ALTERNATIVE FOLK: Diyet and the Love Soldiers are heading to Cotherstone in May
ALTERNATIVE FOLK: Diyet and the Love Soldiers are heading to Cotherstone in May

A FABULOUS 14 performances will rake place at venues across Teesdale as part of the Highlights Rural Touring Scheme spring programme.

Audiences can enjoy a wide range of work including, topical plays, world music, stand-up poetry and children’s shows.

Acclaimed plays from award-winning companies appear alongside new writing and Edinburgh Fringe Hits. Music comes from around the world and down the decades.

Theatre productions in Teesdale put women centre stage in four new plays.

Black is the Colour of My Voice is inspired by the journey of jazz singer and activist Nina Simone (The Witham, Barnard Castle); Eglantyne puts the spotlight on the visionary life of human rights pioneer and founder of Save the Children, Eglantyne Jebb (The Witham, Barnard Castle); Joan and Jimmy tells the fascinating story of Joan Littlewood and her husband (Bowes & Gilmonby) and Kate Fox returns with Where There’s Muck There’s Bras – an inspiring stand-up poetry show that explores true stories of extraordinary women in the North (Middleton-in-Teesdale, Barningham and Staindrop).

Other Teesdale shows include folk fusion duo Landermason at Mickleton Village Hall plus word-play for families with comic poet John Hegley at Bowes and Gilmonby and the Scarth Hall, Staindrop.

There is classic country music from Nova Scotia’s Ryan Cook at Boldron and a multi-instrumental extravaganza from Travelling by Tuba who are bringing their farewell tour to Hamsterley.

Sam Turner

Highlights’ Esther Hingle said the programme offered something for all tastes.

“Instead of a long round trip to the theatre, performances are brought right into the heart of the village, making sure that rural audiences don’t miss out on great shows.

“Highlights extends cultural opportunities to some of the most far flung parts of the north with subsidized shows in the village hall offering a social and intimate alternative to traditional arts venues.”

The Highlights Rural Touring Scheme works in partnership with a network of village halls and community venues across Cumbria, Northumberland and Durham to provide professional performances from national touring companies and an annual contemporary craft tour each autumn.

The scheme supports voluntary promoters in more than 70 rural halls.

For full details of the spring programme, including dates and ticket information, go to www.highlightsnorth.co.uk.