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City in line for death row drama.

Newcastle is in line to host the premiere of the stage version of the film Dead Man Walking.

Conference organisers have booked crusading nun Sister Helen Prejean to appear at Newcastle City Hall from November 14 to 18 this year.

They are hoping to use the Friday evening slot, November 16, for the first performance of the stage play based on Sister Helen's book Dead Man Walking.

The book describes her relationship with a death-row inmate who turned to her for spiritual guidance.

Organiser Father Dermott Donnelly, brother of TV star Declan Donnelly, said: "We're in negotiations about this at the moment, but we're hopeful everything can be worked out.

"It would be tremendous to have the premiere of the stage version of Dead Man Walking on at the same time as Sister Helen is here. And since we've secured the City Hall for the whole of that week, it would make good sense to use the Friday night slot that is currently free."

Tim Robbins, husband of Susan Sarandon ( who played Sister Helen in the film Dead Man Walking ( wrote the stage version. The plan is to have the lead roles played by established actors, but open up the lesser roles to North-East schoolchildren.

In the 1995 film Susan Sarandon starred opposite Sean Penn, who played killer Matthew Poncelet.

The two-day conference featuring Sister Helen takes place at the City Hall on November 17 and 18. Tickets are available online at, or by sending a cheque for pounds 25, payable to YMT Events, to Administrator, Diocesan Youth Village, Pemberton Rd, Consett, County Durham, DH8 9BA.

Since 1984, Sister Helen has split her time between campaigning against the death penalty and counselling death row inmates.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 2, 2007
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