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The Crack Magazine

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Home Truths

1951 saw a third of Country Durham’s villages deemed no longer worthy of investment and were expected to die quietly. But they wouldn’t. ‘A Way Home’ is coming to Gala Theatre in Durham before touring the north-east.

These houses were officially classified as ‘D’, which didn’t mean Delightful. They were written off and condemned, but not by the people who lived in them. As one character in Christina Castling’s new play states: “This house isn’t unfit for habitation. We’re inhabiting it. It’s been habitated for 100 years!” ‘A Way Home’ is rooted in the stories and memories of the very people who called those D villages home, and a countrywide fight – lasting over 25 years – becomes a 12-month journey at Bet’s kitchen table as she confronts what loss really looks like. With bags of humour, tenderness and no little grit, ‘A Way Home’ speaks of fighting to be heard when no one’s listening – a story that has plenty of echoes today. JL

A Way Home, Tuesday 7 June, Gala Theatre, Durham, 7.30pm, from £14, galadurham.co.uk. The play then tours to The Witham, Arts Centre Washington, Alnwick Playhouse, Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Live Theatre and more. Details: christinacastling.co.uk