Top shows in small communities

The Oxford Concert Party, which is part of the line-up for the latest Highlights tour of Northumberland
The Oxford Concert Party, which is part of the line-up for the latest Highlights tour of Northumberland
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Village venues across the county will play host to a range of entertaining professional productions this autumn.

Highlights works in partnership with a network of halls and community buildings to provide subsidised access to touring performances and exhibitions.

The scheme currently supports promoters in dozens of locations throughout the North East, including 25 in Northumberland.

From a filtered menu of show choices – theatre, music, comedy shows, dance and shows for children are among the genres available – promoters select one or a couple for their community that they believe will be popular.

These events bring villages together for a good night out without the need for an often lengthy journey to the nearest theatre.

The first one in the 2014 autumn season will take place at Wingates Village Hall on Sunday from 7.30pm.

Oxford Concert Party, a lively and highly entertaining group of six first-rate musicians with a unique repertoire, will take to the stage from 7.30pm.

Their music ranges from Vivaldi to Piazzolla, via Argentinian Tango, Jewish Klezmer, French café music, and music from Russia, Eastern Europe, Ireland and Scotland.

Each piece is infused with humour, energy, passion and pathos.

For ticket details and to make a booking, call 01669 621954.

An Evening with Mervyn Stutter is being held in Hepscott Parish Hall on Sunday, October 12 from 7.45pm.

Mervyn is an actor, comedian, songwriter and founder member of the Flying Pickets.

His stand-up routine has a fairly astute line in social commentary and satirical bite.

On his guitar, he plays some funny parody songs and wittily rewritten covers.

He has worked in radio, TV, theatre and cabaret and for the past 17 years he has presented his own Spirit of the Fringe Awards at The Edinburgh Festival – a daily showcase where artists perform and are interviewed by him in front of a live audience.

For ticket details and to make a booking, call 01670 514031.

Fumi Okiji’s Old Time Jazz Band celebrates the traditions of the genre by taking in its New Orleans and black vaudeville roots as well as the songbooks of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday.

While tackling the material with upmost reverence, the band does so with both feet firmly in the 21st Century.

It will perform at the Holy Trinity Church, Matfen, on Sunday, November 23, from 7.30pm.

For ticket details and to make a booking, call 01661 886592.

In addition, the quirky and energetic musical double act ShooShooBaby host their unashamedly sparkly Christmas Party at Wingates Village Hall on Thursday, December 4, and Middleton and Todridge Village Hall on Friday, December 5.

Guests will be treated to fresh arrangements of well-known Christmas songs and unknown vintage gems, served up in some flamboyant costumes.

Both shows start at 7.30pm. For ticket details and to make a booking, call 01669 621954 (Wingates) or 01670 772600 (Middleton and Todridge).