Banjo playing former CEO brings inspirational true story to Wooler and Alnwick

Keith Alessi on stage.Keith Alessi on stage.
Keith Alessi on stage.
Fresh from a successful run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Soho Playhouse in New York, Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life is coming to Northumberland.

It tells the inspirational true story of Keith Alessi a well-known CEO in North America who, two weeks after quitting his high-flying job to pursue his dream of becoming a banjo player, (he had 52 banjos but couldn't play a note) was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and told he had just 50% chance of living a year.

Tomatoes, specifically heartburn caused by them, were the culprit.

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This award-winning true story of overcoming obstacles, pursuing a passion and the healing power of music will be at The Cheviot Centre, Wooler on Sunday, April 9 at 7.30pm and Alnwick Playhouse on Thursday, April 27 at 7.45pm as part of an 18 date North East and Cumbria tour presented by CaroleW Productions.

Performed by Keith himself, this is a one-man show with a difference.

He said “When we first shared this show with audiences at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2018 we couldn’t have dreamt that it would go on to have the success it has had. Several other Fringe Festivals and awards later and a chance encounter with Carole Wears led to this special opportunity to share my story with audiences in and around her home town. And we can’t wait!”

Since the show's first performance in 2018, Keith has donated 100% of his portion of ticket sales to cancer charities. Contributions to date total over £375,000.