WE were part of the brickwork when the Playhouse was re-built from the ruins of a local cinema.
We applaud the small number of totally dedicated people who have been so crucial in building this lovely theatre into the best small theatre in the country, that it is today.
The theatre has kept to ‘small is beautiful’ and there is now (as there always has been), a small permanent staff of six, plus unpaid stewards, recruited from the Friends.
This keeps the theatre intimate and friendly and nobody going to nick our double bed, behind the stage.
The theatre is unlike bigger theatres, which are far more formal and don’t have the cosy family atmosphere of the Playhouse.
Not only does the theatre have excellent stage shows and films, (We would hate to miss any Duchess’s School or Alnwick Playhouse youth theatre productions), all of which by now have the professionals looking extremely worriedly over their shoulders, but during the day it is a positive hive of activity, sewing, painting and writing groups, dancing classes, jewellery, groups etc, all to do with community.
Jo Potts, the present manageress of the Theatre, came to the Playhouse from the Theatre Royal in Newcastle and she’s a great innovator.
Within the theatre, of course, is the absolutely super magnificent NTC, (we love their gorgeous little studio theatre on the ground floor), who at the moment can call upon various writers, and the NTC produce and direct their own plays. They did also have the innovative Interact, where they would take a couple of theatre students to join the small NTC cast, and which gave them great experience.
These students would learn everything to do with theatre, but thanks to the great art-less ones, this has now had to be discontinued.
The NTC have regularly been taking their plays out to the wilds of this huge big county, usually starting off the tours with two nights at the Playhouse, where they do a lot of good work by bringing theatre to the people who maybe have no form of transport to get to Alnwick, and also to schools where NTC perform plays and do workshops with the children, thus getting the next generation interested in theatre.
If you have never been to the Playhouse we would strongly advise you to treat yourself - and what a great treat – to a visit.
Sheena and Keith Campbell,