Variety show will raise valuable funds
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
AN old style music hall evening showcasing the best of Teesdale's performers will bring the curtain down on The Witham’s £30k in 30 days public appeal.
The benefit show will take place on Sunday, September 9, just four days before The Witham’s annual meeting, on Thursday, September 13, when trustees will announce what the future holds for the centre.
Hosting the variety show will be BBC TV antiques expert David Harper, while Peter Dixon, promoter of the Funny Way To Be comedy club, has helped put the running order together.
Everyone involved is giving their time for free and every penny raised will be added to the appeal.
The show will feature a wide range of performers. Among those taking part are Barnard Castle-based folk singer-songwriter Toni Sidgwick and soprano Penelope Randall-Davis.
Jane Ford and Nicky Tulloch will present a selection of Scottish and Irish songs on piano, flue and voice.
Members of the Castle Players will entertain with monologues, verses and sketches, while also raising a smile will be ventriloquist Eileen Thompson.
Eleven-year-old Joshua Greenwell will play harp and piano, while rounding off the evening’s entertainment will be Cal Halbert, star of the Mimic Men, and an experienced comedian, impressionist and actor.
The show will run from 6.30pm to 9pm and tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for the U16s.
Mr Harper, who will auction off a Chris Mouncey painting during the show, said he was delighted to support the event.
“The Witham is part of the fabric of the town. You cannot imagine Barnard Castle without The Witham,” he said.
“It should be a lovely night. It will be very relaxed – the old music hall feel – and the great thing with events like this is that anything can happen.”
Mr Harper is also planning to return to The Witham in December to present a one-man show to raise further funds for the complex – more details nearer the time.
Mr Dixon has produced more than 100 comedy shows at The Witham in the last eight years.
“Without a venue as large and well equipped, I would not be able to present shows in Barnard Castle with the top comedy acts I have brought to the town such as John Bishop, Gary Delaney and Mark Steel,” he said.
“I’m delighted to help The Witham team present a variety show. I’ve always loved music hall and it’s been a real pleasure to put together a line-up of highly talented acts.
“Everyone has been extremely forthcoming in agreeing to do the show and I’m grateful for their support.”