One North East attraction is determined to see the funny side of life as 2014 gets underway. The chuckle honours go to Woodhorn, near Ashington, for welcoming a comedian-in-residence.
We’ve heard of artists and writers in residence – and even clown ‘doctors’ in hospital – but this is a new one on us. What on earth does a resident comedian do among the museum attractions and archives?
Sam Wonfor posed the question to Seymour Mace who landed one of the quirkiest jobs so far this year – and we don’t mean appearing on the first Culture cover of the new year. You can find out inside what the professional funnyman said in reply.
Also smiling beneath our seemingly perma-leaden skies are artists Susi Bellamy and Theresa Poulton whose mutual love of colour brought them together in what they hope will be a fruitful partnership.
Recent graduates, the pair are 50 and not ashamed to admit it. As they prepared for their first joint exhibition they spoke of their passion for art and their hopes and ambitions.
In particular, they hope others who imagine they might have missed the chance of higher education will be inspired to follow their example.
On the music front, we spend some time with Alexander: not one nice chap but four who decided, presumably, that it would simpler – rather than devilishly complicated – to go under the same moniker.
Three from Sunderland and one from Newcastle, Alexander have been together for a year, producing a promising debut LP and booking two headline tours, which qualifies them perfectly for our New Music slot.
On the classical front, meanwhile, we report on a frenetic couple of months for Samling, the admirable Hexham charity which has helped to put many brilliant young singers on the map. They have not one masterclass week coming up but two.
Finally, as the subject of our Final Say, who better to round things off than Brendan Healy?
A trouper to the core!