Theatre group faces closure ahead of tour

A TOURING theatre company is facing the threat of closure ahead of its biggest ever tour.

Northumberland Theatre Company is about to start touring a production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ that has been planned for summer/autumn and has been booked by a record 54 venues, both in and out of the region.

But despite the tour looking set to be the most successful yet, the whole run may have to be cancelled if the company isn’t successful with its latest funding bids.

Gillian Hambleton, artistic director at NTC, said: “We had 42 venues book up within 14 days, so the demand for our product is definitely there, it’s just a shame this hasn’t been recognised with regular funding.”

NTC have applied for Strategic Touring funding from the Arts Council, the result of which will be announced on 30th April. This will determine whether the tour of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ goes ahead, and may ultimately decide the future of NTC.

Gillian said: “It is very hand to mouth. If this funding doesn’t come through we will have to make some very tough decisions and we know a few theatre companies who have had to shut up shop due to the funding cuts, which makes me incredibly angry.

“We would be devastated if NTC came to an end, and I think the rural communities we visit would also feel a great loss, but at the same time we want to maintain the high quality of theatre that we have a reputation for.

“We will be in limbo until the result of our bid comes through at the end of April.

“There may be tough times ahead for NTC but we are extremely grateful for all of the help and support we have received so far, and we’re not ready to give up the fight just yet.”

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