Northumberland Theatre Company (NTC) returns to touring this autumn with ‘Barnaby Rudge’. Performing to family audiences in small venues in towns and villages in the region and beyond, the story focuses on Barnaby, a young man being drawn into the Gordon Riots of the late 18thC when a storm was falsely whipped up about an impending Catholic takeover of Britain, but rather than being just a history this certainly has resonances for contemporary audiences.
Stewart Howson, who adapted the story exclaimed “It’s a bit of a nightmare to adapt any Dickens’s work for most of them were published in magazine instalments so brevity did not pay. Dickens wasn’t out to help me (or himself) very much! He abandoned several attempts at starting a book called ‘Gabriel Varden’…then changed the title to ‘Barnaby Rudge’ and thinking he’d try his hand at one of these new murder mystery stories, tucked one of those in. He then published thirty five chapters before deciding he’d had enough, jumped five years and began another, different story. New characters appear and old ones vanish and reappear at the very end only in a “pantomime walk-down” of coincidences. It’s a very rich tapestry, but we don’t have a very, very long wall on which to hang it, so we are going to play down or even completely ignore many of the other wonderful characters and subplots and follow Barnaby’s exciting story and await his fate with bated breath”.
Five actors will take the show on the road including a trainee actor and musician, Craig Fairbairn, from Newcastle.
“Our remit is to take imaginative and accessible theatre to rural venues and also give the next generation of theatre performers a chance to hone their craft through our trainee scheme and this year is no different. We’re very pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to Craig, who will hopefully gain a great deal of experience touring with this production,” said Gillian Hambleton, Artistic Director.
Tickets on sale from Etal Post Office