Theatre Space

Welcome to Thanks for the Chat

A Theatre Space North East and Northern Stage Production

‘Thanks for the Chat’ is based on conversations with Sunderland residents, reflecting back on the last bit of normalcy before the first national lockdown.

Theatre Space NE and Sunderland based Writer James Whitman have created ‘Thanks for the Chat’. Capturing moments of humour, sadness and hope, these conversations have formed a collection of short monologues and duologues which you can delve into here. Filmed and recorded across the city, this collection of short films and audio stories capture the mood of the city over the last year. 

Tap on a location to hear the story

Borough Road

Chat #1: Gina and Jenny

Weeks after the COVID-19 outbreak in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, Gina wants to warn her friend, Jenny, what is coming to the UK. But not everyone shares her concerns.
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Minster Quarter

Chat #2: Linda and Hilary

Linda is worried about Hilary’s absence from their over-60s women’s support group. But Hilary has worries of her own.
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Mowbray Park

Chat #3: Heather

Many people found Lockdown brought them closer to their neighbours. Unfortunately, Heather isn’t one of those people.
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Chat #4: Chloe and Beth

Chloe hasn’t spoken to her best friend for weeks, and is excited to bump into her in town. Beth, however, has other priorities.
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Keel Square

Chat #5: Josh

Lockdown has given some of us time and space to reflect on our lives. Having found himself alone for the first time in years, Josh has some things he needs to get off his chest.
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Writing Thanks For The Chat

As a writer, James loves authentic, emotionally engaging stories, reflecting people’s lived experiences. In ‘Thanks for the Chat’, James wanted to capture the wide range of conversations people had during Lockdown.

Throughout May, James spoke with a variety of local community groups and individuals. In some cases, James interviewed people, exploring their Lockdown experiences; in others, participants came forward with stories they wanted to share.

James then combined these various stories into five short ‘chats’. Each of these reflect a different aspect of life, and the conversations people had, during Lockdown. And while Lockdown has been challenging in so many ways, James found it has also been a moment for reflection and for coming together, as families and communities.


Sunniside – Sarah Rose Boxall and Jessica Whittle

Keel Square – Liam Scarth

Mowbray Park – Kati Whiteoak

Borough Road – Corinne Kilvington, Emily Palmer-Giles & Lawrence Neale

Minster quarter – Jean Buckle and Helen Hudson

Creative Team

Written by

James Whitman

James has written a number of plays set in Sunderland, including ‘Grafters Gables’, ‘Strong for War, For Helping Tender’, ’15 Minutes of Fame’ and ‘View from the Gods’. He has also worked on a variety of community arts projects in Sunderland, including Arts Centre Washington’s ‘Art-Zine’ project, Sunderland Culture’s community group smash-up, ’Who Do You Want To Meet?’, and award-winning audio drama project, ‘Mackem Craic’.

Devised and directed by

Corinne Kilvington

Corinne Kilvington is the Artistic Director of Theatre Space NE, an artist lead CIC based in Sunderland, which has, since 2012, developed a reputation for bringing accessible theatre to non-traditional spaces. Creating public facing community performance, and Theatre in Education as well as commissions from a wide variety of clients. Corinne specialises in site responsive and promenade theatre, regularly using puppetry, live music and physical theatre in her pieces. She has experience of production, creative direction, facilitation and project and event management.

Film by

Audio by

Jay Sykes

Digital producer