Audience will decide what to pay

Stowaway at Alnwick Playhouse
Stowaway at Alnwick Playhouse

A new initiative is being launched by a north Northumberland arts venue to support new artists.

Following in the footsteps of a number of other theatres, Alnwick Playhouse is introducing a Pay What You Decide scheme for two performances in March.

The initiative gives audiences the chance to see work and then decide what they pay for it.

Jo Potts, theatre manager, said: “I think it is a bold initiative to support artists and develop new audiences and, although the Playhouse is heavily reliant on our box office income, I still want to have a proportion of our programme which is new and cutting edge, thought provoking and challenging.

“It is always exciting to programme work which is currently being devised in the rehearsal room, and with Pay What You Decide instead of trying to sell new work, we simply ask people to come and experience it.

“The productions we have chosen are under 90 minutes with no interval and will offer a totally unique drama and dance experience.

“Think of it as a free rollercoaster ride into the unknown and you pop your money in a bucket on the way out (or not) – simple.”

The first Playhouse event will be Stowaway, on Tuesday, March 8.

It tells the story of a man from India who finds himself far from home and adrift from everything he knows. He hides in the wheel arch of a commercial airliner bound for the UK in a bid to change his life.

It is a new show from two-time Fringe First winners.

The second production will be Plan B’s And Now, on Thursday, March 24.

It will be the first opportunity to see Plan B’s new ensemble –four of Scotland’s most electrifying dancers -Glen McCartney, Joanne Pirrie, Katie Armstrong and Kirsty Pollock.

Accompanied by a powerful ambient score from award-winning composer Jim Sutherland, the piece is overlaid with live music pulsating both rhythm and class – from the wonderfully, witty saxophone player Steve Kettley.

Ms Potts added: “It is a continuous effort to find the right audience for each event, however, we are certainly succeeding with our very small marketing budget in finding new audiences.

“On the other end of the spectrum is finding audiences to support new artists who are creating work which may be considered thought provoking and challenging.

“This is proving more difficult which is why Alnwick Playhouse is following in the footsteps of other theatres.”