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Preview: The Bodyguard musical - Newcastle Theatre Royal

The Bodyguard (Photograph of West End production) - Photo: Paul Coltas
The multi award winning West End musical The Bodyguard, based on the smash-hit film will visit Newcastle Theatre Royal next Spring on its first ever UK tour from Wednesday 1 until Saturday 18 April 2015! Public booking for this show begins on Saturday 3rd May 2014.

Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar nominated Warner Bros. film, The Bodyguard opened to rave reviews at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End in December 2012, where it continues to play to packed houses and standing ovations. It was nominated for four Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical and Best Set Design.
The Bodyguard (Photograph of West End production) - Photo: Paul Coltas
Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love. A romantic thriller, The Bodyguard features a host of irresistible classics including Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, I’m Your Baby Tonight, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance with Somebody and one of the greatest hit songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.

The Bodyguard is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian. The North East’s own Michael Harrison is the wunderkind behind the last 10 record breaking pantomimes at Newcastle Theatre Royal and will return to wow audiences with the year’s pantomime – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.The Bodyguard opened featuring Tony and Grammy Award winning actress Heather Headley in the role of Rachel Marron (played by Whitney Houston in the film version), with Beverley Knight currently playing the role before Alexandra Burke takes over to play the final three months of the run. Casting for the tour will be announced shortly.

Public booking (including online booking) opens Saturday 3 May 2014.  Become a Friend of the Theatre Royal and you can book the best seats in the house from Tuesday 29 April 2014.

The Bodyguard appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Wed 1 – Sat 18 April 2015 (Evenings: 7.30pm, Matinees: Thursdays 2pm,  Saturdays 2.30pm and Wednesday 15 April 2pm). Tickets from £17.50 (a booking fee of 95p - £1.95 will apply to most tickets) can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online at


Preview: Woman in Mind by Alan Ayckbourn Newcastle People's Theatre

 “Why have I gone to hell? Why me? 
I’ve tried so terribly hard, too.”

Woman in Mind by Alan Ayckbourn
Newcastle People's Theatre
Tuesday 6 – Saturday 10 May 2014 

With 78 plays under his belt, Alan Ayckbourn gives Shakespeare a run for his money when it comes to which writer is more performed in the UK in any given year.

With such a vast back catalogue to choose from, including A Small Family Business currently enjoying a successful revival at the National Theatre, the People’s have decided to stage one of the writer’s blacker comedies, Woman In Mind.

Much different from a lot of Ayckbourn’s earlier work, and considered by many to be one of his best, the play charts the gradual mental collapse of Susan (Penny Lamport), a housewife and mother who is no longer sure what her role in the world is.

Her disinterested husband, priggish son and appalling sister-in-law do nothing to help her make her life meaningful. So she retreats into fantasy, creating in her mind an ideal world with a perfect family and a glorious country estate.
 Penny Lamport as Susan (centre) in Woman In Mind - Photo by Paula Smart

The play is told through Susan’s eyes, and as she declines the line between the real world and her imaginings gets increasingly blurry, and fantasy and reality become confused.

Director Kate Wilkins comments “it’s something of a ‘taboo’ subject for comedy, but Ayckbourn has created beautifully drawn characters. It’s funny, poignant and very affecting”.

Funny, thoughtful and perceptive, Woman In Mindconfirms Ayckbourn’s status as the master of tragi-comedy.

The play runs from Tuesday 6 to Saturday 10 May at The People’s Theatre in Heaton. Tickets are available from the Box Office on 0191 265 5020 and online via


DATE:             Tuesday 6 – Saturday 10 May 2014
TIME:               7.30pm
VENUE:           The People’s Theatre, Stephenson Road, Newcastle upon Tyne,
TICKETS:        £12.50 (Concessions £10)
TELE:              0191 265 5020
TWITTER:      @peoplestheatre

Review: The Two Worlds Of Charlie F. at Newcastle Theatre Royal

Love Survives The Venom Of The Snake

Charlie F (Marine Cassidy Little) Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann

The Two Worlds Of Charlie F.


Newcastle Theatre Royal
Until May 3rd 2014.

Written by Owen Sheers
Directed by Stephen Rayne

“What do they teach us in training? Adapt and overcome.” Charlie F.

Charlie F. was to tell the audience more than just about life in the sand pit. This emotive production was going to challenge ones values about life itself.  The production began life in 2010 as a theatre project for 30 wounded, injured and sick (WIS) Service personnel. After performances, and rave reviews, at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, it was to go on tour in 2012. This year sees it touring both Canada and the UK again.
Captain David Philips (Owen Oldroyd) and Sapper John Booth (Tom Colley)

Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann

The show is narrated by Charlie Fowler, who is played by Royal Marine Cassidy Little. Cassidy comes across as someone who has spent his life on the stage rather than in the armed forces as he takes command of the theatre.  The bulk of the ensemble are injured forces personnel who carry their stories passionately. A collection of stories are presented from their original civilian life through training, active service, injury, rehabilitation and then back to civilian life. This included why Lance Corporal Simi Yates (Lance Corporal Maurillia Simpson) joined the forces in a desire to live at the same place as the Queen. It is difficult not to be moved, such as when they discuss the homesickness experienced when awaiting mail from home or making a 20 minute phone call. Not all injuries are physically obvious and Major Daniel Thomas (Lieutenant Stewart Hill) explained the distress of going from leading a large group into battle to being unable to organise ones own affairs any more.

The entire company are to be applauded for the way they obtained the respect of the audience rather than seeking sympathy for their wounds. It is very rare to see the whole audience rise to their feet when applauding a production but this is no ordinary show.

The Two Worlds of Charlie F is one of the most powerfully moving and emotive pieces of theatre to grace the stage in a very long time. 

Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann

The Two Worlds of Charlie F appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Monday 28 April – Saturday 3 May. Tickets are available from £9 (plus a booking fee of 95p - £1.95 will apply to most tickets) and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online at

Twitter @CharlieF_Tour
The show continues on tour

Newcastle Theatre Royal

28th April-3rd May 2014
08448 112121

Theatre Royal Norwich

5th-10th May 2014
01603 630000

Wycombe Swan
19th-21st May 2014
01494 512000


22nd-24th May 2014
0844 7701 797

Mercury Theatre Colchester

27th-31st May 2014
01206 573948

Truro Hall, Cornwall

2nd-7th June 2014
01872 262446

Manchester Opera House

9th-14th June 2014
0844 871 7660

This review was written by Stephen Oliverfor Jowheretogo PR ( Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook  


Preview: Paper Birds Present Thirsty at the Washington Arts Centre



Washington Arts Centre

05 June 2014 7.30pm
Tickets £8.50 / £6.00 (conc)

Suitable for 13+
Running time: 60mins approx. (no interval)

Multi award-winning company Paper Birds present their critically acclaimed, sellout show Thirsty. The Paper Birds strive to create and share devised work that is important; work that is culturally, socially and politically observational and conversationally urgent. Their productions will always emerge from a female perspective and often this female voice will prioritise stories of women. 

The company’s work will often shift and reinvent itself to address and evoke discussion, thought and emotion when and where it is most needed whilst retaining the company's signature visual and physical approach.

Based on our nation's love affair with alcohol, Thirsty weaves together real stories, memories and booze-based confessions, collected from a ‘drunken hotline’ and an online questionnaire.

Fusing live music, verbatim text and stunning physical theatre, The Paper Birds explore the stories and social repercussions of lost memories and gained traumas, bruised knees, uncontrollable laughter, urine stained beds and sore heads, particularly focusing on the women waving the flag for ‘Booze-Britain.’ Jemma McDonnell and Kylie Walsh will play all the characters they interviewed, from kids drinking in the park to old men in working men’s clubs.

A dynamic theatrical exploration delving beyond statistics, facts and figures ‘Thirsty’ looks to the faces and the voices of everyone who likes a drink and asks why, as a Nation, are we so thirsty?

It has gone down well in the press. It was described by the Independent on Sundays as ""Terrifically sharp, vibrantly choreographed and sensitively paced, poignant without getting preachy"

Forging relationships and initiating new partnerships and collaborations, The Paper Birds aim to utilise a dynamic performance vocabulary that speaks to its audience visually, physically, and musically. From this The Paper Birds manage to touch and engage their audiences both intellectually and emotionally and ensure that the work remains to be diverse and relevant in the theatrical climate.

Theatre Details:
Tickets online: 

Directed by : Jemma Mc Donnell and Kirsty Housley
Performed by: Kylie Walsh, Jemma Mc Donnell, Shane Durrant
Creative Producer: Elle Moreton
Collaborating Artist: Wendy Houstoun
Design: Fiammetta Horvat
Lighting: Vince Fields
Sound: Benji Fox
Music: Shane Durrant
Photographer: Nigel Bewley


Review: Catch 22 at Newcastle Northern Stage

Trying To Survive

Geoff Arnold, Philip Arditti and Daniel Ainsworth - Photo Credit: Topher McGrillis


Catch 22

Northern Stage

Until 10 May 2014 then on UK tour

Director: Rachel Chavkin
Chris Price as Milo and Philip Arditti as Yossarian - Photo Credit: Topher McGrillis
 Northern Stage have a hit on their hands that follows in the footsteps of their previous productions of Blue Remembered Hillsand Close The Coalhouse Door. It is based upon the best selling book by Joseph Heller who himself had flown 60 missions in Italy for the US air force as a bombardier.  The charismatic lead, Yossarian, finds himself in a similar position and he needs to avoid having to go on another mission in order to increase the likelihood of surviving the Second World War. Philip Arditti portrays a likeable character who, like Captain Blackadder in Blackadder Goes Forth, finds it hard to find anyone sane in the madness of the theatre of war.
Philip Arditti, Chris Price, David Webber and Geoff Arnold - Photo Credit: Topher McGrillis
The Catch 22 relates to the idea that if someone was mad then they could go home but if they didn’t want to fly another mission again then they couldn’t be that mad. A no-win situation that Yossarian found himself in as his general kept increasing the number of missions that each crew member was expected to fly.
Michael Hodgson and David Webber - Photo Credit: Topher McGrillis
The rest of the talented ensemble play multiple roles with sufficient clarity that it is possible to feel empathy for some of these characters too.  Add in subtle music on guitar and double bass and some recorded music which allows some sharp dance routines that have been choreographed by RashDash.
Geoff Arnold Daniel Ainsworth and Philip Arditti - Photo Credit: Topher McGrillis
Geoff Arnold’s Chaplain and Michael Hodgson’s Colonel Cathcart add both tragedy and humour. Victoria Bewick’s Luciana portrays the fragility of relationships during this period.  David Webber effortlessly jumped between the roles of the Doc and Colonel Korn before jumping through the window as Major Major. The enterprising Milo Minderbinder brings a number of smiles as he brokers deals to profit from a growing black market.
Victoria Bewick Michael Hodson and Liz Kettle - Photo Credit: Topher McGrillis
The set, designed by Jon Bausor, takes full advantage of the width of the stage at this venue with a plane which the cast crawl all over. Rachel Chaven has directed a relentless play in which the action never stops as action segues from one side of the stage to another.

The ingenious show flew by and was an enthralling performance by a superb cast.
Victoria Bewick and Philip Arditti - Photo Credit: Topher McGrillis
The show is recommended for ages 14+ and contains male nudity.
Geoff Arnold and Christopher Price - Photo Credit: Topher McGrillis
A Northern Stage Production
Written for the stage by JOSEPH HELLER
Designed by JON BAUSOR
Lighting Designed by CHARLES BALFOUR
Sound Designed by SCOTT TWYNHOLM
Assistant Director MARIA CROCKER*

*Maria Crocker is a Leverhulme Arts Scholar and recipient of the JMK regional assistant director bursary.

Straight from work performance: Wed 7 May, 6pm
Post-show discussion: Wed 23 Apr
Tickets: £24, £19.50 and £14.50

Accessible Performances

British Sign Language Performance
Tue 6 May,
Signer: Caroline Ryan 

Captioned Performance
Thur 8 May,

Audio Described Performance
Sat 10 May,

Touch Tour
Sat 10 May,
Web contacts:
Twitter: @northernstage
Tour blog and website:

Tour Dates

You can also see Catch-22 on tour at the following venues:

Tue 13 - Sat 17 May
THEATRE ROYAL BRIGHTON (as part of Brighton Festival)

Tue 20 - Sat 24 May

Tue 27 - Sat 31 May

Tue 3 - Sat 7 June

Tue 10 - Sat 14 June

Tue 17 - Sat 21 June

Tue 24 - Sat 28 June

*fees apply

This review was written by Stephen Oliverfor Jowheretogo PR ( Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook  


Preview: Things We Do For Love at Newcastle Theatre Royal

The cast of Things We Do Love


Natalie Imbruglia will make her UK drama debut in a major new production of Alan Ayckbourn’s hit play Things We Do For Love will visit Newcastle Theatre Royal from 16 – 21 June, starring Natalie Imbruglia, Claire Price, Edward Bennett and Simon Gregor.

A new staging of Alan Ayckbourn’s Things We Do For Love has opened at the Theatre Royal Bath this Easter prior to an eight-week tour which includes a week at Newcastle Theatre Royal in June. Natalie Imbruglia makes her UK drama debut as she stars alongside Claire Price, Edward Bennett and Simon Gregor in a long-awaited revival of one of the most popular plays of the nineties, directed by Laurence Boswell.
Natalie Imbruglia as Nikki and Claire_Price as Barbara
Making hilarity and ingenuity from the things we do for love, this sharp and insightful drama about love’s trials and tribulations sees the UK’s greatest living playwright at the peak of his art.

In South West London, Nikki and her fiancé Hamish move in with Nikki's old school-friend Barbara, who lives in immaculate order on the middle floor of her converted house. Unfortunately Hamish is everything that Barbara despises. But their mutual, instant distaste for each other is a hostility which hides deeper feelings; feelings that could destroy an engagement and a friendship, creating repercussions for everyone - including the downstairs lodger, lovelorn postman and part-time plumber Gilbert, who has a secret fixation with his landlady.

In an intriguing set - cleverly revealing a limited view of the rooms above and below Barbara’s flat - bedroom farce develops into something more complex as the two adversaries fall head over heels in lust.
Nikki will be performed by Natalie Imbruglia

Playing the role of Nikki is world famous actress and singer Natalie Imbruglia, who began her career in the globally successful Australian soap-opera Neighbours, where she played Beth Brennan. She went on to become one of the biggest pop sensations in Europe. Her smash hit single Torn, and the subsequent album, Left of the Middle, sold seven million copies worldwide and won her three Grammy nominations and two Brit Awards. She co-starred in the 2003 film Johnny English with Rowan Atkinson and made her leading actress debut in the 2009 film Closed for Winter. Things We Do For Love marks her UK drama debut.
Simon Gregor as Gilbert and Claire Price as Barbara

Award-winning actress Claire Price plays the role of Barbara. Her many stage credits 
include The Winter’s Tale and The Daughter in Lawat Sheffield Crucible, The Power of Yesat the National Theatre, Way of the Worldat Chichester Festival Theatre and Private Lives at Hampstead Theatre. On television, she played DS Siobhan Clarke in two series of Rebus and Alison in two series of The Knock.
Edward Bennett as Hamish
Edward Bennett plays the role of Hamish. His previous performances include Measure for Measure and Habeas Corpuswith The Peter Hall Company in 2006; Little Nell and Pygmalion with The Peter Hall Company in 2007; and in 2012, The School for Scandal, directed by Jamie Lloyd, in the Theatre Royal’s Summer Season. His West End credits include Hamlet with David Tennant in 2008, in which he played Laertes and covered the title role for a month during the run. In 2013, he performed in One Man, Two Guvnors on UK tour and abroad. His film and television credits include War Horse, Above Suspicion, Miranda and Silent Witness.

Playing the role of Gilbert is Simon Gregor, whose previous roles include the Fool in King Lear alongside David Haig, and Grumio in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s staging of The Taming of the Shrew with Lisa Dillon and David Caves. Amongst his numerous stage credits, he recently starred in American Psycho with Matt Smith at the Almeida Theatre and in To Kill A Mockingbird at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. His television credits include The Borgias, Da Vinci’s Demons, Ripper Street, New Tricks, The Bill, Mine All Mine and Drop the Dead Donkey.
Edward Bennett as Hamish and Natalie Imbruglia as Nikki
Director Laurence Boswell has been the Artistic Director of the Theatre Royal Bath’s Ustinov Studio since 2011, where his seasons of UK premieres have received huge national acclaim. He is also an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company.  His West End credits include Ben Elton's Popcorn; Up For Grabsstarring Madonna in her London stage debut; A Day in the Death of Joe Egg starring Eddie Izzard, which received a Tony Award nomination for Best Director following its Broadway transfer.

2014 marks Alan Ayckbourn’s 55th year as a playwright. He has written 78 plays and directed more than 300 productions. Things We Do for Love, his 52nd play, received its world premiere at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre in April 1997 followed by its London premiere in the West End in March 1998.   In recent years, Alan Ayckbourn was inducted into American Theatre’s Hall of Fame; he received the 2010 Critics’ Circle Award for Services to the Arts, and he became the first British playwright to receive both Olivier and Tony Special Lifetime Achievement Awards. He was knighted in 1997 for services to theatre.
Edward Bennett as Hamish and Natalie Imbruglia as Nikki with Claire Price as Barbara
Things We Do For Loveappears at Newcastle Theatre Royal Mon 16 – Sat 21 Jun (Evenings: 7.30pm, Matinees: Thursday 2pm and Saturday 2.30pm). Tickets are available from £13.00 (a booking fee of 95p - £1.95 will apply to most tickets) and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online at

Photo credits: Nobby Clark

Tour schedule
w/c 14 April & 21 April
Theatre Royal Bath
Tel: 01225 448844
w/c 28 April
Nottingham Theatre Royal
Theatre Square, Nottingham NG1 5ND
Tel: 0115 989 5500
Perfs: Mon – Sat 7.30pm; Mats: Weds 2pm; Sat 2.30pm
w/c 5 May
Cambridge Arts Theatre
6 St Edward’s Passage, Cambridge SB2 3PJ
Tel: 01223 578904
w/c 12 May
New Theatre Cardiff
Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3LN
Tel: 029 2087 8787
Perfs: Tues – Sat 7.30pm Mats: Thurs & Sat 2.30pm
w/c 19 May
Richmond Theatre
The Green, Richmond, TW9 1QJ
Tel: 0208 332 4500
w/c 26 May
New Victoria Woking
w/c 2 June
The Lowry
Pier 8, Salford Quays, Salford M50 3AZ
w/c 9 June
Churchill Theatre Bromley
High Street, Bromley BR1 1HA
Tel: 020 8290 8255
w/c 16 June
Theatre Royal Newcastle
Grey Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 6BR
Tel: 0191 244 2500