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Site-specific play set to heat up former potbank

Following on from their critically acclaimed sell-out production, DIRTY LAUNDRY, Stoke-on-Trent based Claybody Theatre Company will once again transport the city’s iconic Spode Works back to the 1950s for their latest production – HOT LANE.

Written and directed by award-winning team Deborah McAndrew and Conrad Nelson, HOT LANE is a powerful tale of passion and betrayal in the 6 Towns…

Autumn 1956. The dance halls are full, the nights are drawing in, and a mysterious woman returns to the Potteries after many years away. Her presence reopens old wounds and stirs secret desires. But why did she leave so suddenly thirteen years ago… and why has she now come back?

This ambitious site-specific play, supported by Arts Council England, will take its audience to part of the iconic industrial space which will be converted into a theatre, with a set recreating the dance halls and homes of 1950s Stoke-on-Trent.

Playwright Deborah McAndrew said about her new play “This play grew directly out of the huge success of DIRTY LAUNDRY. Listening to the play every night I realised that I hadn’t quite finished with some of these characters, and there were more stories to tell about Stoke-on-Trent in the 1950s.

I’ve called the play HOT LANE after an old street in Burslem. The play is set in this part of the city, and this name seemed perfect for the passions and the pressures that my characters feel in the story. All of them, in some way, take the hot lane!

Director Conrad Nelson says ‘Once again we aim to offer the audience an immersive experience in a familiar industrial space that has been transformed. We will tell a compelling story inspired by the unique history and culture of Stoke, but one that also feels contemporary and relevant to people’s lives today.’

Producer Helen Slevin says ‘We’re delighted to have achieved another substantial award from Arts Council England to make theatre in Stoke-on-Trent. We believe this is due to the high quality of our work, and the genuine desire of people in Stoke-on-Trent for a vibrant Arts scene – with all the social, cultural and economic benefits it brings.’

Claybody Theatre is a Stoke-on-Trent based company whose work is inspired by the lives and experiences of local people. Founded by playwright Deborah McAndrew and director Conrad Nelson, the company’s work includes the highly successful Ugly Duck, first performed at the Burslem School of Art and then at the New Vic Theatre; Digging In, a play for schools about children of mining families during the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike; and Dirty Laundry, a domestic thriller presented in Spode last year (2017).

HOT LANE will premiere at the Spode Works in Stoke from 14-24 November. To book tickets visit