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Demi-paradise was established by actor Stephen Tomlin as the first ever professional theatre company in residence at Lancaster Castle. Between 2000 and 2016 his rolling ensemble of 120 northern based actors and creatives presented critically acclaimed sell out promenade productions of 10 Shakespeare plays alongside other seasonal and historic entertainments. See Company History and Archive pages for full details of our work then.

Stephen Tomlin reads for Haunted at The Lord Crewe Arms. Image: Kate Buckingham

Following his relocation to Northumberland in 2017, Stephen reconstituted Demi-paradise as a small scale touring company specialising in live audio presentations. Haunted: Ghost Stories for Halloween was launched with great success in 2018 and returned for an extended tour of cultural venues across Northumberland and Dumfries in October & November. See the Haunted page for more information on venues, readers & writers.

Spring in the Garden: Lino Cut Image by Cathy Duncan

An Evening with Susie White – Writing The Guardian Country Diary. To mark the opening and ending of a Spring themed exhibition by regional artists on 27th April Susie gave two talks to full houses at the Robinson Gay Gallery Hexham on her career as a garden writer and Northumberland correspondent for The Guardian Country Diary, with Stephen reading a selection of Susie’s contributions as well as poems that have inspired her.

Stephen Tomlin, Sarah Robinson-Gay & Susie White in the R-G Gallery

Summer Hauntings To mark Midsummer we were invited to give readings of seasonally apt ghost stories for the Lit & Phil in Newcastle, part of their extensive & varied Summer Hauntings festival of spectral entertainments. Stephen read A View From a Hill by M R James while Penny McDonald narrated The Violet Car by E Nesbit and The Executor by Muriel Spark.

Penelope McDonald and Stephen Tomlin at the Lit & Phil, Newcastle.