Alnwick Playhouse is celebrating a theatrical coup with the only North East performances of Much Ado About Nothing, from Shakespeare’s Globe.
The popular Shakespeare comedy, with Emma Pallant and Simon Bubb as reluctant lovers Beatrice and Benedick, opens in Margate on Friday but then heads for Alnwick for two performances, before opening at the Globe – the London South Bank reconstruction of the 16th-century theatre in which Shakespeare performed.
According to Jo Potts, manager of Alnwick Playhouse, the dash north was prompted by a member of the production team who is from the North East and suggested the venue as a good place for the company to visit.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be bringing such a prestigious company to Alnwick,” she said.
“It is the highlight of our spring season programme and I can still hardly believe it.
“For me, the Shakespeare’s Globe company breath life and passion into Shakespeare’s plays which are normally performed in the open air in one of the most beautiful theatres in the world.
“We hope there will be the same buzz here as on the South Bank but indoors, protected from the Northumberland weather.”
Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Max Webster, will be performed at Alnwick on April 16 and 17 (call 01665 510785).
Jo is delighted with the way things have picked up at the revitalised Playhouse. “We’re doing really well considering that, at one point, we didn’t know if we would survive,” she said.
“We’ve got a busy cafe downstairs and live satellite streaming of productions by the National Theatre and RSC onto the big screen.
“We have also been supporting local talent by presenting plays by Lee Mattinson, Laura Lindow and John Challis, and also the North company from Northern Stage.”
Jo says taking part in the nationwide NT Connections scheme has enabled young people from the area to link up with the National Theatre.
Same, by Deborah Bruce, was premiered in Alnwick by the theatre’s senior youth theatre group as part of the scheme, and it will be performed again at Northern Stage on April 22 to open the regional NT Connections Festival.
Find details of all forthcoming attractions on www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk