A very different Christmas in Hexham

Published: 2 December 2019
Reporter: Peter Lathan

There’s a very different kind of Christmas show at Hexham’s Queen’s Hall Arts Centre this year.

A Viking Christmas, written by Gary Kitching (Bacon Knees and Sausage Fingers and Wilfred) and directed by Jake Murray, Artistic Director of Durham (and Manchester’s) Elysium Theatre Company (Jesus Hopped the A Train, The River, Miss Julie, Playland), is, we are told, "a magical, mythical tale from the frozen land of the Nordic Kings, evil wizards and the Great Warriors of the Kingdom of Northumbria" in which we are invited to join Lotte, a brave little girl, on her midwinter's adventure as she travels through the ice-covered kingdom of perilous, mystical places and mysterious beings, to the land of high castles and dark places, to the home of the Red Caps and the scary All-Father.

The cast is Alicia Arkless (Lotte), Judi Earl (Runa), Jim Kitson (Odin), Micky Cochrane (Sigurd / Jötunn), Adam Donaldson (Gunnar / Nod) and Sarah Boulter (Edda / Ailfric) and the show runs from 13 to 28 December (not Christmas Day: various times).

A Viking Christmas will be a truly original Christmas show created in the North East by regional creatives, inspired by the thrilling myths of Northumberland,” said the Queen's Hall's Artistic Director Katy Taylor. “We’re passionate about the creative talent we have here—and we want to ensure that we tap into that talent and keep it right here in the region where the public can enjoy it!”

And Jake Murray told the BTG, “we have a crack team of North East actors involved. I feel very privileged!”