The Stars Look Down revived

Published: 21 August 2019
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Northumberland Theatre Company (NTC) is to revive its production of The Stars Look Down, based on the 1935 novel by A J Cronin and adapted for the stage by Alex Ferguson. It will—as is NTC’s custom—tour mainly non-theatre rural venues across North Yorkshire, Tyne & Wear, Northumberland, the Borders and elsewhere during September and October.

Set in the fictional Northumberland coastal mining town of Sleescale and Tynecastle (Newcastle), The Stars Look Down was filmed in 1940 starring Michael Redgrave and Margaret Lockwood and in 1975 Granada Television produced it as a 13-part mini-series written by Alan Plater.

NTC’s stage version was written by Alex Ferguson in 2004 and the original cast included Jackie Fielding who went on to have a successful career in the North East as a director and who died suddenly in 2015.

Ferguson's version tells the story of a miner's son fighting to get better wages and conditions for men working down the dangerous Sleescale pit. His struggles see him falling in love, becoming a teacher and coping with the fallout from a huge pit disaster that kills many of the men he knows.

Tour details

  • 5 September: Gala Theatre, Durham
  • 6 September: The Dovecote Centre, Amble, Northumberland
  • 10 September: Etal Village Hall, Northumberland
  • 11 September: The Watson Memorial Hall, Lucker, Northumberland
  • 12 September: The Talbot Theatre, Whitchurch, Shropshire
  • 13 September: Newton Le Willows VH, Bedale, North Yorkshire
  • 14 September: Longhirst Village Hall, Northumberland
  • 15 September: The Princess Alexandra Auditorium, Yarm
  • 18 September: Middlesbrough Theatre
  • 19 September: Currie Memorial Hall, Lilliesleaf, Borders
  • 21 September: Hindmarsh Hall, Alnmouth, Northumberland
  • 22 September: Longformacus Village Hall, Duns
  • 26 September: Chatton Village Hall, Northumberland
  • 27 September: Newbiggin Maritime Centre, Northumberland
  • 28 September: Bamburgh Pavillion, Northumberland
  • 4 October: Stakeford Methodist Church, Northumberland
  • 5 October: Robinson Institute, Glaisdale, North Yorkshire
  • 9 October: Thrumpton Village Hall, Nottinghamshire
  • 10 October: Terry O'Toole Theatre, North Hykeham, Lincs
  • 11 October: Spring Bank Arts Centre, New Mills, Derbyshire
  • 12 October: Hurley Village Hall, Berkshire
  • 13 October: The Exchange, North Shields
  • 15 October: Kirkwhelpington Memorial Hall, Northumberland
  • 18 October: Whitburn Parish Church Hall, Sunderland
  • 19 October: Longhorsley Village Hall, Northumberland
  • 20 October: The Dovecote Centre, Amble, Northumberland