Where hope springs eternal

Xolisile’s Song, performed by Dodgy Clutch. At Whittingham Memorial Institute, Whittingham. Friday, April 8, at 7.30pm. Tickets, adults £6, children £4.50. For bookings, call box office to reserve tickets, on 01665 574964.

PERFORMERS from South Africa and north east England come together to create a rich, visual story-telling spectacle packed with dance and music.

Xolisile’s Song is a fabulous family show, woven with themes of forgiveness and reconciliation, performed by Dodgy Clutch.

It tells the tale of Sisi, a young woman from rural Ciskei in South Africa who longs to see her elder brother. She only knows that when he left, he travelled north.

Meanwhile, Tommy Bell is a blacksmith. Until the miners’ strike he shod the pit ponies at a Durham colliery but his way of life came to an end and his anger and disappointment are tying him to the shadow of the past.

Their two stories are linked by a common theme – hope – and the journey of a swallow which connects them.

Dodgy Clutch, an outdoor events and theatre company, is based in the North East but the group’s impact goes beyond, with its work seen all over Europe.

The company’s recent Elephant show toured nationally and went on to Broadway in New York.

Xolisile’s Song is touring as part of Highlights Community Touring Scheme’s spring season and is also part of the International Village of Culture legacy.

Geoff Hoskin, promoter at Whittingham Memorial Institute, said: “Dodgy Clutch have a big reputation for their large scale outdoor work so we’re thrilled they can also tour indoor to our village hall.”