old manStrictly Ballroom meets Britain’s Got Talent in Ray Herman’s THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON’T THEY? – a rarely-performed evocation of a 1930s Los Angeles dance marathon where contestants compete for the elusive possibility of fame and fortune.

A shabby Depression-era ballroom serves as a haunting symbol for the struggle for survival as couples are provided with food and shelter for as long as they can keep moving, encouraged by a relentlessly cheerful MC (Steve Robertson, pictured). 

But beneath the revelry lies a seedy underworld of dark secrets; and those dance hall spectators want blood …

Horace McCoy’s celebrated 1935 novel is best known via Sydney Pollack’s Oscar-nominated 1969 film, starring Jane Fonda. But requiring a live band and a cast of over 30, this epic tale is notoriously difficult to stage and hasn’t been seen in Newcastle for over 20 years. So we are particularly proud to be bringing this seldom-presented tale back to Tyneside.

Co-directors Tony Childs and Sarah McLane say: “We’ve got a team of 65 working on this show. Most professional companies can’t stage it as it’s simply too expensive and needs such a large cast. We’re lucky enough as a non-professional company to have a stage large enough and a pool of actors strong enough to do it justice. It’s a tremendous piece of theatre – exciting, entertaining and very moving. We can’t wait to get it out there and in front of an audience.”

LISTINGS INFORMATION: THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON’T THEY? by Ray Herman, adapted from the novel by Horace McCoy

DATE: Tuesday 19 to Saturday 23 May 2015

TIME: 7.30pm

VENUE: The People’s Theatre, Stephenson Road, Newcastle upon Tyne,

TICKETS: £13.50 (Concessions £11)

TELE: 0191 265 5020 (option 2)

WEBSITE: www.peoplestheatre.co.uk