For just one night, on Thursday, February 11, Highlights Rural Touring Scheme will transform the Cheviot Centre into 1930s Berlin with Muse, a witty and entertaining new one-woman musical, based on the unconventional and liberated Jean Ross.
The show tells the story of Jean Ross – said to be the inspiration for Christopher Isherwood’s Sally Bowles character in Cabaret .
Through cabaret-style music and storytelling it explores the life and times of this formidable and intriguing woman.
Producer and performer Sophie Jugé reveals Ross as a complex and talented woman.
With her green-painted nails and a string of lovers, she was indeed ‘divinely decadent’ but far from the air-headed floozy in the stories.
Born in Egypt, RADA-trained and allergic to conventionality, Ross became a respected political journalist who filed reports from the siege of Madrid in the Spanish Civil War and as a single mother raised a daughter who herself overturned convention.
Along the way she was the muse for a German pianist on his way to Hollywood and also of the lyricist Eric Maschwitz.
His song These Foolish Things, written about Ross after their affair ended, is among the authentic songs featured.
Other classics in the performance include I’ve Found a New Baby, Bewitched, Mad About the Boy,‘Alabama Song, Love for Sale and Oh Show us the Way to the Next Whisky Bar.
The show is part of the Highlights Rural touring theatre programme which aims to take great shows to the heart of local communities, and give rural areas the opportunity to see productions that they otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to see.
Highlights organises more than 160 events per year in village halls, schools and community centres with a range of productions from music to dance, theatre and more.
The organisation was originally set up to work with isolated rural communities in the North Pennines, an area which has suffered from long term economic decline (it was once the biggest lead mining area in Europe), resulting in pockets of high unemployment, isolated communities, poor transport links and declining services, and now works in Cumbria, County Durham and Northumberland.
For more details about Highlights Rural Touring Theatre Company visit www.highlightsnorth.co.uk