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Le Moulin Magique crosses the language barrier with a magical windmill

The show, say Hexham-based Theatre Sans Frontieres of their latest, Le Moulin Magique, is “in simple French”

The cast of Theatre Sans Frontieres' new show, Le Moulin Magique
The cast of Theatre Sans Frontieres' new show, Le Moulin Magique

The show, say Hexham-based Theatre Sans Frontieres of their latest, Le Moulin Magique, is “in simple French”.

You may want to ask: how simple is simple?

But the fact is, this brilliant company effortlessly crosses the language barrier using physical theatre as a sort of stepladder.

Listen to the words or watch the faces. You won’t get lost.

Joining the cast for this production is Aron De Casmaker, a dynamic Canadian clown who has performed with Cirque du Soleil in its hit show Alegria.

He goes up in the world for the Hexham company, playing Monsieur Le Vent (The Wind), Le Genie, a chicken and a talking vegetable.

Suitable for everyone over eight years old, Le Moulin Magique (The Magic Windmill) is based on a Breton folk tale by Paul de Musset.

It tells of a poor miller and his wife who are starving. They don’t have a cow to sell for beans so they appeal to The Wind and The Rain for help.

Also taking part are John Cobb, a Theatre Sans Frontieres co-founder, Jack Burton and - also making her debut - French actress Isabelle Schoelcher.

The director is Sarah Kemp, the company’s other co-founder.

The play was premiered yesterday at Hexham Abbey Festival but can be seen at Alnwick Playhouse on October 1, Hartlepool Town Hall on October 4, The Phoenix Theatre, Blyth, on October 7 and The Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre, Newcastle, on October 15.

Details of all can be found on www.tsf.org.uk

Meanwhile, Hexham Abbey Festival has a few more attractions to offer.

Pianist Sarah Gardner performs at 1pm today on the Young Musicians’ Platform. Sarah is a hugely talented musician who has won more than 100 first places at local music festivals over the last 10 years.

She played her first piano concerto aged 12 and has performed at Sage Gateshead and The Royal Albert Hall.Her recital will include works by Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Ravel.

At 7pm this evening, 4 Girls 4 Harps take the Abbey stage for a feast of harp music, new and old, in a performance which should look as good as it sounds.

Tomorrow the festival comes to a fitting climax with a 7pm performance by Renaissance of Ode to St Cecilia. Performed under candlelight, with Marcus Wibberley at the organ and Martin Neary conducting, this promises to be an enchanting and memorable concert.

Renaissance, directed by Ben Rowarth, is a small group of singers, most of whom study at Durham University. The singers will be accompanied on Saturday by a string quintet.

Tickets for all events can be booked from the Queen’s Hall box office on 01434 652477.

Meanwhile, a festival exhibition, Lindisfarne: Faith, Inspiration & Stitch, runs until October 12.

It features work by North East members of the Embroiderers’ Guild inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels which can be seen at the Queen’s Hall and also in Hexham Abbey.

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