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Tuesday, 07 July 2015

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Play on! Rugby tale will grace the Workington stage

Rugby anecdotes from local people will be featured in a play written to celebrate the Rugby League World Cup’s arrival in Workington later this year.

RUGBY anecdotes from local people will be featured in a play written to celebrate the Rugby League World Cup’s arrival in Workington later this year.

Trying For The World is being created through the Theatre Royal on Washington Street to tie in with the high profile games.

Derwent Park will host Scotland’s two group games against Tonga on October 29, and Italy on November 3.

Ian Hinde, 53, production director, will base the play on the stories of local rugby league players, their families, fans, backroom staff and officials.

He said: “The plan is that the story will follow a young boy whose hero plays for the team and wants to be like his hero when he grows up, and an established player who wants to play for the national team but faces a series of disappointments along the way.

“A number of questions remain to be answered and the Theatre Royal is asking for local people to get involved in helping to answer them.

“For example, what was it like for the wives, girlfriends or children when the players were away on tour for three months, or how does it feel joining a team which includes players you admire, or what extreme measures do devoted fans have to take to get to games?”

Mr Hinde, who works for Allerdale council and is a member of the Workington Playgoers Group, said it would be a community project.

He is particularly keen to speak to any players who remember the tour of 1958, when the Great Britain rugby league toured Australia and New Zealand, and also those who remember the 1963 World Cup.

He added: “I want to look at the stories of a couple of local players who were involved in playing at a national and international level.

“I want to draw in elements to make the story complex but it won’t be about a specific person. It will be an amalgam of lots of different stories.”

Mr Hinde has been consulting with local rugby league expert Joe Holliday and Dave Bowden, Rugby League World Cup representative for Workington.

Mr Hinde said: “I am looking for people with interesting anecdotes, and stories they can tell. I would also be happy to go out to groups if they already meet together.”

Pat Brinicombe, of the Playgoers, said: “It’s an excellent idea. There is a big tradition of rugby league in this area.”

Mr Bowden added: “This is a really interesting project to take a sport which is embedded in the culture of West Cumbria and then make it into a play.

“I can’t wait to see how these stories and anecdotes will be portrayed on the stage. It is perfect timing for the World Cup and it is fantastic to have a celebration of what this sport means to West Cumbria. Our supporters are looking forward to giving some of their memories up and to find out how they are interpreted.”

Mr Hinde is due to meet with some of the supporters on April 12.

But those who wish to share their stories can email tryingfortheworld@gmail.com or go along to the Theatre Royal on Washington Street on Tuesday April 23 at 7pm.

The Playgoers also want to hear from actors, scenery builders and shifters, musicians and stage crew interested in being involved in the performance.

l Have you got any West Cumbrian rugby league memories? The Times & Star would love to hear from you – email news.ts@cnmedia.co.uk or log on to www.timesandstar.co.uk to share your story!

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