Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Four Plays with a Pint as Pub Hosts Travelling Theatre Event; Fancy Seeing a New Play in a Pub? That's the Delight in Store for Fans of One North East Theatre Company, as DAVID WHETSTONE Reports

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Four Plays with a Pint as Pub Hosts Travelling Theatre Event; Fancy Seeing a New Play in a Pub? That's the Delight in Store for Fans of One North East Theatre Company, as DAVID WHETSTONE Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID WHETSTONE

SOME people in cities think the countryside is a cultural desert, albeit one with lots of trees to admire. They obviously haven't come across Northumberland Theatre Company (NTC) - or the landlord of a certain County Durham pub.

The latest touring production from NTC is a four-hander - a quartet of new short plays by writers from around the country.

NTC director Gillian Hambleton, who sees no value in lights under bushels, sums up the current offer: "We've got six great actors, a fantastic set and four brilliant plays - a rural idyll, a Faustian pact, a haunting melody and an exaggerated lie, which all adds up to a fast-paced, thought-provoking and, most importantly, entertaining evening of theatre."

She adds: "And, as ever, we're taking our shows to the audiences in more out of the way places."

Billed as 4Thoughts, the plays get their premiere at Alnwick Playhouse tonight and tomorrow and then hit the road.

On the itinerary next week is The Black Bull Inn at Frosterley, County Durham, where landlord Duncan Davis rules the roost.

Duncan is an accomplished photographer who had an exhibition at The Gate in Newcastle a few years ago, and also illustrated chef Terry Laybourne's book, Quest for Taste.

But he is also a friend of NTC, explaining: "I used to live in Capheaton and, when NTC advertised for people to put on their productions, we put them on in the village hall. They're a really good company and I've been putting their shows on ever since.

"Ten years ago I moved to Weardale and, in that time, NTC has been really struggling (it lost its Arts Council funding a few years ago). But I've been putting things on at Christmas ever since I've been here.

"We've had story reading nights with Stewart Howson, who wrote Quest for Taste and has also written a lot of plays for NTC. …

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