THE CURTAIN was raised at the weekend on a packed programme of world-class theatre to be staged at venues throughout the North–East.

The TakeOff Festival was launched at the weekend with a giant story-telling whale and mischievous bears kept children entertained outside the Gala Theatre in Millennium Place, Durham City.

This year’s Take Off Festival features productions from through the UK, as well as puppetry from Ireland, slapstick and rabbits from the Netherlands and music from Germany.

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The main festival programme is centred on Durham, with venues across the city staging performances from Wednesday to Friday.

Alison Clark-Jenkins, the regional director of the Arts Council England said: “The TakeOff Festival is an important national festival which brings world-class theatre to young audiences.

“Hosted in our region, TakeOff not only supports artists in the early development of ideas for work for young audiences but provides them with a platform to show that work and support it where it shows promise.”

Some of the productions will be taken on tour around the North-East.

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