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The Crack Magazine

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Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

‘Tomatoes Tried To Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life’ is a joke tellin’, banjo playin’, heart healin’ experience that’s playing at venues all across the north-east in April.

This is a show like no other, and has been brought to the region by the redoubtable CaroleW Productions. It concerns Keith Alessi, who was once a well-known CEO running a company in Canada. When he received a cancer diagnosis he used this devastating news as a catalyst to learn to play the banjo – a long-deferred passion. He ultimately found physical and emotional healing in a circle of musicians, and this show – performed by Keith himself – tells that story. And what a story! Highlighting the healing power of music, it has been a runaway success at everywhere it’s played, from New York to the Edinburgh Fringe, and has picked up glittering notices by the score. Give yourself a proper tonic and catch one of the numerous dates, below. JL

Tomatoes Tried To Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life: Wednesday 5 April, The Lit & Phil, Newcastle; Monday 17 April, The Customs House, South Shields; Wednesday 19 April, Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham; Thursday 20 April, Gala, Durham; Friday 21 April, The Witham, Barnard Castle; Sunday 23 April, The Exchange, North Shields; Thursday 27 April, Alnwick Playhouse. This is just some of the north-east dates. More details: carolewproductions.com