Melodic jazz, seasonal brass and the Bard

Philip Clouts.
Philip Clouts.

Village venues across north Northumberland will be hosting a variety of professional performances this autumn as part of a touring scheme.

Highlights Community Touring Scheme works in partnership with a network of village halls and community venues across the county to tour quality arts events.

And its autumn 2012 programme, which has just been announced, contains a mix of theatre and music taking place in north Northumberland.

First up is Bard Heads – Finding The Will at Whittingham Memorial Institute on Friday, October 19, at 7.30pm.

Written and performed by Jules Hobbs and Richard Curnow, Bard Heads takes an updated look at some of the well-loved characters from four of Shakespeare’s most popular plays and imagines what might have happened next.

Each 50 minute monologue is full of laughter, tears and quite a few surprises, and can be enjoyed without knowledge of the parent play.

Later in October, on Saturday 21, at 7.30pm, the Cheviot Centre in Wooler plays host to the Philip Clouts Quartet.

It promises an evening of exuberant and melodic contemporary jazz, influenced by Clouts’ own musical roots in African and Latin music.

His quartet, featuring saxophonist Carlos Lopez-Real, play a refreshing variety of rhythms, textures and moods as well as music taken from the quartet’s new CD Sennen Cove.

More music, but in a very different vein, is at the Cheviot Centre the following month when Sarah McQuaid appears on Friday, November 30, at 7.30pm.

Renowned for her warm, engaging stage presence, Sarah McQuaid is a versatile and beguiling performer.

In addition to her own elegantly crafted originals, she interprets traditional Irish and Appalachian folk songs, Elizabethan ballads, 1930s jazz numbers, surprise covers and lively guitar instrumentals with poignance, panache and a warm audience rapport.

Finally, on Sunday, December 16, Whittingham Village Hall is the venue for A Brassy Christmas at 7.30pm.

It features your seasonal favourites played in a range of styles on 26 brass instruments – every member of the family from the tiny piccolo to the huge bass tuba.