The North Country Theatre company enjoyed a sell-out tour with its highly original production of The Man Who Would be King, produced with the help of National Lottery funding.
North Country Theatre specialises in rural touring, particularly to village halls, community centres and small theatres in market towns. “We aim to take a high standard of professional theatre to rural communities in their own back yard,” says Nobby, Artistic Director and founder of the company. “Our tours sell out very quickly –our audience figures would be the envy of many metropolitan theatre companies!”
Their popularity has been made possible, in part, thanks to regular funding by The National Lottery. “The company couldn’t exist without its core funding,” continues Nobby. “Even though we earn quite a lot from ticket sales, we couldn’t exist without National Lottery funding.”Nobby Dimon adapted the play from a short story by Rudyard Kipling about British imperialism in Afghanistan.
The company traditionally takes everything it needs to each venue, including stage, costumes, lighting and sound, but an extra dimension for The Man Who Would be King was the addition of two live musicians, chosen with the help of South Asian Art UK for their abilities to play Asian instruments.
“Since the story is set in Afghanistan, we thought it would be highly atmospheric to have Asian music as part of the performance,” says Nobby. “Normally, having musicians would be well outside our budget, but for this particular production we were awarded extra Lottery funding. It was great because it enabled our audience to experience Asian music when they wouldn’t usually get to do so. It went down so well that the musicians are likely to be rebooked for their own concerts as a result.”In 2013, the company is working on Blame it on Bartle - the Richmondshire Community Play, which has also received support from the National Lottery.
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