Venue getting with programme to spring into 2016

Animal Farm
Animal Farm

From music, live streamings, entertaining and informative performances to amateur and professional theatre productions, the latest programme from Alnwick Playhouse looks set to be a hit.

Covering six months of events up to the end of June, the Bondgate Without theatre’s spring season is packed with performances sure to attract a wide range of audiences.

Celebrating the North East’s coal-mining heritage, the Pitmen Poets will be on stage on Wednesday, January 27, bringing together ex-Lindisfarne singer and writer Billy Mitchell, songman Bob Fox, Benny Graham and Jez Lowe for an evening of songs and humour.

Further celebration of the North East will be on offer in Launch Day from Kelly-Abbot Dance Theatre, it being a performance inspired by the paintings of Alexander Millar, a Scottish-born artist now living in Northumberland, on Wednesday, March 9.

Ballet Theatre UK will bring its retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen to the venue on Thursday, January 28, with glittering stage sets and a magical score.

The playhouse’s own youth theatre group will give the professionals a run for their money with So You Think You’re a Superhero on Sunday, January 31, and the town’s Duchess’s Community High School theatre group will be back for its annual musical, Rock of Ages this time round, from Wednesday, March 2, to Saturday, March 5.

The National Theatre live streaming series will continue with Les Liaisons Dangereuses on Saturday, February 13, and As You Like it on Thursday, February 25. There is also an encore screening of Jane Eyre on Friday, January 29.

Further live streaming will follow in the form of a showing of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata from the Royal Opera House in London on Thursday, February 4, as well as Giselle on Wednesday, April 6.

Giacomo Puccini’s Madame Butterfly will also be streamed from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York on Saturday, April 2, and the same composer’s Turandot will precede it on Saturday, January 30.

Northern Stage will bring a performance of George Orwell’s Animal Farm to life on Wednesday, March 23.

The amazing bubble man Louis Pearl is set to be a hit with all ages as he explores the dynamics of bubbles and combines comedy and artistry with tricks and more on Wednesday, March 30.

London Contemporary Theatre Company will entertain with children’s classic Stig of the Dump on Tuesday, April 5, and Wednesday, April 6, and rock music lovers will enjoy the sounds of Supreme Queen, an act paying homage to the Bohemian Rhapsody stars on Friday, April 8.

Tenors Un Limited will be back on the playhouse stage yet again, with songs from Venice to Vegas, on Saturday, April 23, and Classic Clapton, the definitive Eric Clapton tribute act, will also make a welcome return as part of their 30th anniversary tour on Friday, April 29. Youngsters from three upwards will enjoy the People’s Theatre Company’s production of Don’t Dribble on Your Dragon on Thursday, June 2.

And Leah Bell, Dolores Porretta Brown and Crissy Rock will appeal to grown-ups with their production of Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood’s Dirty Dusting, back by popular demand after a sellout tour last year.

Community group performances lined up include Alnwick Stage Musical Society’s Sister Act, several productions by Alnwick Music Society and Alnwick Theatre company’s spring play, to name but a few.

Playhouse manager Jo Potts said: “I want to thank everyone for our record-breaking year of sales in 2015, and I hope this spring season programme will get 2016 off to a fabulous start.

“The new playhouse programme offers an abundance of quality musical theatre, with the hit musical Woody Sez capturing the heart and sprit of America’s original folk hero Woody Guthrie, the story of Charlie Chaplin featuring an all-star West End cast and, of course, our home-grown talent as well.

“Live dance also features this season alongside classical ballet, with the Snow Queen and Pinocchio, and a sensational dance cinema event from two internationally-acclaimed dance companies, Alvin Aily American Dance Theatre and Matthew Bourne is not to be missed.

“To all our friends and valued customers, your continued support keeps the playhouse a strong and valuable part of this community, so thank you.”

A chance to meet Jo is being offered by the venue’s friends’ group on Saturday, January 16, from 11am to noon.

We have teamed up with the Playhouse to offer readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to a show of their choice. To enter, answer this question: Which George Orwell work is being performed at the Playhouse? Enter your answer and details on the form and send it in, to arrive by Friday, January 22.