Rural arts scheme will be a highlight for communities

the Bagdaddies which is part of the Highlights rural autumn seaon programme
the Bagdaddies which is part of the Highlights rural autumn seaon programme

A scheme which brings a true variety of art forms to rural villages, churches and community halls across Northumberland has released a new line-up of shows, running until Christmas.

The Highlights Rural Touring Scheme will present entertainment at a range of venues, from Spittal in the north to Seaton Delaval in the south of the county.

The fugitives which is part of the Highlights rural autumn season programme

The fugitives which is part of the Highlights rural autumn season programme

Some of the country’s best small-scale touring companies will be reaching out to parts of Northumberland and making sure that rural audiences don’t miss out on top class productions.

From a menu of more than 25 different shows, reflecting a variety of art forms, each village has chosen performances to suit their community, with local promoters organising the events and bringing fellow residents together for a night out.

The programme will showcase new work alongside firm favourites, with this season including some family comedy adventure, folk tales, clog dancing, puppetry, poetry, a new retelling of Dracula, plus a festive-themed comedy with sleuthful surprises.

This month includes new venues Lesbury Village Hall and Shilbottle Community Centre, which will be showing children’s shows. They join the current Highlights’ partners in Whittingham, Wooler and Amble.

3 Boxes which is part of the  Highlights rural autumn seaon programme

3 Boxes which is part of the Highlights rural autumn seaon programme

The first show in the area will see Lesbury Village Hall present the Baghdaddies, a group playing a variety of world music with a British knees-up sensibility.

In October, Amble Parish Hall will host Beryl – A Romance on Two Wheels, a play that looks at the life of Beryl Burtan who was a five-times world pursuit champion, and 13-times national champion, to name a few of her achievements.

There will be a gig by Vancouver-based folk collective The Fugitives at Wooler’s Cheviot Centre.

Working across Northumberland, Cumbria and Durham, Highlights is one of the largest of the rural touring schemes in England and Wales. Each year it brings more than 150 performances from national touring companies into the heart of rural villages – 50 of these are performed across Northumberland.

The scheme is able to subsidise performances, making them affordable for smaller communities, and the intimacy of the village hall puts the connection between artist and audience at the heart of the experience.

For full information on each show visit www.highlightsnorth.co.uk

Contact the Wooler venue on 01668 282406, Lesbury on 0771 924 3170, Amble on 01670 760007, Whittingham on 01665 574964 and Shilbottle on 01665 575196.