Beyond the End of the Road in Whalton Village HallOver 49% of Northumberland’s population live in rural locations. Arts and culture can be the lifeblood of these communities, but they often face many barriers to accessing quality and varied arts experiences. 

November Club is passionate about the arts and the positive impact they have on people and places. We believe it is so important that we are able to offer high-quality artistic work and experiences to these often isolated communities. Our work is more than just putting on a show in a village hall, never to be seen again. Our projects are embedded within the local community from the outset to deliver events that offer memorable experiences for all ages and lasting benefits for the local community.

Impact of rural touring 

Our multi-award-winning musical tale, Beyond the End of the Road, celebrated rural life in Northumberland, telling the stories of the residents of a village called PLACE; their loves, loses and deepest secrets.Our cast of "Molly

The production was deeply rooted within the local communities from the outset by creating in-depth participatory activities with each location. From the initial workshops to develop the tale, to creating bunting and props for the performance, the community choirs who sang alongside our professional musicians and the magnificent “Molly”, who’s character was played by a group of young girls from the local communities.  

16 VILLAGE HALLS | 310 PARTICIPANTS | 9 LOCAL CHOIRS |262 VOLUNTEER HOURS | 1,674 TICKETS SOLD

In addition to enjoying a social evening and high-quality performance with friends and family, Beyond the End of the Road delivered important benefits to the participants and communities including:

  • A sense of belonging – the performances took place in the heart of the community, the storyline and jokes made people really feel it was their story and they’d had a part in making it happen
  • Social bridging – the story-gathering sessions and participation elements brought communities together and an appreciation of individuals sometimes unknown contribution to village life. Audiences spoke of the increased sense of community after seeing friends/neighbours performing in the show
  • Pride of place – the performance made participants and audiences realise what an amazing place they live in and to appreciate and proud of what had been achieved
  • Personal growth and development – participants benefited from growth in self-confidence, raising aspirations and developing skills and knowledge through exposure to new and challenging artistic experiences

People outside Thropton Village Hall In some locations Beyond the End of the Road was the catalyst to revitalise their village hall. For many, it was the busiest performance they had hosted, and the production provided a high benchmark for future events. Many promoters talked about the ‘buzz’ within their local areas due to the participatory activity. This led to a more pronounced motivation for older members of the community to make the effort to come to see the performance.

“We’re now part of the Highlights Touring Network. That wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for Beyond the End of the Road… They said it would be a huge undertaking… and it was! But I think the success of the project and how much people loved it has changed their minds.”
Village Hall Promoter

Support the work we do 

In 2017 our first tour visited small rural communities including the villages of Kirknewton, Thropton, Felton, Norham, Shilbottle, Bardon Mill and Whalton as well as Hexham Auction Mart and Sage Gateshead. In 2018 the tour was remounted in Durham taking in Binchester, Evenwood, Mickleton, Crook, Stanhope, Barnard Castle and a popular return to Hexham Auction Mart.

We are currently fundraising to deliver a new tour of Beyond the End of the Road in 2020. If like us you are passionate about the arts and the benefits for people living in rural communities please support our work.