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UNDERWOOD LANE Gets World Premiere This Summer

The show opens in the newly refurbished Johnstone Town Hall (Thu 7 - Sat 9 July) before moving to the Tron Theatre (14-30 July).

UNDERWOOD LANE Gets World Premiere This Summer

Tron Theatre Company in a co-production with OneRen supported by funding from Future Paisley are delighted to finally be able to present John Byrne's Underwood Lane directed by Andy Arnold - two years on from the original planned world premiere. Opening in the newly refurbished Johnstone Town Hall (Thu 7 - Sat 9 July) before moving to the Tron Theatre (14-30 July), Underwood Lane is 'classic' Byrne.

Director Andy Arnold says of his production: 'When we realised that Underwood Lane would have to be postponed from 2020 to 2021, John Byrne said to me 'I've waited 16 years to get this show on, I can wait another year!' Well, as we now know, we have had to wait not one but two years - John and I, as well as all the cast and creative team, are champing at the bit to stage this brilliant piece of musical theatre.'

Victoria Hollows, Chief Executive of OneRen said: 'Paisley and Renfrewshire are known for their rich cultural heritage, and there is no doubt that this new piece of musical theatre is a wonderful addition. We are thrilled to be hosting the world premiere of John Byrne's Underwood Lane, made all the more special with two of the cast having local connections to Paisley. It's definitely been worth the wait, and we are looking forward to welcoming audiences to share in the experience.'

Written in tribute to Byrne's pal and Buddie, Gerry Rafferty, the play, set in 50s Paisley, is about fierce rivalry in life, love and the music business. Underwood Lane's Dessie (Marc McMillan) and Darkwood Crescent's Joey (Scott Fletcher) get a skiffle band together for an impromptu gig - uniting a group of young people whose paths might not ordinarily have crossed and whose lives are irreversibly changed by the catalogue of events that unfold.

Ten actor-musicians, including Martin Quinn and Santino Smith (recent Tron hit Moorcroft's Mince and Noodles respectively) Dani Heron and Hannah Jarrett-Scott (from Olivier Award-winning Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of)) drive forward the story through timeless late 50s/early 60s songs, under the musical direction of Hilary Brooks (Sunshine on Leith and Glasgow Girls).

Tron Theatre's Executive Director Sam Gough acknowledges the support of OneRen: 'We were delighted to be approached by OneRen to partner with them on creating this wonderfully ambitious, previously un-staged production from John Byrne. We are even more thankful that now, two years later, we are still able to celebrate John and the town of Paisley. Without OneRen's continued support this production would not be possible.'

Rikki Payne, OneRen's Arts Manager said: 'They say that all good things come to those who wait and now that Underwood Lane is finally being premiered in Renfrewshire, it's more than good - it's brilliant! It's fitting that one of Paisley's favourite sons, John Byrne, has his latest musical play - set in his home town and inspired by another famous Buddie, Gerry Rafferty premiered on stage in Renfrewshire.'

With set design by Becky Minto and costumes designed by John himself, Underwood Lane promises to be a stylish, pacy and darkly funny production with all the hallmarks of John's other iconic work for the stage and very special production for all lovers of Scottish theatre.

Underwood Lane opens at Johnstone Town Hall on Thursday 7th July and runs until Saturday 9th July. It then transfers to the Tron Theatre, where it will run from 14th-30th July.

Running time: approx. 90 mins (with a 20 minute interval)

Illustration credit: John Byrne



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