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Alexander Millar 'gadgie' painting up for auction

Art-lovers are in with a chance to own a unique work of art - in the shape of the famous northern 'gadgie'

Artist Alexander Millar with his painting My Way
Artist Alexander Millar with his painting My Way

Alexander Millar’s new oil painting is set to be auctioned to help raise funds for the Theatre Royal.

The Scotland-born artist, who has lived in the region for more than 30 years where he’s become known as the gadgie artist for his humorous paintings featuring a working-class local man in cloth cap, will be attending a special event at the theatre on Monday where My Way will be up for grabs as the auction process kicks off.

It will then run for four weeks at Castle Fine Art, nearby on Grey Street.

The oil painting shows the gadgie - posed by 68-year-old former council worker Peter Greenhalsh - striking one of his famous poses from the stage of the Theatre Royal as he looks out into the auditorium.

It was specially created by Millar in support of the venue, which the keen theatre fan loves, and an undisclosed percentage of whatever is raised at the silent auction will go to the Newcastle Theatre Royal Trust.

Hosted by ITV’s Pam Royle, the launch will take place from 6.30pm to 7.45pm and is free but ticketed.

As well as the painting, there will be signed limited edition prints for sale, again with the theatre receiving a cut, while one audience member will win one for free.

Alexander himself will be painting live on stage while talking about his fascinating life; a story which began in Springside, near Kilmarnock, and took him from jobs on a Glasgow building site and as a window cleaner to becoming one of the most renowned contemporary artists around, whose work is known worldwide.

The popular gadgie now features in the collections of celebrities and Alexander will be talking about it all, while also taking part in a question and answer session with the audience.

Earlier this year, following completion of My Way, he told Culture: “The gadgie started off being by grandad, then my father really.

“When my dad died, in a sense it morphed into me and I’m the gadgie.

“This painting is like an amalgamation of everything that involved me - I’m kind of living my dreams through paintings.

“I wanted to do things my way and I’ve gone from no formal training to becoming one of the most successful artist in the UK - it’s bizarre!”

He says he harboured ambitions to be an actor and loves the theatre and the North East so thought the painting an ideal way to give something back.

Pam said: “Alexander’s story is quite something.

“Having never trained as an artist and now being one of the most popular in the country is quite inspirational.

“Plus, to be able to help raise money for the Theatre Royal in Newcastle is a great honour for me.”

Also on the night, her auctioneer husband Mike Walker, will be auctioning an original pencil sketch and an original charcoal by Millar.

Philip Bernays, chief executive of the theatre, said: We’ve had a fantastic response from the public, with around 70% of our allocated tickets being snapped up in the first two weeks but there are still some seats left for those last minute bookings!”

To reserve tickets call 08448 112 121 or visit www.theatreroyal.co.uk

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