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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





John McArdle

Pauline Fleming

Angela Simms

Mick Ledwich

Harry Katsari

Stephen Fletcher

Edited Image 2015-4-2-8:47:4

Edited Image 2015-4-2-8:47:4

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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,

Madis Milling. 

Anchor 11

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.” 

Evening Chronicle


“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

Mike Yeaman  playwright

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