CLOUD NINE - THE TROUBADOURS TOUR
OFF THE WALL
When the ruthless entrepreneur Lionel Loot plans to buy the Roman Wall and turn it into the world's longest theme park, it sets off a chain of unpredictable events which form the basis of Peter Mortimer's play Off the Wall.
The play was specifically written to be walked along all 73 miles of Hadrian's famous monument during August 2004, in a unique theatrical adventure.
The fast-paced comic satire, directed by Jackie Fielding, was performed by six members of Cloud Nine Theatre Company, a Tyneside based company which only commissions new plays from Northern Writers.
Off the Wall premiered at Bowness-on-Solway on Thursday August 19 and next day the actors set off walking on their nine venue, ten day trek which brought live theatre to the kind of small remote areas usually overlooked. The tour ended at Segedunum, Wallsend on Saturday August 28.
The Play was performed at the following venues:
19th August Bowness-on-Solway, Lindow Hall
20th August Kirkandrews on Eden, Beaumont Parish Hall
21st August Newtown Village Hall
22nd August Gilsland Village Hall
23rd August Twice Brewed Inn
25th August Humshaugh Village Hall
26th August Robin Hood Inn
27th August Throckley Community Hall
28th August Segedunum Roman Fort
Demand for the play brought two extra post-tour bookings, at The Magnesia Bank, North Shields on Monday August 30th (complete with Roman banquet) and on Tuesday Aug 31st at Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields.
One special feature was 23 workshops, organised along the line of the wall and held close to the venues before the play arrived. The workshops were in visual arts, drama and writing, and involved local schools, WI, community, theatre and youth groups for all ages and abilities. Among other things it meant each performance had its own painted backdrop to the play, created by members of its own community. These backdrops remain with the community as a permanent memento of the occasion.
The actors used a special fitness programme, devised by The Milestones Health Club, Walbottle, to ensure that they had peak levels of fitness for the walking of the Tour. The Milestones Health Club is located exactly on the line of Hadrian's Wall.