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James Graham to adapt Alan Bleasdale’s BOYS FROM THE BLACK STUFF for the stage

Credit: Liverpool’s Royal Court

The Agency is absolutely delighted to read the news that Alan Bleasdale’s iconic, ground breaking television series BOYS FROM THE BLACK STUFF is getting a new lease of life on stage as it was announced today that SHERWOOD writer James Graham will be adapting the series for Stockroom and Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre.

BOYS FROM THE BLACK STUFF will be directed by Stockroom Artistic Director Kate Wasserberg and will run at the Royal Court from 15 September to 28 October 2023.

James Graham and TALL client Alan Bleasdale (Credit Liverpool’s Royal Court)

Speaking today James Graham said: “Alan Bleasdale is one of the reasons I became a writer. Watching his work as I was growing up, hearing those voices and seeing those worlds, meant a lot to someone from my background. I could never have dared dream that years later I would be working with him, and on his most famous, heart-breaking, hilarious masterpiece. But Alan is the most generous and supportive of collaborators and it’s been one of the honours of my writing life thus far to work on this show.”

Alan Bleasdale. Photograph Credit: Colin McPherson/Corbis/Getty Images

Alan Beasdale added: “Almost all of my stage plays are set in one location and using real time. The one attempt I made to use multiple characters and multiple sets and the passage of time was a disaster. So, when the idea of the stage version of the series was suggested with James Graham as the writer I just thought: I don’t know how to do it. But James does. While I’m pleased that the work is still well regarded, the biggest sadness for me is that in the forty years since I wrote ‘The Boys from the Blackstuff’ we might have hoped that things would get better. But they haven’t. Have they?”

Set in Liverpool in the 1980s the series follows Chrissie, Loggo, George, Dixie and Yosser, who are used to providing for their families. Only, there’s no work and no money. Despite life’s hardships, the quintet will play the game, offering audiences laughter and tears along the way.

This is not one to be missed! Tickets are available here and read Vanessa Thorpe’s article in The Observer about the importance of Bleasdale’s writing here.