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Join Teesside’s very own Wild Rover and Wildcats of Kilkenny frontman Mike McGrother for the latest of his monthly residencies as he shares songs, stories and observations revealing the often hidden, forgotten but still (extra)ordinary people and events of the Tees in his own, inimitable and ‘mischievous’ style.

We are told there are twelve archetypes which reflect humanity: The Innocent; The Everyman; The Hero; The Outlaw; The Explorer; The Creator; The Ruler; The Magician; The Lover; The Caregiver; The Jester, and The Sage. They live amongst us – and they ARE us! But who and where are they?!

Expect songs, special guests, audience interaction and, knowing Mike, a few surprises thrown in for good measure. Mark these beauties in your diary and enjoy a show each month that will leave you laughing, crying, thinking and learning so much more about our wonderful Teesside community and the people living in it.

In October, Mike focuses on Everyman: 8 years ago Mike McGrother opened a Bar Tab in The Storytellers Pub. In an act of sheer desperation to persuade men to come and be a part of his new male voice choir in readiness for a ’spectacular’ performance… in Dormanstown. Week 1 was far from a success. Those that had originally been forced to attend his rehearsal in The Red Lion in Norton made their way to town… mainly to enjoy the promise of a free pint but, through the power of music, social media and ‘a freebie’ as the weeks went on more and more men arrived to join his crew. By the time they were ready to perform at the Festival of Steel in Dormanstown their numbers had reached 25, Mike had run out of cash and their debut was watched by less than those singing. Undeterred, Mike booked a second, ‘finale’ gig in Saltburn Community Theatre supporting a random cajun-esque ensemble and proudly singing the song Mike had commissioned Joe Hammill to write, the choir took its title as its name. Infant Hercules was born. Foolishly, Mike assumed that the second gig would be the end of the matter but was reminded – somewhat menacingly that this was only the beginning as one of the choir snarled ‘WE ARE A CHOIR NOW’. The implication and consequent entrapment meant that over the next 8 years…. Infant Hercules grew into a brotherhood of melodic man-meat; a wall of sonic oohs and aahs; an anti-choir with a sound that would scare the spectacles off Gareth Malone and his harmonic ways. And in that time, gigs in ARC, HMPS Holme House, the Festival of the North, Festival of Thrift, SIRF, Stockton Stages; Libraries; Pubs; The Riverside Stadium and even Paul Heaton’s Pub have given everyman and lad in the choir a roaring sense of pride, togetherness and at times, hope. Tonight you will hear their story and, after the interval maybe even… join us!

Mike will be collaborating with one of ARC’s Associate Artists, Scott Turnbull:

“I am delighted to be joined on my Archetype journey by the fantastic Scott Turnbull. I have known Scott for almost 20 years having somehow convinced the rather reticent young man to enrol onto the Performing Arts Course I was then running at Stockton & Billingham College. He always had a spark about him and whether it was playing the boyish Charlie Bucket in our production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or the dark, menacing Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar, (he was one of the first performers to grace the stage when ARC re-opened back in the 2004), Scott always had something creative and different up his sleeve. He went on to train at LIPA before re-emerging back on Teesside as a remarkable writer, performer and illustrator. He created the quite amazing ‘Where Do All The Dead Pigeons Go’ and his ability to tell a story in the most compelling, hilarious but equally at times devastating manner absolutely blew me away. Scott is now working on his new project ‘The Smog’ but I have invited him to help me tell stories of people we both live alongside because his inventiveness, humour and surreal approach will, if nothing else keep ME entertained and energised. Expect laughs. Expect loose lunacy and expect extraordinary overhead projector craftsmanship as you’ve never seen it before. I think this collaboration is going to be really quite special.” 

Photo credit – ENA Photography

Online access to this performance will be via our dedicated streaming service. Click here to log in with your usual ARC account details (if you’ve forgotten your log in details, the email address will be the one that normally receives emails from us, and your password can easily be reset from the log in page).