Local actor to star in NTC show

Alnwick actor David McCarthy, known locally as David Paterson
Alnwick actor David McCarthy, known locally as David Paterson

An Alnwick actor has landed his first job outside of drama school in the most unlikely of places.

David McCarthy, who grew up in Alnwick and attended the Duchess’s Community High School, never would have dreamed that he’d land his first acting job outside of London.

He said: “At drama school, it was pretty much drilled into us that London was the place to be for work.”

However, fortunately for him, the well-known Alnwick-based performance group, Northumberland Theatre Company (NTC), was hiring two trainees for its next show, A Wife or the Gallows?, which is based on Northumbrian and Wilson’s Tales.

The company begins its tour in just over a week.

And David was one of the lucky two who were hired by the company after fighting off more than 80 other applicants.

But it wasn’t his local ties that sealed the deal as NTC Artistic Director Gillian Hambleton said it was purely because he was the best of applicants.

“David just happened to be the very best lad we saw,” she said.

“It was great that he came from Alnwick, but in the end you always make the decision on the best person for the traineeship.

“The training is crucial for me, I really want to give young people the opportunity to give them their skills. They may have been to university or drama school, but actually this is all about making the transition between a course and the profession.”

David attended Birmingham School of Acting after starring in a string of shows at Alnwick’s high school.

Having only graduated from the university last Friday, the 21-year-old has been launched into his new job and said that it has been such a valuable experience so far.

“When I was at the high school and at university I learnt that you shouldn’t be afraid to try stuff without getting things wrong,” he said.

“Having grown-up in Alnwick, I was very much aware of NTC’s work and the quality of it.

“I love the area and love local theatre so I just went for the job and got it.”

He added: “I’m not really nervous about the show. I’m more excited that all the different venues we play at are different spaces of all sizes and some places we can’t get the set in so we’ll have to re-block the show, so we’ll really have to keep on our toes.”

You can see David in A Wife or the Gallows? at Alnwick Playhouse on Friday, September 18, at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £8.50, £7.50 children. Visit www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk or call 01665 510785.