THE Queen’s Hall in Hexham was packed to the rafters on Saturday night – and why not?
Where else would you get four completely different shows, performed by four completely different casts, all on one night?
Every 12 months, clubs within the Northumberland Federation of Young Farmers take over the Queen’s Hall for their annual stage competition.
The competition has three themes – pantomime, drama, and entertainment – which revolve on a three-year cycle.
This time around it was entertainment, which allowed the young writers, producers, actors, singers and musicians licence to unleash their creativity.
Whitley Chapel Young Farmers’ Club, which has enjoyed remarkable success in the competition in recent years, won back its crown after losing out to Stamfordham YFC last year.
But their half-hour performance of An Invite To Fright Night was not a horror show, despite the appearance of several notorious characters.
The plot involved several guests making their way to Count Dracula’s birthday party.
To get inside, however, they had to entertain the doormen, Frankenstein and Wolf Man.
This led to a series of impromptu sketches and acts from the guests. The Queen’s Hall audience was treated to ghosts performing the Riverdance, skeletons removing bones during the Full Monty, magic tricks by witches, and the presence of mummies.
Producer Lewis Short, who also doubled-up as sound technician, said: “It was a fast-paced show with a good variety of sketches, songs and dance routines. We started rehearsing in early December, and have thoroughly enjoyed putting together and working on the project.
“To win is fantastic, and everyone has done really well.”
Last year’s victors Stamfordham YFC came second with Much to do About Nothing, while Cambo YFC were third with the interestingly- named Librarian Rhapsody.
In fourth place was a combined performance of A Summer Night by members of Tritlington and Coquetdale Young Farmers’ clubs.
Best senior male performer was Dan Miller of Whitley Chapel; best senior female performer was Carly Hall of Stamfordham; best junior male performer was Stuart O’Neill of Stamfordham. and best junior female performer was Abi Courage of Whitley Chapel.
Whitley Chapel will now compete in the northern area finals, hosted by Yorkshire YFC, at the Manor Church of England Academy in York, on Saturday, February 25.