New musical tells tale of hero Hotspur

Northumberland Gazette latest
Northumberland Gazette latest

A quirky new musical telling the story of legendary knight Harry Hotspur is being performed by the renowned Northumberland Theatre Company (NTC) this autumn.

Rehearsals are set to start for Heartspur, written by Bob Shannon and featuring memorable songs from the girl bands of the 1960s.

This eagerly-anticipated play chronicles the life of Hotspur and the 1403 Battle of Shrewsbury, where he was slain while fighting against King Henry IV of England.

In a quirky take on the Hotspur tale, NTC’s show is set in gangland Newcastle in 1963.

Hotspur is one of Shakespeare’s best-known characters, having appeared in Henry IV, Part 1, and Heartspur will use a mix of the Bard’s script and more modern language.

Lewis Matthews, who is assistant director and also performing in it, said: “It’s really exciting. I think this is going to be brilliant and it really does have a completely new and interesting feel and is something different for the company.

“It’s a jukebox tragedy and I’d describe it as being Henry IV, Part 1 meets Get Carter meets Six-Five Special.

“Using the very best of Shakespeare’s words alongside modern dialogue and truly memorable songs from the girl bands of the Sixties, this new play from North East writer Bob Shannon has a terrific plot, fiery characters, marvellous music and plenty of humour and drama, and it is suitable for everyone over 13.”

Heartspur opens in Scotland on September 6, and runs until October 21, when it ends in Leicestershire.

During this time, it will be performed in Amble’s Dovecote Centre – NTC’s HQ – as well as Etal, Lucker, Longhorsley, Chatton, Longhoughton, Alnwick, Eglingham, Otterburn, Bamburgh and Alnmouth,