Booze-fuelled brawl at pub for Doncaster Still Open All Hours star

James Baxter with Sir David Jason in Still Open All Hours.
James Baxter with Sir David Jason in Still Open All Hours.
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A star of Doncaster filmed sitcom Still Open All Hours is to return to the town this month - for a booze-fuelled brawl in a pub.

Actor James Baxter, who stars opposite Sir David Jason in the revamped Balby shot corner shop comedy, will take centre stage at Cast for a gritty play which sees darts, pints and fists fly across the room.

James Baxter is returning to Doncaster for a third series of Still Open All Hours later this year.

James Baxter is returning to Doncaster for a third series of Still Open All Hours later this year.

Petrification, which comes to the venue on June 16, recreates the atmosphere of a booze-fuelled night out at the pub, as past and present collide with dizzying consequences.

Written by Zoe Cooper (Nativities, Live Theatre) and directed by Mark Maughan (National Theatre, Paines Plough), Petrification also stars Neil Grainger of BBC2’s Hebburn and Jamie Quinn (BBC Scotland’s The Still Game).

Mark said: “This is a play for anyone who’s ever left home and come back to find everything changed. And also for anyone who never went away in the first place. We hope the show is immersive, incisive and intoxicating.”

The audience will be thrust into the heart of one family’s search for truth as they join brothers Simon and Sean in a Gateshead “pub”.

Petrification comes to Cast on June 16.

Petrification comes to Cast on June 16.

Returning home from London, Simon is shocked to find Sean in a relationship with a man called Aidan. Sean is irritated by Simon’s new cosmopolitan ways. And Aidan? He just wants to be part of the family.

Class and geographical divide is at the heart of the conflict in the play, as writer Zoe Cooper explains: “I have wanted to write something about the north/south divide for a while, as well as the ways class can split a family – especially when everyone is forced to spend too much time together!”

The mystery in the play comes from a memory of a childhood trip to Whitby, and Zoe was inspiredby the different recollections of her family’s holiday to the same beach every year. She commented: “When I compare my memories to those of my sister’s I was really aware that there are loads of gaps and differences in what we recall.”

Presented by Telltale with LittleMighty, Petrification began its life at the Gateshead International Festival of Theatre (GIFT) in 2013, winning awards from Northern Stage and Live Theatre, and the two-act version went on to the final shortlist for the Kevin Spacey Foundation Award, from over 1000 applications.

James stars as Granville's son Leroy in the new BBC series of Still Open All Hours, a revamp of the 1970s classic Open All Hours, starring Ronnie Barker as stuttering shopkeeper Arkwright.

A third series of the show is set to be filmed at the converted Beautique hairdressing salon on the corner of Lister Avenue and Scarth Avenue in Balby in September.

Tickets for Petrification are £12.50 / £10.50 concessions available on 01302 303 959 or by visiting castindoncaster.com.