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Making a drama in the month of May

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Published on 26 April 2018

Hamlet will be performed as part of Sunfest 2018
Hamlet will be performed as part of Sunfest 2018

A retelling of Hamlet takes centre stage at Arts Centre Washington as part of the annual arts festival ‘Sunfest’ throughout the month of May.

University of Sunderland drama students are staging a series of critically acclaimed plays as part of Sunfest 2018, presenting some unforgettable nights of drama.

‘Sunfest’ is organised by the University’s Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries and will see students take over the Theatre space at Arts Centre Washington during May to run their own exciting programme of theatre.  This will be the sixth year that the festival of drama has taken place.

Arabella Plouviez, Academic Dean in Arts and Creative Industries, said: “Sunfest is an exciting time for our drama students, when they get the opportunity to really show off their skills, collectively, and perform at Arts Centre Washington. The range of works is really challenging and the students have worked very hard, along with the academics, to present what will be some excellent performances.

“Sunfest is always a great experience for students and for the audiences who come along, and I’m sure that this year will be just as rewarding as it has been in previous years.”

Matthew Blyth, Audience Development Officer at Arts Centre Washington, added:“We are delighted that once again Sunderland students are returning to Arts Centre Washington and look forward to seeing their hard work come to life on stage.

“These students represent a future generation of artists who we hope will go on to live, work and thrive in the cultural landscape of the North East and beyond.”

This year’s Sunfest performances include:


An imaginative retelling of Shakespeare’s story about the Prince of Denmark. Having lost his father, Hamlet is shocked to find his mother Gertrude has been remarried to his uncle Claudius; his dead father’s brother. Their ‘foul incest marriage’, Hamlet’s tortured relationship with his mother, a visitation from his father’s ghost, and his quest to avenge his father’s murder leads Hamlet on a path of revenge with tragic consequences.

10 May 2018, 7.30pm
Tickets £7.50 / £6 (conc)

Thorns of Time

May 16 1998, Durham. We join a group of children at Olivia’s 10th birthday party. No one was to foresee the tragedy that was to unfold and the trauma that will follow them into adulthood. We see relationships blossom and die, mental illnesses take control and how the group of friends deal with seeing each other 20 years later. 

Suitable for ages 12+, contains some content that audience members may find upsetting.

16 May 20187.30pm
Tickets £7.50 / £6 (conc)

ShutdOwn / The Photographs We’re Taking Now

A double bill of new writing.

Shutd0wn - A cautionary tale for the millennial generation, as 3 children enter the gaming world the audience experience a new form of video gaming and the dangers behind the television screen.

The Photographs We’re Taking Now - What do you do when someone you love goes missing? Do you search? Do you hope? Do you grieve? For how long? This piece explores the stories of missing people from the perspective of those left behind as they struggle to come to terms with the unknown.

18 May 20187.30pm
Tickets £7.50 / £6 (conc)

For more information click here