A NEW play about a forgotten musical hall legend is to be premiered in Durham next month.

Mr Corvan's Music Hall is the latest offering from Ed Waugh, the North-East playwright who co-wrote A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Durham, Alf Ramsay Knew My Grandfather and Maggie's End.

Then came Ed's self-penned smash hit Hadaway Harry, which sold out the Gala in 2015 before transferring to Putney in London and Newcastle Theatre Royal, where it received standing ovations and five-star reviews.

His new work, which is being produced in association with Gala theatre and Sunday for Sammy, and receives its world premiere at the Gala between May 25 and 27.

Ned Corvan was the first professional North East singer/songwriter who was the most famous entertainer in the region between 1854 and his death, aged 37, in 1865.

Ed explained his fascination with the forgotten superstar: "Ned was a comedian and virtuoso violinist who also drew cartoons on stage. He penned around brilliant 120 songs and was loved throughout the North East.

"Ned played venues like the Wear Music Hall in Sunderland which had a capacity of 4,000 and he played to full houses. There was no amplification.

"He was a big favourite in Consett and Stanley, where there were three thriving music halls in the mid-19th century."

Ed added: "The play contains original music by Ned Corvan and has had the tremendous input of Benny Graham (Pitman Poets) and Johnny Handle; we have brought to life 20 of Ned's brilliant songs against a backdrop of a dramatic, funny but tragic story.

"When people see the show they will understand the passion we have for Ned's music and the brilliant legacy he left us."

The show stars Chris Connel (Pitman Painters, UK and Broadway), Jamie Brown (Hadaway Harry, and Culture 2016 Performing Artist of the Year) and Rachael McShane (ex-violinist of national folk stars Bellowhead). Gareth Tudor Price (West End credits and Hull Truck) will direct.

Mr Corvan's Music Hall premieres at Gala theatre on Thursday to Saturday, May 25 to 27 at 7.30pm, including a Saturday matinee and then tours the region, including Alun Armstrong Theatre, Stanley, on Wednesday, June 7 at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £15.

Contact Gala on 0300 026 6600 and Alun Armstrong Theatre on (01207) 299110.