Tron Theatre and co-producing partners Renfrewshire Leisure should have been presenting the world premiere of John Byrne’s new work, Underwood Lane directed by Andy Arnold this July. The production, a companion piece to The Slab Boys inspired by the Paisley of Byrne’s youth, had been much anticipated by audiences and many tickets were sold in advance.
Telling the tale of a young skiffle band trying to make it, Underwood Lane has it all: style, fierce love rivalry, broken hearts, dodgy dealers, religion, sex and death and is written in memory of John’s Paisley buddy, Gerry Rafferty, who was born and brought up on the titular street.
With the global pandemic throwing the entire theatre world into darkness, the Tron instead has had to focus its efforts elsewhere and in particular on fundraising initiatives to support the return of live performance to the venue.
For a short period only, 3-17 July, Byrne aficionados will have the opportunity to purchase exclusive limited edition prints of the Underwood Lane poster artwork – created by John specifically for the production and with all the hallmarks of his distinctive illustrative style. Only 100 prints will be available for purchase over this period and they will not be available to purchase when the production is staged in 2021, or at any other time. A very small number of signed prints will also be available for purchase.
Those who purchase a print will be helping to support the Tron through a very challenging time and buying a little piece of history – a rare print of a John Byrne original and a memento from 2020. In addition to this, everyone who purchases a print will automatically be entered into a special prize draw to win 2 tickets to the Underwood Lane press night in 2021, along with Prosecco on arrival in the Tron Bar, and an interval drink of their choice plus a VIP goody bag on the night, which will include a copy of the Underwood Lane script signed by both John Byrne and Andy Arnold.
Artistic Director Andy Arnold said of the print sale:
“Underwood Lane was going to be our big show of 2020 – it’s a classic John Byrne piece. John was excited to be finally seeing it staged in his 80th birthday year, I was looking forward to bringing his script to life with an brilliant cast of actor-musicians and superlative creative team and tickets were flying out of the box office.
“We’ll have to wait now until 2021, but the print sale offers a very special opportunity to not only own a little piece of theatre history and a piece of John’s wonderfully detailed artwork, but also to help the Tron survive financially. And it might just make the wait until we can stage the production in full a little more bearable.”
The print sale will go live on the Tron Theatre’s website at 11am on Friday 3rd July – http://www.tron.co.uk/shop