Canoeing For Beginners
First produced at the Customs House in South Shields (Newcastle).
Beryl and Frank are in their sixties but they’ve never been able to manage money well. Frank comes up with an insurance scam to ensure them a comfortable retirement in the sun. But faking your own death isn’t easy - especially when you haven’t told your own kids and there’s a police liaison officer who never seems to clock off. Beryl and Frank make a hasty escape and plan their new life from a seedy hotel room in Havana. It’s then that events turn completely beyond control. A dark comedy that builds to a frenetic farce with a surreal twist.
(Any similarity to anyone living or pretending to be dead is purely coincidental.)
Royal Court Liverpool
Directed by Cal McCrystal
Designed by Sue Mayes
Edited Image 2015-4-2-8:47:4
Varkauden Teatteri - Finland
Finnish language premiere was in Varkaus in September 2022.
Directed by Sarianne Tursas
Translated by Kimmo Hirvenmäki
Cast: Katariina Lohiniva, Jukka-Pekka Löhönen, Pietari Pentikäinen, Saara Saastamoinen, Ville-Veikko Valtanen.
Estonia - Vana Baskini Teater
An Estonian translation (Kanuusõit algajatele) toured in 2014/2015/2016
Translated by Andra Aaloe
Directed by Eero Spriit
Cast: Ene Järvis, Väino Laes, Agnes Aaliste, Veljo Reinik, Martin Kõiv,
Åbo Svenska Teater, Turku
Swedish translation 'Paddling för nybörjare' touring Swedish speaking regions of Finland in Autumn 2014/Spring 2015. Included a run at the company's home theatre in Turku.
Translated by Pekka Sonck
Directed by Dick Holmström
Designed by Peter Ahlqvist
Cast: Peter Ahlqvist, Bror Österlund, Monica Nyman, Daniela Franzell, Jerry Wahlforss
Newcastle - The Customs House, South Shields
Cast: Pat Dunn, David Whitaker, Chris Connell, Laura Norton, Gary Kitching
“…marks Mike Yeaman out as a serious writing talent.” The Journal
“Farcical tale told brilliantly.”
“All the hallmarks of a sure-fire hit.”
UK Theatre Network
“Mike Yeaman’s follow-up to Lucky Numbers is a worthy successor and one that will provide a great night of entertainment for those fortunate enough to get tickets.”
The Sunderland Echo
“It’s great to see a comedy that does everything it says on the tin.”
The Northern Echo
“Canoeing for Beginners’ is a comedy, drama and farce and Mike Yeaman displays great panache in writing dialogue for each of the aforementioned genres….a first-class production that boasts a consummate cast, a sparkling script and a plot that has more twists and turns than a corkscrew.”
The Public Reviews