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November | Thu 1st | 19:30

Haunted: Literary Ghost Stories £7/5

An evening of atmospheric ghost stories for Hallowe'en read by professional actors Stephen Tomlin and Janine Birkett.

As much love story as ghostly tale, The Wall by Kate Clanchy centres on a family visit to Hadrian’s Wall and movingly explores loss and redemption. The programme also includes Edith Nesbit’s Man Size in Marble and The Deadly Space Between by Chaz Brenchley: two very different but equally powerful dark narratives about artists and works of art.


The Stories and their authors

Man Size in Marble, Edith Nesbit - (1893) When a young pair of newlyweds settle down into a small cottage in a quiet village, they look forward to a pleasant, pastoral life of domestic bliss …But little do they suspect what can happen in the English countryside come Halloween! A disarming tale of growing suspense and terror which shows a very different side of this famous children's book author, best known for The Railway Children and Five Children and It.

The Deadly Space Between, Chaz Brenchley - (2006)This compelling portrait of the great artistas a devious monster has a very recognisable local setting although no association should be made with any persons, alive or dead! Chaz Brenchley is a prolific author across different genres, having published nine thrillers, two fantasy series, work for children, plays, and over 550 short stories. A former writer in residence at the University of Northumbria he recently got married and moved from Newcastle to California with two squabbling cats and a famous teddy bear. More at:

The WallKate Clanchy - (2017) Kate’s moving and original story is the result of a residency at Housesteads Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall in 2017 and was published in Eight Ghosts, an anthology of contemporary writers work inspired by English Heritage sites. Kate Clanchy was born in Glasgow and now lives in Oxford. She is the author of Meeting the English, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award while the title story from her collection, The Not-Deadand The Saved won the 2009 BBC National Short Story Award.  Kate’s poetry has also won her a wide audience along side a clutch of literary prizes.


The Readers 

Stephen Tomlin For the last 46 years since qualifying as a teacher from the Central School of Speech & Drama, Stephen has worked extensively as an actor in a wide range of roles for television, theatre and audio as well as being a director, writer and role player. Based in Lancaster for most of his long career, Stephen also produced promenade Shakespeare, ghost story readings and Christmas productions at Lancaster Castle under the demi-paradise banner between 2000 – 2016. He now lives in the Northumberland National Park with his partner, the artist & illustrator Kim Lewis.

Janine Birkett Janine was born in Northumberland and raised in Newcastle.  She spent her early career touring the “heather land and bent-land” of this wonderful county with Northumberland Theatre Company, going on to perform with Northern Stage Ensemble and at Theatre by the Lake; the New Vic and Stephen Joseph Theatre.In the 1990’s she was Byker Grove parent, Maggie Watson for three series; and played Jenny Elliot, Billy’s Mam, in the film Billy Elliot. Other TV and film appearances include: Poppy Shakespeare, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks, Holby City, The Royal, Inspector George Gently, and, most recently, Coronation Street. BBC Radio drama includes the long-running series My Uncle Freddie, in which she played Aunty Bella; and the Jarrow March play, A Woman’s Walk.  In the last four years Janine has also added around 40 audio-books to her CV including several by Vera author, Ann Cleeves. 



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