World premiere at Dundee Rep

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Dundee Rep’s current production comes from a familiar source but is very much a one-off as it was written specifically for the theatre’s ensemble.

‘Cars and Boys’, by Stuart Paterson, received its world premiere at the Rep on Friday and will run until next Saturday (April 26).

This is a blackly comic and profoundly moving portrait of a towering woman battling with her mortality.

Catherine Miller (played by Dundee Rep Ensemble member Ann Louise Ross) lies in her hospital bed, felled by a stroke, and rails at the doctors and nurses, but her life as the boss of a major haulage company was never going to make her a model patient.

As she drifts in and out of consciousness, all the significant people in her life - grandson, daughter, and the ghosts of her youth - drift in and out of sight. What price has she paid for success?

Stuart Paterson is one of Scotland’s leading playwrights, best known in the area for his much-loved versions of Christmas family shows which have become a regular part of the Rep’s winter programmes.

But his children’s plays, first performed at The Citizens’ Theatre in Glasgow, Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum, Newcastle Playhouse and Birmingham Stage, have found a wider audience and have been staged throughout the UK, and recently in the USA, Finland, Holland, Sweden and Norway.

His work extends beyond productions for children, however, and he also wrote ‘King of the Fields’ for the Traverse Theatre, as well as new versions of Chekhov’s ‘The Cherry Orchard’, ‘Uncle Vanya’ and ‘The Seagull’. His work for television includes ‘The Old Course’ and the film ‘Workhorses’, which won the BBC Pharic Mclaren Award for best script and best production.

Directed by Dundee Rep’s artistic director Philip Howard and designed by Scottish theatre designer Lisa Sangster, ‘Cars and Boys is performed in a transverse-seating auditorium on the Rep’s main stage, providing an intimate theatrical experience, with performances starting at 7.30 p.m. nightly with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30 p.m.

There will be a complete change of pace between Thursday, May 1 and Saturday, May 3 when ‘‘Allo ‘Allo – Le Dinner Show’ takes to the stage.

Starting at 7.30 p.m., the show is a hilarious site-specific tribute to the very popular 80s sitcom, performed in the fabulous 1914 restaurant as the audience dines, enjoying a delicious three-course meal.

The diners are transported back to the 1940s as Rene’, his wife Edith and the loving waitress Yvette, perform this live comedy dinner theatre show, as if they were on set in the famous Café Rene’. Guests of honour attending tonight’s dinner will be Head of Gestapo, Herr Flick and the very camp German officer Lieutenant Gruber.

Also on May 3, fans of the hit TV show ‘Downton Abbey’ are in for a treat as impressionist Luke Kemper brings his one-man show to the Rep. A sell-out at last year’s Edinburgh Festival, ‘The Only Way is Downton’ is sure to wow the local audience. As celebrities start appearing at the Abbey, cultures clash and eras hilariously collide in this brilliant parody which begins at 7.30 p.m.

In ‘A Slow Air’ by David Harrower, on May 13 and 14, sibling tensions are to the fore; Morna and Atholl are brother and sister but haven’t spoken to each other for 15 years. Morna’s son, Joshua, is turning 21 – and he’s planning a party. It’s going to be a night to remember!

Bookings can be made by calling 01382 223530 or online at www.dundeerep.co.uk