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Rain forces play indoors

IT may be called Much Ado About Nothing, but there’s been much ado about a production of it taking place in the region tonight.

IT may be called Much Ado About Nothing, but there’s been much ado about a production of it taking place in the region tonight.

Sunderland Empire was planning to host its first outdoor production at Herrington Country Park in Houghton-le-Spring - but the weather has put paid to that.

It was to be one of the highlights of the Empire’s 100th Birthday Celebrations. Now, though, it is taking place at the theatre itself.

It is billed as an energetic and very funny production of one of Shakespeare's most memorable romantic comedies.

No need for wellies anymore!

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DURHAM’S Gala Theatre is getting in the summer mood - despite the weather - with a programme of uplifting musical events throughout July.

First on the line up are the danceable sounds of Batanai Marimba this Sunday. Led by the energy and charisma of Zimbabwean lead singer Wedzerai Zvirevo, Batanai Marimba use their music to explore issues of displacement and cultural change, and celebrate freedom through unity.

Their albums have included the Oxfam Africa compilation, and Breaking the Silence, a HIV awareness compilation.

Musically, their style is a mix of deep Shona and Zulu NuRoots sounds. The marimba, a traditional African wooden xylophone-style instrument, provides the beats that have become the band’s trademark, as well as the inspiration for their name.

The Batanai Marimba show on July 8 is part of the Gala’s Summer Ice Cream Sunday promotion, where guests receive a free interval ice cream tub for every ticket booked.

Tickets are available from the Gala Box Office for £9 (£7 conc) £6 Friends on (0191) 332 4041, or visit www.galadurham.co.uk for online bookings.

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