Demi-paradise was established by actor Stephen Tomlin as the first ever resident professional theatre company at Lancaster Castle. Between 2000 and 2016 his rolling ensemble of 120 northern based actors and creatives presented critically acclaimed popular 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 in 2017 to Northumberland, Stephen reconstituted Demi-paradise as a small scale touring company giving intimate live audio presentations. Haunted: Ghost Stories for Halloween was launched with great success in 2018 and returned for an extended tour of nine cultural venues across Northumberland and at Dumfries from 24 Oct – 3 Nov…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 of a Spring themed exhibition by regional artists on 27th April Susie gave a talk to a full house at the Robinson Gay Gallery Hexham on her long career as a garden writer and Northumberland correspondent for The Guardian’s Country Diary. Stephen read a selection of Susie’s contributions as well as poems that have inspired her (Adelstrop, The Road through the Woods, Fern Hill). The event reprised on 23rd May at the end of the show.

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.