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Preview: Clear White Light at Newcastle Live Theatre

Stellar Cast and Creative team announced for World Premiere

Clear White Light
Newcastle Live Theatre
Thursday 18th October - Saturday 10th November 2018

Written by Paul Sirett
With the songs of Alan Hull of Lindisfarne
Musical Direction and performed live by Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell

Clear White Light, a modern Gothic story set at St. Nicholas’ hospital in Gosforth, written by Olivier Award nominated writer Paul Sirett has its World Premiere at Live Theatre between Thursday 18 October and Saturday 10 November.

Inspired by Alan Hull’s time working as a psychiatric nurse at St. Nick’s and set against the backdrop of cuts to the 70-year-old NHS, the play features many of the hit songs he wrote for Lindisfarne at that time, including Winter Song, Lady Eleanor and Clear White Light that will be played by a live band on stage including Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell of Lindisfarne.

Ray Laidlaw said: ‘'We've been working with the wonderfully creative team at Live Theatre for a long time, searching for the perfect vehicle for Alan's great songs which doesn't rely on cliché. Clear White Light is just that - it's fresh and inventive, and I'm sure it'll introduce Alan's music to a whole new audience.”

Billy Mitchell added: “Alan was profoundly touched by his time at St. Nick's, caring for people with mental health issues. The music he wrote around then - often while on duty - has stood the test of time. Unfortunately, the NHS hasn't fared so well, something Clear White Light addresses head-on.”

The cast includes Charlie Hardwick, who makes her return to Live Theatre’s stage after starring in Emmerdale, Live Theatre regular Joe Caffrey who was most recently seen in Live Theatre productions Iris and Cooking with Elvis, and Bryony Corrigan who recently starred in Live Theatre’s popular romantic comedy, My Romantic History, alongside newcomers to Live Theatre, actor Dale Jewitt, and actors and musicians Phil Adèle and Alice Blundell.

Actor Charlie Hardwick said: “I am over the moon to be performing at Live Theatre after 16 long years away.  Clear White Light is a belter of a play and I get to sing the brilliant songs of Lindisfarne’s Alan Hull.  How could I resist?  I first saw Live Theatre in my home town of Wallsend in 1980 and they inspired me to become an actor.  In 1988 I landed my first job with Live and went on to perform in over twenty glorious productions.  Some of my happiest times have been working in that intimate little jewel of a theatre on the Quayside.  I can’t wait to be there again.”

Clear White Light is a modern interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Fall of the House of Usher. Originally commissioned by Max Roberts, Live Theatre’s Emeritus Artistic Director, it is the first play at Live Theatre to be directed by its new Artistic Director, Joe Douglas with Max and Joe working closely together to bring the play to life.

Also on board are designer Neil Warmington and Lighting Designer Ali Hunter who has previously worked on the lighting for Rattle Snake at Live Theatre and on tour earlier this year.

Max Roberts, Emeritus Artistic Director explains: “This play has been in development for a number of years, as I have worked with Ray to find the right story to bring the life and music of Lindisfarne’s Alan Hull to the stage. Working with Olivier Award nominated writer Paul Sirett enabled us to combine the elements into a play that has drama, suspense and of course the fabulous music of Lindisfarne, which we hope will be appreciated by those that already love their music and by a whole new generation.”

Joe Douglas, Artistic Director added: It is an honour to be able to work with Max in such an in-depth, creative way on Paul Sirett’s new play - a poignant, contemporary story set at St. Nick’s hospital in the year which marks the 70th birthday of our NHS. For me, it exemplifies what a Live Theatre play should be: funny, moving, entertaining and a bit political. It’s pretty eerie too, in time for Halloween, and we are echoing that gothic feel in the set design. We have a cracking team of actors and creatives to realise this fantastic play, as my first full length production here at Live Theatre.” 

Written by Paul Sirett
With the songs of Alan Hull of Lindisfarne
Musical Direction and performed live by Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell
Directed by Joe Douglas
Designed by Neil Warmington
Dramaturgy by Max Roberts
Lighting Design by Ali Hunter
Sound Design by Dave Flynn


Clear White Light is at Live Theatre from Thursday 18 October to Saturday 10 November.

Writer Paul Sirett will give a free post show talk after the 2pm show on Saturday 20 October and Musical Directors Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell will take part in a post show talk after the 7.30pm performance on Wednesday 24 October. Both talks are free for ticket holders for that performance and will be recorded and available to listen again at

There will also be a number of additional talks and events linked to the play.


For more information or to book tickets which are between £12 and £26, and concessions from £10 call Live Theatre’s Box Office on (0191) 232 1232 or see

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