The Remarkable Robin Armstrong’s Extraordinary Christmas Adventure cast announced

Published: 19 November 2021
Reporter: Peter Lathan

L to R: Amy Watts, Luke Madison, Paula Penman, Hannah Goudie-Hunter, Mark Calvert, Calum Howard Credit: Jason Thompson (Sound Ideas Media)

The cast for this year’s Christmas show at Hexham’s Queen’s Hall Arts, The Remarkable Robin Armstrong’s Extraordinary Christmas Adventure, has been announced.

Leading the cast as Robin Armstrong, an adventurous young girl who is obsessed with all things magic and lives in a northern village famous for its fairy tale and folklore, is Jude Nelson whose theatre credits include Poppy in Isolation (The Customs House/Alphabetti Theatre), Georgina Stephenson in Rocket Girl (Alphabetti Theatre/The Worriers), Sheltered (10 minutes to… at Live Theatre) and in the Queen’s Halls first animated production, Christmas with the Hobs, written by Becci Sharrock, last December.

Playing Grandma is Paul Penman whose credits include regional and national tours of solo shows Donna Disco (Live Theatre) and Brown Bird (Bush Theatre) as well as The Snow Queen, Get Santa!, The Little Detective Agency, The Goblin Who Saved Christmas, The Hoppings (Northern Stage), Pause, Three Shorts, Wrong Place Wrong Time, Bricks and Mortar, Christmas Carol (Alphabetti Theatre) and Woven Bones (Cap-a-Pie) shortlisted for Living North Performance of The Year in 2019.

Mam is played by Hannah Goudie-Hunter, a theatre maker and performer specialising in physical storytelling, puppetry and theatre for young audiences. She is a founding member of Kitchen Zoo and her theatre credits include The Three Bears at Christmas, Wolf!, The Tin Foil Astronaut and The Owl and the Pussycat with Kitchen Zoo, and The Emperor's New Clothes for Kitchen Zoo and Northern Stage. She also appeared in Climate Change Catastrophe from Cap-a-Pie, created with Newcastle primary school children and Newcastle University scientists which was shown at COP26.

Luke Maddison plays Declan and Bograt. His credits include The War of the Worlds adapted by Laura Lindow at Northern Stage, national tour of Leaving written by Paddy Campbell for Curious Monkey, Der Rosenkavalier for Opera North, When the Boat Comes In, Part 1 and When the Boat Comes In, Part 2: the Hungry Years (Customs House), as well as numerous pantos for the Customs House.

Calum Howard will play the Elderman. Originally from Hexham, Calum is an actor, musician, composer, sound designer and producer who composes music and sound for theatre, film and digital media across the UK.

The play is written by Elijah Young, an Associate Artist at Live Theatre, who in 2019 was Young Writer in Residence at the Customs House Takeover festival, where his play Isolation premiered before transferring to Alphabetti Theatre. He was recently selected to be a part of the BBC North East writers development programme.

The Remarkable Robin Armstrong’s Extraordinary Christmas Adventure is directed by Mark Calvert who has directed both small-scale (for example The Goblin Who Saved Christmas) and large scale (James and the Giant Peach and A Christmas Carol) Christmas shows for many years.

He is joined by Set and Costume Designer Amy Watts whose credits include The Hound of the Baskervilles/Northern Stage and West End Girls/Live Theatre; Sound Designer and Musical Director Jeremy Bradfield - a composer, sound designer and performer specialising in multi-instrumental live music for theatre, his credits include The Three Bears at Christmas/Kitchen Zoo and James and The Giant Peach and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz for Northern Stage; and Movement Director Martin Hylton - Rehearsal Director at Phoenix Dance Theatre and Gateway Studios Artistic Director, whose theatre credits include The Snow Queen for Northern Stage.

The Remarkable Robin Armstrong’s Extraordinary Christmas Adventure is at the Queen’s Hall from 10-28 December and is suitable for all ages. Tickets start from £12 and can be booked through the website or from the box office (by phone on 01434 652 477).