrietta Duckworth, executive producer of Yorkshire Festival 2014, said: “The Last Train To Scarborough, at the iconic Stephen Joseph Theatre, is a major production in the Yorkshire Festival’s 100-day calendar.

“Throughout the Yorkshire Festival we are celebrating the imagination, ingenuity and vision of our county’s world-class artists and this production is exemplary.

“From Andrew Martin’s original York-based detective and Chris Monks’ script and direction to the multimedia, physically audacious design all performed by a cracking cast, this is the best of theatre practice brilliantly executed.

“It’s going to be a highly visual, edge-of-your-seat Yorkshire thriller so get to Scarborough and enjoy.”

SJT regular Matthew Booth (Emmerdale) is Jim Stringer and appears with Leeds-born Steve Huison (Coronation Street; The Full Monty) as Howard Fielding.

The rest of the cast includes Andy Cryer (A Government Inspector, Northern Broadsides) as Theo Vaughan, Jennifer Bryden and Amanda Rickerby.

The Last Train To Scarborough plays in the Round from Friday 30 May to Saturday 14 June.

Yorkshire Festival 2014 is the first ever arts festival to precede the Grand Départ in its 111 year history.

From almost 400 bids, The Last Train To Scarborough is one of 47 projects commissioned to be officially part of the 100-day festival – which also includes hundreds of fringe events and runs until 6 July.

Visit www.yorkshirefestival.co.uk, for more details about the festival.

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