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Welcome to the first Culture of 2015 and once again fitting a quart into a pint pot was our New Year challenge.
We’ve probably failed because there’s so much going on. With limited space, hard choices have to be made, but we hope we have covered some of the best that’s on offer during February.
Brian Conley, coming to the Theatre Royal as the great showman PT Barnum, proved elusive but we got his boss (sort of) – local lad Michael Harrison, producer of Barnum. He talks about his friendship with the star and his relationship with Cameron Mackintosh, one of the most powerful figures in British theatre.
Another influential figure on the theatre scene is Live Theatre’s Gez Casey who, in choosing his good reads for our regular Readers’ Lives column, explains his interest in horse racing.
We see the potential for a play in that somewhere along the line.
In Berwick they are celebrating the legacy of Sir William Burrell who made a fortune from shipbuilding – or, more specifically, ship selling – and invested much of the proceeds in art.
Although Glasgow got the biggest Burrell Collection, Berwick also benefited from his passion and his generosity.
Read about the exhibition at the town’s Granary Gallery inside.
Meanwhile, Laura Fraine has been talking to Newcastle-born author Emily Woof about her new novel, set in the city, and Sam Wonfor learns about the pull of The X Factor from North East contestant Lola Saunders.
In our Taste! section we preview the EAT! IN festival, which invites us to embark on a culinary adventure.
Charles Evans took his appetite and his sketchbook to Amble for a post-Christmas curry.
Meanwhile our wine expert Helen Savage, eschewing quarts and pint pots, was getting closely acquainted with bottles of blushing rosé in the run-up to Valentine’s Day.