FROM rag and bones to theatre riches, a TV classic is being adapted for the stage this March.
Steptoe & Son, the long-running BBC sitcom which was a family favourite during the 1960s and 70s, will be plying its trade at Northern Stage next month.
An adaptation by Emma Rice of innovative Cornwall-based theatre company Kneehigh is bringing back to life put-upon Harold and wily old dad Albert.
The antics of the rag and bone men will be based on the original scripts, with Mike Shepherd playing Albert and Dean Nolan making his Kneehigh debut as Harold.
The designer, meanwhile, will be Neil Murray – long-time Kneehigh collaborator and Northern Stage’s former associate director and designer.
Emma, who said she both laughed and cried while reading the scripts, says: “The words, situations and basic genius of this script are all the work and imagination of Ray Galton and Alan Simpson.
“The work is deeper, darker and more intricate than I’d ever realised while watching as a child.
“I’ve tried to enable and reveal the heartbreaking and perfectly observed characters that had generations glued to their TVs for over a decade.
“I am so lucky – I feel I am walking through history: my parents’, my grandparents’ and my own.”
The scriptwriters in turn said: “We were always great admirers of Emma Rice’s work so when she asked if she could do Steptoe & Son we had no hesitation in giving her our blessing, and we were right.
“She has triumphed again.”
The co-production with West Yorkshire Playhouse will run in Newcastle from March 12 to 16.
For tickets, visit www.northernstage.co.uk or call 0191 230 5151.