Northumberland based Performing Arts Company, November Club has travelled across the county, visiting seven Northumberland villages including Thropton War Memorial Hall, Felton Village Hall, Kirknewton Village Hall, Norham Village Hall, Shilbottle Community Hall, Bardon Mill & Henshaw Village Hall, Walton Village Hall and a livestock auction mart in Hexham. Stories and anecdotes collected from local residents are the inspiration in creating a unique musical exploring rural life.
Cinzia Hardy, Artistic Director at November Club said: “This is the only musical to be made based on rural life in Northumberland and it’s something to be celebrated. We have been able to build on our unique approach to working with local communities - reaching new places and people across Northumberland. The content will be shaped by each village and it will be a real discovery of the county.”
A professional cast of 10 actors and musicians will weave their midsummer tale about the residents of a village called PLACE, its people, and its stories. Each village will also have special appearances from local talent including a choir, the part of a 12-year-old girl and a couple of additional roles to help bring the musical to life. The musical also culminates in a ceilidh, compared by Alistair Anderson or David Oliver.
Communities from the Village Halls have been heavily involved in the musical through various participation opportunities. Each village has scheduled drama workshops to find aspiring actors for the musical, a family make and do day to help make bunting to hang at each venue, as well as working with WI’s to bake their own cakes synonymous with their village to be served at the interval – including Thropton’s famous ‘Tattie Cake’ and a Felton fruit cake.
The Beyond the End of the Road Tour starts Friday 2nd June at Hexham Auction Mart and concludes on Saturday 1st July at The Crossman Village Hall, Holy Island, with an additional show now scheduled for Sage Gateshead on Tuesday 27th June. For ticket information visit www.novemberclub.org.uk/musical
Music and lyrics composed by Katie Doherty, who has taken her inspiration from local folk and traditional Northumberland music, written by Laura Lindow.
Beyond the End of the Road produced by November Club in collaboration with Highlights Rural Touring Scheme, supported by Queen’s Hall Arts, Hexham, will be touring across Northumberland throughout June.
Thanks to generous funding from Arts Council England, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Joicey Trust, Northumberland County Council, Northumberland National Park and The Community Foundation.