The D-Road Review

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Riana Duce as Lois. Image by Andrew Billington

Anyone who lives in and around Stoke-on-Trent will know of the A500, also known as the D-Road – a major primary road with most of its length connecting Junctions 16 and 15 of the M6 Motorway.

Since the road opened some 40-odd years ago it has proven to be highly divisive and Claybody Theatre’s latest play depicts this in a true fashion…

Written and directed by award-winning husband and wife team, Deborah McAndrew and Conrad Nelson and performed in the perfect location at Spode Works, the D-Road takes you on an unforgettable journey not only through, Nana/ Pam’s life, but also her cosy living room.

Pam’s house is right on the edge of the A500, which has its own implications as she has a fear of roads.

Doting grandson Liam is keen to support his Nana but is torn between her and girlfriend Lois, who desperately wants to move to Manchester where she believes the grass will be greener.

Add into the mix the mysterious Marcus, who claims to be a professor of archaeology and convinces Pam and Liam there is buried treasure in their back garden, only to bring chaos to the household.

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Jack Wilkinson (L) as Liam, Angela Bain (R) as Pam/Nana, Michael Hugo (C) as Marcus. Image by Andrew Billington.

Drama unfolds, tensions run high between Liam and Lois as one wants to move but the other one doesn’t, Pam’s health suffers due to the fear of seeking help for an ever increasing tooth ache and Marcus digs up more than he bargained for in the garden.

As much as their is drama, the D-Road has humour throughout. Clever jokes about oatcakes and how the D-Road got it’s name will resonate with anyone who is familiar with Stoke-on-Trent.

Pam’s fear of roads is duly tested in the closing scenes and before the end of the play, she is helped by Liam to cross the most important road in her life.

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Michael Hugo as Marcus. Image by Andrew Billington.

Michael Hugo, who is a regular at the New Vic Theatre, is an absolute star playing Marcus to perfection, Jack Wilkinson is convincing as Liam and Angela Bain is a true delight to watch as Pam.

In the opening scene we are treated to an up-beat colourful musical number with Riana Duce – who shone right throughout the play – singing the lead beautifully.

From the moment you stepped inside Spode Works the added props and vacant cars set the scene for what was a thoroughly enjoyable and masterful play – thank you Claybody Theatre!

**The D-Road is running until 26 October. For more information click here.