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It’s theatre as you like it as audience chooses the play

Shakespeare's Globe on Tour
Shakespeare's Globe on Tour

This weekend will see the final showcase at Alnwick Playhouse before its curtain call for a major refurbishment.

The theatre will be finishing the season in style with Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour on Saturday and Sunday.

And this time, it will be the audience that chooses which Shakespearean tale will be played out on stage.

The initiative takes us back to how plays were performed in Shakespeare’s day.

When the theatres closed, a small group of actors, juggling a variety of roles in three or four plays from their extensive repertoire, would leave London and head off on tour.

The choice of play or entertainment at each stop was left to the most powerful person of the household.

So following in the tradition, and in a first for Shakespeare’s Globe, between May and August this year a company of eight actors has been offering audiences a choice of three plays – The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew or Twelfth Night.

They performed all three at the Globe before setting out on a national and international tour.

And now, with thrilling unpredictability, the choice of play will be placed in the hands of the most powerful members of the house: the audience.

Among the players hoping for a warm reception will be Northumberland’s own Jacqueline Phillips.

She has come back to her home county to play the roles of Maria and Sebastian in Twelfth Night, Gremio and Vincentio in The Taming of the Shrew, and Portia in The Merchant of Venice.

There will be performances at the Alnwick Playhouse at 7pm on Saturday, and 1pm and 6.30pm on Sunday.

And there’s an extra treat in store as afternoon tea will also be on offer on Sunday, from 4pm.

The performances will be the final send-off for the theatre, which is set to become an even better community hub when it reopens in autumn 2019.

Book your tickets on 01665 510785 or online at www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk