Main stage: The Boro’s 37 minutes

the-boros-37-minsTEESSIDE football fans and theatre-lovers can now snap up tickets for a dramatic play celebrating the 25th anniversary of Boro’s rebirth.

The Boro’s 37 Minutes takes to the stage from Monday, December 5 to Saturday, December 10, at Teesside University in Middlesbrough.

Directed by Middlesbrough supporter Alan Spence and starring local amateur actors, it recreates the drama and magic as Boro bounced back from the brink after coming within 37 minutes of folding during the summer of 1986.

Through the eyes of Lisa, the story’s main character, and her son Sean, the play follows the fortunes of the club and fans from the brink of bankruptcy to victory in the 2004 Carling Cup final.

As the crowd’s songs and chants punctuate the action, themes cover leaving school, starting a family, racism, football worship, the economic downturn, the national perception of Teesside and the future.

Act one covers a 10-year era to 1995, taking in the football club’s liquidation, the 1990 ZDS Cup final, relegations, promotions and the departure from Ayresome Park.  Act two takes in the move to the Riverside, the Carling Cup and European adventures, right up to 1986 captain Tony Mowbray’s Boro return.

Alan, whose company Theatre is Real Life produced the play, said: “This is a truly exciting play about the football club, Teesside and its people. It’s about remembering the past and creating the future and covers so many themes that run through both football and life.

“It stars many local amateur actors and actresses – most of them Boro fans – and has a real passion and emotion running through it.

“Any Boro fans who wouldn’t normally attend the theatre should make an exception for Boro’s 37 Minutes because this play is about them.” The play is part of Middlesbrough 86, a groundbreaking history, sport, theatre and education project launched by Boro manager Tony Mowbray and supported by a £42,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  Adults tickets are priced £5 for the opening night and £9 for the rest of the week, with concessions £7.

They are available from Middlesbrough Town Hall box office or by calling 01642 729729 or 815181.

The play takes place in the Main Hall, Brittan Building, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, which is accessible via either Southfield Road or Borough Road. Doors open at 6.45pm with a 7.30pm start.