To Get to the Other Side

22nd – 24th February | 7pm – 9pm | The Maltings 

One bridge. Two couples. A social divide.

December 1849. Ambitious labourer Will Yeoman secures a job constructing Berwick-upon-Tweed’s Royal Border Bridge under the supervision of harried site engineer George Barclay Bruce with tragic consequences. To Get to the Other Side blends family drama and workplace conflict. With traditional music woven through, it is a lively and modern take on a seminal moment in the history of Northumberland – and the railway.

To Get to the Other Side charts the fortunes of two families in Berwick: the Yeomans, trying to elevate themselves above the grim cholera-infected streets of Crawford’s Alley; and the Bruces, based in the classy new Georgian mansions of Ravensdowne. George struggles to balance his conscience with the demands of delivering the viaduct to time and to budget. Even as he resists the practice of paying his workforce in tokens redeemable only at overpriced rail company stores, he turns a blind eye to on-site safety issues. Will quickly becomes embroiled in the workers’ campaign for fair pay. Both men are influenced by their dynamic wives. Ann Yeoman, pregnant with their first child, works day and night on sheep nets to add to the couple’s meagre money pot. Helen Bruce has two small children and is frustrated by the constraints of her gender and social inequality, setting her at loggerheads with her mother-in-law Mary.

As the two couples deal with the day-to-day joys, frustrations and conflicts in the streets, shops and homes of Berwick, the clock ticks in the race to get the railway bridge completed in time for young Queen Victoria’s scheduled opening in August 1850.


Dates & Prices


From To
Wednesday Wednesday 22/02/2023 19:00pm 19:00pm Friday Friday 24/02/2023 21:00pm 21:00pm