TWO stalwarts of Helmsley Arts Centre (HAC) have produced a live play despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

Alastair Coughlan and Florrie Stockbridge have worked together numerous times, the first in a touring production of Doubt in 2011, and the most recent a production of The 39 Steps at HAC before Alastair took up his scholarship place studying acting in New York.

The pair are reunited in The Age of Consent in an online performance at HAC next week.

The play was due to be performed to an audience but due to the national lockdown restrictions will now be live streamed from the theatre.

Alastair, 22, who directs the production and takes on the role of Timmy, said: “Creating a show in the middle of a pandemic has certainly had its challenges.

“We were originally meant to perform in November, but then the second lockdown was announced.

Alastair said: "“However, what partly made me think of this play in the first place is the fact that it is practically designed to be socially distanced already, so the actual process of staging the play hasn’t been anywhere near as complicated as it might have been otherwise.”

The Age of Consent by Peter Morris places in counterpoint two monologues about childhood, responsibility and the shattering of innocence.

One voice is a teenager awaiting his release from a correctional facility after serving his time for the murder of a child.

The other is the young mother of a child performer, ruthlessly scheming for fame and fortune, and making sure her daughter will do absolutely whatever it takes.

The characters are united by a sense of denial, as well as the humanity that can exist behind even the most monstrous abuse.

Morris’s controversial and powerful play premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2001, and is performed with kind permission of Bloomsbury Publishing

Alastair said: “It’s a real privilege to be working in the theatre right now, especially with wonderful creative people like Florrie, along with Natasha Jones, HAC artistic director and Steven Woolmer, technical director.”

Age of Consent is at HAC on January 15 and 16, at 7.30pm.

For more information, and to access the performance, at a cost of £5 per household, go to or phone 01439 771700.

The play is recommended for those aged 14 and over,