RURAL touring scheme Highlights is back, bringing the art of theatre to Tynedale’s town and village halls with its spring season.

Professional theatre companies from across the nation will be hitting the road, as they tour around Cumbria, County Durham and Northumberland, promising performances for every taste and age range.

The programme, which is run by more than 65 volunteer groups across the region, is designed to bring national touring theatre companies to isolated or rural communities, many of which do not have a theatre close by and therefore find it difficult to access performances.

Tarset Village Hall is one of the latest venues to open its doors to a Highlights performance, after hall volunteer Sarah Hallberg began working with the scheme.

“We wanted to get involved with the programme because we believed it would help attract new and younger visitors to use the village hall,” said Sarah.

“It really is a golden opportunity to see high-class entertainment, which doesn’t come through to the sticks often. It’s also a way to support local village and town halls, many of which in recent times do struggle to survive.”

Tarset will welcome the critically acclaimed play Unmythable – where heroes, monsters and gods go head to head in a play which rolls several of the most famous Greeks myths into one comedic performance from an all-female cast.

In honour of the occasion, Tarset Village Hall will be providing a Grecian spread of food for visitors, to keep in theme with the night.

Also on the programme for Tynedale is Strindberg’s 1888 classic thriller Miss Julie, which will performed by a collaboration between Theatre by the Lake and Jermyn Street Theatre at Alston Town Hall in April.

The play takes audiences on a shocking journey of forbidden lust, as aristocratic Miss Julie and her father’s manservant Jean begin a flirtatious game, which quickly turns into a romantic power struggle with fatal consequences.

Phoenix Dance Company will be stopping at Allendale Village Hall in June, where they will perform their most recent piece Windrush, a moving tribute, which tells the experiences of the Windrush generation. Opening the show will be young dancers from Youth Dance Tynedale, who will have worked under the company in the weeks prior.

For the whole family, Oskar’s Amazing Adventure, a play centered around a fun-loving puppy’s search for friendship in the snowy Alps will be showing at Bardon Mill and Henshaw Village Hall in April.

A flavour of the Romanian Mountains and Bulgarian festivals will be heading to Wark Town Hall in May with the arrival of multi-instrumentalist band She’Koykh, whose upbeat music originate from a range of countries.

Characters from the Bard’s comedy The Taming of The Shrew will appear in theatre company Finding the Will’s play Naming the View which will hit the stage at Bardon Mill and Henshaw Village Hall in May.

The play reimagines the shrewish Katherine’s life after 30 years of marriage to Petruchio, in which she is trapped in a emotionally abusive marriage.

“Village halls are often known for hosting the more traditional events so we’re trying to push the boat out,” said Sarah. “I hope that people do make the effort to turn out for what I know will be a great night.”

For Highlight’s full season programme visit