A COMPELLING play placing the spotlight on humanity in crisis in the Syrian conflict is coming to Durham as part of a national tour.

Spring Reign by award-winning writer Rob Johnston will be at the Durham Assembly Rooms at 7pm on Wednesday May 31.

Extensively researched and based on first-hand accounts of the conflict, this hard-hitting and moving dramatic performance is grounded and authentic, helping the audience to understand more about the appalling circumstances surrounding the current crisis in Syria and beyond.

Personal stories were collected from Syrian refugees, aid workers, activists, journalists and photographers, many having escaped the brutality of the war, but all with family and friends either missing, dead, displaced, or trapped by the violence and chaos that has descended on Syria.

The play takes place in Aleppo, an ancient city under siege and at the heart of the Syrian conflict.

Home to Salah and Aisha, they have lost control of their lives and are plunging headlong into an uncertain future.

The Syria they hoped to change is gone, in its place, violence and destruction - the unflinching brutality of war.

The production has been developed by the same creative partnership behind the highly-acclaimed War Stories, theatre maker Benedict Power and writer Rob Johnston.

With strong characters and a dynamic and expressive narrative, live original music performed by Chris Davies and frontline photography by Musa Chowdhury and Daniel Leal-Olivas, audiences have been moved to tears by a story that focuses on the personal human cost of the war in Syria.

With the conflict now into its sixth year and the plight of ordinary Syrians having long been overtaken by the potential threat of ISIS, a refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East, and extreme and divisive politics sweeping the globe, this story is far from over - with Syria and its people condemned to ever more suffering. Against the rising tide of fear and ‘fake news’ the company are committed to bringing the lives of those worst affected by the crisis to the forefront, to question what is happening to the people of Syria and to provide a platform where these discussions can take place.

The show is developed in association with Rethink Rebuild Society, a community organisation representing and supporting Syrians living in Manchester.

Extensive research and continued engagement with Syrian people makes this an authentic story, and audiences can find out more about the realities of the country and conflict through discussion with representatives from the Syrian community and those connected to the crisis after each performance, including aid workers, conflict journalists, activists and academics.

The company also intend to raise awareness of the UK registered charity, Syria Relief ... www.syriarelief.org.uk

Initially developed for a short performance at Imperial War Museum North in 2013, the full-length play was further developed and premiered at The Lowry Studio, Salford and Theatre in the Mill, Bradford in May 2015. The national tour is made possible through generous support from Arts Council England, The Lipman-Miliband Trust, The Arab British Centre and The Unity Theatre Trust.

Tickets are £10 full/£8 concession - visit the assemblyrooms.theatre@durham.ac.uk or box office on 0191-334 1419.