`

New shows and more venues for the season

editorial image

Highlights Rural Touring Scheme, together with 17 village halls across Northumberland, will be bringing another great line-up of shows to rural communities this spring.

Spoofs, adaptations, tributes and new writing all feature in a spring programme of physical, visual and comedy theatre, music, dance, stories, puppets and poems.

Highlights Rural Touring Scheme has been working with communities in Northumberland for nine years and operates in partnership with more than 100 volunteers to bring people together for a memorable night out in the village hall.

In recent years the scheme has expanded in the Morpeth area, taking on new promoters in Wingates (spring 2015), Felton (spring 2016) and Thropton (autumn 2017). They join long-standing promoters in Amble, Middleton and Todridge and Hepscott.

This season sees the return of Pegswood Community Hub, making a total of seven rural venues who between them will be bringing 12 great quality shows from national touring companies into the heart of their villages.

Volunteers are at the heart of everything the scheme does and provide a much valued service.

Dan Walsh and Alistair Anderson will launch their new CD, Right at Home, at an event in Thropton.

Dan Walsh and Alistair Anderson will launch their new CD, Right at Home, at an event in Thropton.

Julie Famelton, Wingates Village Institute promoter, said: “We have been lucky to host Highlights performances for four years. They have brought new people into our hall and a wide variety of entertainment that you do not get outside a large urban area.

“We are always so impressed with the professionalism of the performers, who come into a small hall and can put on such great entertainment. It is bringing good quality music, drama and comedy at an affordable price to a local audience.”

Katie McDonald, Hepscott Village Hall promoter, added: “These are dates in the village diary that we look forward to. As a promoter, I enjoy meeting lovely people — both audiences and performers, and watching everyone enjoying themselves.

“It’s friendly and personal, and fantastic that we get such a wide choice of shows coming to our small hall in Hepscott.”

Jazz Festival.Jazz Musicians Alan Barnes and David Newton enjoy Scarborough.Picture Richard Ponter 133940c

Jazz Festival.Jazz Musicians Alan Barnes and David Newton enjoy Scarborough.Picture Richard Ponter 133940c

This season starts with Gonzo Moose Theatre Company and The Thing That Came from Over There at Middleton and Todridge Village Hall on Friday, February 23.

Brave Folk will be at Wingates Village Institute on Friday, March 2, and Alan Barnes and David Newton Duo will be there on Friday, March 30.

This Evening: Today, a spoof comedy radio drama from Cornwall’s Scary Little Girls, will be at Hepscott on Sunday, March 11, and Dan Walsh and Alistair Anderson will be there on Sunday, June 10.

Rob Heron and The Tea Pad Orchestra will be the debut show at Pegswood Community Hub on Saturday, March 19, followed by New Perspectives Theatre Company with The Giant Jam Sandwich on Friday, June 1.

Later in June will be Hike for Highlights, which celebrates the scheme’s 21st anniversary and will raise funds to continue bringing great performances to villages for years to come.

For more information about promoters and venues and how to book tickets, as well as other shows on offer elsewhere, visit www.highlightsnorth.co.uk