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Preview: Clear White Light at Newcastle Live Theatre

Cast confirmed for return of Clear White Light

Clear White Light
Newcastle Live Theatre
Thursday 19 September - Saturday 12 October 2019

Clear White Light, a modern Gothic story set at St. Nicholas’ hospital in Gosforth, featuring the songs of Lindisfarne, which was a sell out hit when it premiered at Live Theatre last year, returns to the Quayside based theatre from Thursday 19 September to Saturday 12 October.

Original cast members Charlie Hardwick, Joe Caffrey, Ray Laidlaw, Billy Mitchell, Phil Adèle, Alice Blundell and Dale Jewitt all reprise their roles in the hit show. Elizabeth Carter joins this year’s cast to take on the role of Alison.

The play follows Alison, a student mental health nurse, on her first night shift on an all-male, locked ward. As she joins Rod’s hard pressed nursing team and the patients that they are there to look after, it becomes a night shift to remember.

Set in the atmospheric surroundings of St. Nicholas’ Hospital in Gosforth, the play features the songs of Alan Hull of Lindisfarne – some of which were written at St. Nick’s when Alan was working as a nurse there. The music is played and sung live by the actors, including former members of Lindisfarne, Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell, and includes many of the band’s iconic hits including Winter Song, Lady Eleanor and Clear White Light.

Elizabeth Carter who joins the cast as Alison, previously appeared at Live Theatre ten years ago in The Moonlight Gem, and Garden of Dreams, a production for young people.

Elizabeth explains “Growing up in the North East, Live Theatre was where I would watch, study and be hugely inspired by new plays.  I’ve always been passionate about the development of new writing in the North East and it is an honour to be invited back here, to perform in Clear White Light.  It’s been 10 years since I last performed at Live Theatre and I am so excited to be returning home to this beautiful venue, to work with such a brilliant team and be part of such a fantastic show.  It really is an honour and I can’t wait!”

Clear White Light is a modern interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Fall of the House of Usher. First produced in 2018 to critical acclaim it was the first play at Live Theatre to be directed by its new Artistic Director, Joe Douglas with former Artistic Director Max Roberts and Joe working closely together to bring the play to life.

Artistic Director Joe Douglas
Artistic Director Joe Douglas is enthusiastic about the production’s return.  “I can’t wait to get back to work on Clear White Light, to hear the music performed live again and get back into the rehearsal room. Returning to a play is like meeting an old pal - you’ve both changed but you quickly remember why you liked each other in the first place. We might change a few aspects of the production and we’ll make sure the audience enjoy the show as much - or even more - than last year.”

Charlie Hardwick

Charlie Hardwick added "Clear White Light was so brilliant last year, I'm utterly delighted to get the chance to do it all again.  So all of you who were gutted you couldn't see it last time because it sold out, get your tickets booked tout-de-suite!"

Ray Laidlaw
Original Lindisfarne member Ray Laidlaw who is musical director and performer in Clear White Light said: "Being involved with Live Theatre’s production of Clear White Light last year was a high point in my musical life. Placing those great songs in a context inspired by Alan Hull’s formative years gave the compositions an added dimension and the reaction from the audiences was unforgettable. Getting the opportunity to do it again in 2019 is an unexpected bonus and I’m really looking forward to it.  In addition, Billy Mitchell and I are bringing our two-man show The Lindisfarne Story to Live Theatre’s intimate space for a couple of exclusive performances. What a blast.”

A number of related events take place at Live Theatre linked to the show. Two exclusive performances of The Lindisfarne Story, a joyful, funny and emotional celebration of the band, take place on the Clear White Light stage, at 8pm on Sunday 29 September & Sunday 6 October (following 4pm Sunday matinees). Original Lindisfarne members Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell share personal stories, rare video, unseen photographs and acoustic performances of some of the band’s greatest hits.

In the first of a series of Live Icons Talks, at 4pm on Sunday 22 September, actor Charlie Hardwick joins Joe Douglas, Live Theatre’s Artistic Director, to discusses her relationship with Live Theatre and some of her favourite roles including current hit play Clear White Light, and as Emmerdale’s Val Pollard.

Free Post Show Talks include Meet The Creative Team after the 7.30pm show on Wednesday 25 September, Meet the Musical Directors Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell after the 4pm performance on Sunday 29 September and 7.30pm performance on Tuesday 8 October. In Gothic Echoes, after the 7.30pm show on Thursday 26 September, Dr Melanie Waters, Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature, Northumbria University, looks at Gothic locations, and themes and the relationship between music and madness. All talks are free for ticket holders for that performance and will be recorded and available to listen again at

Clear White Light is at Live Theatre from Thursday 19 September to Saturday 12 October.  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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