Great autumn treats

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THE Riverside Theatre autumn programme is now in full swing and there are four, separate productions discerning theatregoers will want to be aware of in the coming days.

On Saturday, September 17, North Coast favourite Anthony Toner performs his first solo concert in the theatre for several years.

In the following week audiences are spoilt for choice with four markedly contrasting presentations - a brand new play, set in Londonderry, two very funny comedies and an international rock legend returning to home turf!

The two comedy shows couldn’t be more different. Firstly, on Wednesday, September 21, the London Comedy company, Penny Dreadful, will be visiting Coleraine for the first time with its new show, Penny Dreadful’s The Etherdome!

This is adult, black comedy at its very finest and the show has already attracted rave reviews from all the quality English press and media. The story is set in the world of 1850s American Carnival SideShows, the era of grisly freaks and amazing medical advances.

This is a show which will have you howling with laughter one minute and squirming in your seat in the next!

Contrastingly, on Saturday, September 24, there’s comedy of a different kind altogether when one of Northern Ireland’s funniest and best loved comedians, the incomparable William Caulfield hits the stage for one night only.

But that’s not all. In its continuing quest to bring you more plays than any other theatre in Northern Ireland, the Riverside will be presenting a brand new drama, in the same week, from Londonderry, entitled The Exodus.

Written and directed by Jonathan Burgess for Blue Eagle Productions, is set in the town in the early 1970s at a time when many Protestant people were moving away from the cityside as a result of the Troubles.

The drama considers the pressures the Protestant community was placed under during one of the most turbulent periods of Northern Ireland’s history, by examining the deeply painful impact on a single family.

And finally, for that week, Riverside is thrilled to give a big, warm “welcome home” greeting to Henry McCullough, who will be playing with his superb backing band, for one night only, on Friday, September 23 at 8pm.

Henry is an international rock star, a world renowned guitarist and one of this country’s national treasures.

Since beginning in the dancehalls in the 60s, he went on to rub shoulders with the likes of Paul McCartney, George Harrison (who released Henry’s first solo album on his Dark Horse label), Jimi Hendrix and Joe Cocker with whom he gave a legendary performance at the Woodstock Festival in ‘69.

Henry’s band at The Riverside will include Portrush man Roe Butcher (bass), Percy Robinson (pedal steel) and Peter McKinney (drums). It’s definitely a night not-to-be-missed!

Tickets for all Riverside’s current presentations, right through to early February 2012, are currently available for purchase online via: www.riversidetheatre.org.uk or from the Theatre Box Office, during staffed opening hours, which can be located by calling Riverside on 02870 123 123.