Concert to mark reopening of Alnwick Playhouse will celebrate Northumberland's rich traditions

A special evening to honour the past and embrace the future is set to mark the reopening of Alnwick Playhouse.

Monday, 30th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 30th December 2019, 2:40 pm
Alistair Anderson and his Gospel band.

Alistair Anderson and his band will be sharing their love of traditional music which celebrate the culture, landscape and communities of Northumberland whilst weaving a Playhouse narrative into the performance.

He said: “I’ve performed all over the world but to be able to have an auditorium like this right on our doorstep is fantastic. It’s very exciting.

“I remember when I was part of the official opening at The Sage Gateshead how special an occasion that was so I’m looking forward to more of the same in Alnwick.”

Alistair Anderson

The venue is reopening its doors on January 3 following a £3.3million refurbishment, with Alistair and his band performing at a celebratory evening on Saturday, January 4 at 7.30pm.

“With living so close to Alnwick, the Playhouse has been a very important part of our lives for umpteen years,” said Alistair, who plays the English concertina and the Northumbrian pipes.

“It’s always struck me as having one of the nicest auditorium’s around and I’m sure it still will be – but this time it will be a bit more comfortable for the audience!

“It always provided a very inclusive feeling because you were quite close to the people watching and I expect that’s going to be the same.”

Alongside some older Northumbrian pieces the band will perform two of his most iconic works “A Lindisfarne Gospel” and “On Cheviot Hills” (performed by the Lindsay Strong Quartet some 20 years ago) plus a new original piece featuring special guest Katie Doherty.

“It will be music that connects the traditions of the region, so there will be some older stuff that we learned from some of the hill shepherds that connects to the past along with newer material which points to a new direction in the future,” he explained.

“Just after the Playhouse closed for its refurbishment, they started collecting people’s memories of its days as a cinema. We’ve taken a few of those ideas and Katie has worked them into a song which we’re looking forward to performing.”

Tickets £15/£10 concessions. Visit www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk for more details.