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Preview: Stone Cold Murder at South Shields Customs House

'Carry no bright torches for me ….'

Stone Cold Murder
by James Cawood
South Shields Customs House
Tuesday 31st March – Wednesday 1st April 2015

Gary Turner & Freya Copeland
in Stone Cold Murder
Photo: Frazer Ashford
James Cawood's tense thriller set in deep winter in the English Lake District. Olivia and Robert, owners of the Langstrath Country House Hotel, are enjoying the success of their first season and the respiteof the winter break when their solitude is disrupted by the appearance of Ramsay, a lost climber looking for shelter. 
David Callister
in Stone Cold Murder
Photo: Frazer Ashford

As the evening unfolds, it becomes apparent that Ramsay's presence in this desolate spot is anything but a coincidence, and soon events will take a murderous turn.

Freya Copeland & Nick Barclay
in Stone Cold Murder
Photo: Frazer Ashford
This show has been produced by Talking Scarlet which was founded in 2001 as a trading name for Big Dog Productions. Since then the company has produced and collaborated in productions at theatres all over the country. They produced Double Death which we reviewed last year. link to Double Death review

Olivia: Freya Copeland (Law and Order, Holby City, The Bill, and Emmerdale)
Robert: Nick Barclay (Record breaking production of Singin’ in the Rain)
Ramsay: David Callister (The Bill, The Chief, Crime Monthly and True Crimes)
Sam: Gary Turner (Emmerdale, Hollyoaks - Let Loose, Soldier, Soldier and The Bill. On film he played Duncan Grant in Carrington)

Director: Patric Kearns
Designer: Geoff Gilder

Gary Turner & Freya Copeland
in Stone Cold Murder
Photo: Frazer Ashford
Talking Scarlet presents Stone Cold Murder
31st March & 1st April 2015, 7.45pm
Price: £16 / £15 Conc.
Box Office: 0191 454 1234 Website:

Preview: A MAD WORLD MY MASTERS at Darlington Civic Theatre

Darlington Civic Theatre
Tuesday 14 to Saturday 18 April 2015

English Touring Theatre presents the Royal Shakespeare Company production at Darlington Civic Theatre, Tuesday 14 to Saturday 18 April.

The cast of A Mad World My Masters.
Photo by Manuel Harlan
Thomas Middleton, one of Shakespeare's greatest playwriting contemporaries and close collaborator on several plays, is most famous for writing two of the finest seventeenth-century tragedies, The Changeling and Women Beware Women

Nicholas Prasad as Master Muchly-Minted and
Charlie Archer as Master Whopping-Prospect
in A Mad World My Masters. Photo by Manuel Harlan
But he also created a brilliant array of witty and entertaining comedies set in early Jacobean London, which explore with relish a cutthroat urban world, where the "best art" of the inhabitants is "to dissemble well". A Mad World, My Masters is one of the most inventive of these London comedies.

The cast of A Mad World My Masters.
Photo by Manuel Harlan
The play takes its audience on an exhilarating ride through a series of plots and counterplots, with surprises around every corner and some clever comic plotting and dialogue.

The action weaves together two contrasted stories of trickery and deceit (one involving money, the other adultery), in which those who think themselves most cunning - and who may indeed seem to be so - do not always win the race.

The cast of A Mad World My Masters.
Photo by Manuel Harlan
Director Sean Foley has skilfully updated the action to take place in London, Soho... 1956. Glamour rubs up against filth, and likes it. The posh mix with musicians and racketeers and a dashingly penniless bachelor, in need of quick cash and a good time, finds he has to live on his wits.

Becoming a con-man to fool his rich uncle, he variously becomes a lord, a high class call girl, and – God forbid – a poor actor. But a beautiful Soho tart is also on the scam: a whore to some, a religious instructor to others, and a debutante in need of an eligible bachelor to yet more.

A fabulous cast has been assembled including Joe Bannister, Ellie Beavan, Ben Deery, Dennis Herdman, Ian Redford and Sarah Ridgeway.

A Mad World My Masters is disgracefully entertaining and fun with a capital F.

Lois Meleri-Jones as Escort in
A Mad World My Masters.
Photo by Manuel Harlan
Special Events
Free pre show talk Tuesday 5.45pm, limited availability, advance booking required.
Free post show talk Wednesday - Stay behind after the show to take part in a Q&A with some of the cast. Booking not necessary.
Education workshops also available.

On The Web:

A Mad World My Masters is at Darlington Civic Theatre from Tuesday 14 to Saturday 18 April. Tickets* are priced from £17.40. Recommended age 12+.
To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit 
*Includes a £1 restoration levy

Preview: Geordie Legends: Them Off The Viz at Newcastle Tyne Theatre

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Geordie Legends: Them Off The Viz
Hosted by Chris Cross the Magician
Newcastle Tyne Theatre
Tuesday 4th to Wednesday 5th August 2015


For the First Time in Over 20 Years* The Knob-Gag Gallaghers of Tyneside who Created the Legendary VIZ Comic, Will appear on stage together answering
ALL of YOUR Questions in a Unique Q&A Show Hosted by Newcastle's Favourite Magician - Chris Cross! 

This will be ''A Geordie Night OOT Not to Be Missed, Like!''  Expect a Cabaret Show of Comedy Magic Trickery & Escapology from your Host -
Newcastle's Very Own Mr. Chris Cross, LIVE Music from 'The Purest Green' Band, Stand-up Comedy from Simon Donald's alter egos: BINGO from Benton & Barry Twyford, Followed by an Interview with Chris Donald, before our BIG CLIMAX - TheQ&A's Session with The Donald Brothers. This is YOUR chance to ask YOUR Questions to THE Creators of The Crappest Magazine in the World! 

How did a Cult Comic made in a small Jesmond Bedroom become one of the most Successful & Legendary Creations to come out of the North East? Whatever did inspire the creations of Biffa Bacon, Roger Mellie & Sid the Sexist? Why on earth did they call it 'VIZ'? What were the best ever Top Tips?

Exclusive Limited Edition Merchandise & Artwork will be available at this gig too, specifically created for this very one off show! There will also be a Charity Auction with Original VIZ Goodies up for grabs, Unique Artwork & More Treasures all in aid of St. Oswald's Hospice. 

This is a once in a lifetime unique opportunity for any VIZ fan that's NOT to be missed and promises to be a thoroughly entertaining evening for all!

Over 18's Only Please. No Ticket Refunds Afterwards! Tickets go on sale
Monday 30th March 2015.

*Promoter's Estimate!

Tickets are priced from £12 (plus booking fees when booking online and over the phone)
The Tyne Theatre & Opera House Box Office is open 10am-3:30pm Monday to Friday and event days
Booking and Information Line: 0844 2491 000 (10am – 6pm Monday to Friday)

Preview: Sarah Millican - Outsider On Tour

Sarah Millican  -  “Outsider”

Whitley Bay Playhouse
Tuesday 17th November 2015

Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Wednesday 25th – Saturday 28th May 2016

Returning to her homeland, we are delighted to announce local lass, Jowheretogo favourite, and critically acclaimed comedian Sarah Millican will wow North East Audiences on her new tour.
Sarah Millican
In just 7 years Sarah Millican has gone from winning the Best Newcomer Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to becoming one of the UK’s most successful and multi-award-winning comedians, who also holds the record as the highest selling female comedian in the DVD market. This autumn, Sarah will delight her fans as she heads out on the road again for her fourth stand-up tour, Outsider

In the past when you put South Shields lass Sarah Millican outside, she asked things like: ‘Why? Where is the taxi? Is that poo? Can we go home?’ and said things like: ‘There’ll be wasps’ and ‘I’ve nothing to sit on.’
These days things have changed; Now Sarah has outside slippers. She can tell a chaffinch from a tit (hey), but she still can’t tell if it’s an owl sound or her husband’s asthma.
As well as her success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Sarah was also voted the People’s Choice Queen of Comedy at the 2011 British Comedy Awards and has fronted three series of her critically acclaimed BBC2 series The Sarah Millican Television Programme, for which she received two BAFTA nominations. Sarah is also a popular guest on primetime shows such as The Graham Norton ShowQI8 Out of 10 CatsThe Jonathan Ross ShowLive at the Apollo and The Royal Variety Performance. Her new tour, Outsider, will run for 119 dates, starting this October and finishing in Sept 2016. Sarah’s last tour, Home Bird, was seen by over 200,000 people.

Sarah is a natural storyteller who charms the audience through her skilfully delivered gag-packed anecdotes about life’s curiosities. With a track record of three sell out tours and 700,000 combined tour DVD sales to date, the Outsider tour promises to be another critically acclaimed triumph.

Back on home turf, Sarah Millican is venturing outside... We suggest you bring a cardie!
“To watch Sarah Millican is to watch a box of comedy fireworks going off” - The Independent
“The funniest woman in Britain”- The List
Whitley Bay: Tickets costing £25.00 and are available online, or from the booking hotline number 0844 248 1588 and 9 am from PLAYHOUSE Box Office.
Box Office open Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm, Saturday 10.30am-2.30pm plus until show start on event days. Tickets can also be purchased on the booking hotline 0844 248 1588 or online at
Newcastle: Tickets are priced at £25.00 (plus booking fees when booking online and over the phone)
The Tyne Theatre & Opera House Box Office is open 10am-3:30pmMonday to Friday and event days. Booking and Information Line: 0844 2491 000 (10am – 6pmMonday to Friday). More information at our Website:

Preview: Return of the Grumpy Old Women at Darlington Civic Theatre


Return of the Grumpy Old Women – Fifty Shades of Beige
Darlington Civic Theatre
Thursday 9 April 2015

Expect an evening of hilarity at Darlington Civic Theatre on Thursday 9 April. Come and bask in an orgy of fury and big laughs in this glorious live version of the hit TV show. 

Perrier award-winning comedian, writer and original star of Grumpy Old Women Jenny Eclair will be joined by fellow recruits Susie Blake (Mrs Brown’s Boys, Coronation Street) and actress and singer Kate Robbins (Where The Heart Is, Casualty) in this brand spanking new show.

This jam-packed show will include learning the art of ‘Grumpy Grooming’, the joy of large pants, a free nagging master class (how to get your own way without him even noticing), beards for women – which style will suit you?

Complimentary anger management workshop, middle aged drinking; the rules, navigating the smorgasbord of worry, voluntary euthanasia vs retirement, how to customise an unwanted pole dancing kit and a mercifully brief Zumba demonstration. All this and more! 

On The Web:

Return of the Grumpy Old Women – Fifty Shades of Beige is at Darlington Civic Theatre on Thursday 9 April at 7.30pm. Tickets* are priced £21.50 and £23.50.
To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit


Preview: Cinderella at Darlington Civic Theatre


Darlington Civic Theatre
Saturday 5 December 2015 to Sunday 10 January 2016

Darlington Civic Theatre has announced that Britain’s Got Talent winning act, Ashleigh and Pudsey, are to star in this year’s magical family pantomime, Cinderella.

Ashleigh and Pudsey
Will Star in Darlington Civic
Theatre Pantomime Cinderella
Described by Simon Cowell as “one of my favourite ever acts”, since winning Britain’s Got Talent Ashleigh and Pudsey have been in phenomenal international demand. They have presented two series of their own TV show for CBBC, Who Let the Dogs Out, appeared on American television shows including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, America’s Got Talent, Good Morning America and E! News and released Pudsey: My Autobidography - which sold-out within three days. A shorter version of the book, A Pup Story, was released for younger fans, which was accompanied by a book-tour across the country.

In 2014 Pudsey the Dog: The Movie was released and screened in 400 cinemas across the UK, with Pudsey being given his voice by David Walliams. Alongside their many appearances on screen, Ashleigh and Pudsey are no strangers to the stage, having starred in pantomimes for the past three Christmas seasons.

Cinderella is staged by the world’s biggest pantomime producer, Qdos Entertainment, who bring with them a reputation for large-scale shows packed with special effects, family-friendly comedy and world-class production values. Last year’s show, The Chuckles of Oz, which was created in Darlington especially for Civic Theatre audiences, is now successfully touring across the UK.

Managing Director of Qdos Entertainment’s pantomimes division, Michael Harrison, said; “The success that Ashleigh and Pudsey have enjoyed since winning Britain’s Got Talent is tribute to the popularity and versatility of the act. Everyone from The Queen to the cinema-going millions have enjoyed Ashleigh and Pudsey’s tricks and routines, which will feature heavily in this year’s panto.”

Lynda Winstanley, Director of Darlington Civic Theatre said “We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Ashleigh and Pudsey will be with us for Cinderella and I am sure they will be a great hit with audiences of all ages.”

Cinderella runs at Darlington Civic Theatre from Saturday 5 December 2015 to Sunday 10 January 2016. For tickets and more information visit call 01325 486555.

Preview: The Good Old Days at Darlington Civic Theatre


The Good Old Days of Music Hall and Variety
Darlington Civic Theatre
Workshop - Tuesday 7 & Wednesday 8 April
Performance - Wednesday 8 April

An opportunity to be part of the show with a half term workshop and performance with The Good Old Days of Variety at Darlington Civic Theatre in April.

And now, for your delectation and amusement, a fantastical foray into the magical world of Music Hall and Variety… 

With the school Easter Holidays just around the corner, what better way to keep your little ones entertained than on a special workshop and performance at Darlington Civic Theatre.

On Tuesday 7 April join tutor Kate Ruddick and go back in time to visit the Civic Theatre’s roots in the era of music hall and variety. Children will work with expert leaders in the workshop to create a singing routine to be performed on Wednesday 8 April as part of the professional show The Good Old Days of Music Hall and Variety starring The Bachelors with John Stokes and comedy legend Duggie Brown.

The workshop will run from 10am to 3pm on Tuesday 7 April and from 11am until the end of the performance (approximately 4pm) on Wednesday 8 April.

This is a fantastic opportunity for young children to learn new skills, make new friends and tread the boards of the Civic Theatre stage. The cost per young person (suitable for ages 8+) is £15. ArtsSpark Youth Theatre or Dance members £10.

To book a place on the workshop please call the Box Office on 01325 486 555

The Good Old Days of Music Hall and Variety is at Darlington Civic Theatre on Wednesday 8 April at 2pm. Tickets* are priced from £15.50 with discounts available.
To book for the show contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit

Preview: Cyrano de Bergerac at Newcastle Northern Stage

A poet, a soldier, a brawler...
and a hopeless romantic

 A Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Northern Stage co-production
Cyrano de Bergerac
Based on the translation written by Anthony Burgess
of the play written by Edmond Rostand
Directed by Lorne Campbell

Royal & Derngate, Northampton
Friday 3 – Saturday 25 April

Northern Stage, Newcastle
Wednesday 29 April to Saturday 16 May

Director Lorne Campbell
with Kylie Ann Ford
Photo: Mark Savage
Royal & Derngate’s Made in Northampton 2015 season starts in April with the sweeping epic, Cyrano de Bergerac. Directed by Lorne Campbell, Anthony Burgess’ translation of Edmund Rostand’s classic play is a co-production with Northern Stage, and takes to the Royal stage in Northampton from Friday 3 April, transferring to Newcastle from 29 April.

A poet and a soldier, a brawler and an incurable romantic, Cyrano do Bergerac is a hero – the first among men but totally lost among women. He is blessed with being brilliant at everything and cursed by having the biggest nose in all of France.

Cyrano is hopelessly in love with Roxane, his equal in wit but every bit as beautiful as he is ugly. Afraid of confessing his love, he becomes a protector and confidante. Christian, a handsome cadet but not the sharpest sword in the armoury, catches Roxane’s eye and, with his mighty heart breaking, Cyrano sets about using his unequalled skill as a poet to write ravishing love letters between the two.

The panache of one of literature’s most famous love triangles is brought to life in this epic production, staged with passion, bravado, joy and heartache. Duels are fought, honour defended, villains defeated, and cakes eaten.

Lorne Campbell, Chris Jared and George Potts
Photo: Mark Savage
Cyrano de Bergerac is directed by Northern Stage Artistic Director Lorne Campbell, who comments: “Cyrano is scaled up in every way, not just his nose, but his bravery and his vulnerability, his honour and his self-loathing, his soaring poetry and his profound inarticulacy. This is what I love about the play, it takes that ridiculous deluded mess of a person we all carry around inside ourselves and lets them out onto the stage, bigger and better while also more absurd and crippled than we could ever be.”

James Hunter and Nigel Barrett
with director Lorne Campbell
Photo: Mark Savage
Lorne, whose credits include Carthage Must Be Destroyed and Distracted at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, will be working with designer Jean Chan (James and the Giant Peach, Dundee Rep, The James Plays, National Theatre/National Theatre of Scotland as Associate Designer). Lighting design is by Tim Lutkin who recently won an Olivier for Chimerica, with other credits including The Crucible (Old Vic), Royal & Derngate’s Christmas show Merlin and The Go-Between, a co-production between Royal & Derngate, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Derby Theatre. Sound design is by Alasdair Mcrae whose recent work includes Get Santa! and The Bloody Great Border Ballad Project for Northern Stage and Gastronauts for the Royal Court.

Nigel Barrett and James Hunter
rehearse a fight scene
Photo: Mark Savage
Nigel Barrett whose credits include There Has Possibly Been An Incident, Royal Exchange Manchester/ SohoTheatre, Richard III – An Arab Tragedy, for RSC/Bouffes du Nord and The Passion with Michael Sheen, takes the central role of Cyrano. Nigel is a member of the Shunt Collective and recently won The Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award 2015 with Louise Mari. Cath Whitefield (Electra, The Gate, Othello, RSC) appears as Roxane and Chris Jared (All’s Well That Ends Well, Hamlet, RSC) completes the legendary love triangle as Christian. The cast also includes John Paul Connolly (Twelfth Night, Richard III, Shakespeare’s Globe, West End and Broadway) as Le Bret/Ligniere and George Potts (1984, Headlong Theatre; The Silver Tassie, National Theatre) as De Guiche/Rageneau.

Cyrano company movement
rehearsals with Liv Lorent, Movement Director
Photo: Mark Savage
The Chorus is made up of six emerging performers from Northern Stage’s NORTH scheme – a 21 week paid training programme to support and develop young actors in the North East of England. Lorne Campbell explains, “NORTH is part of Northern Stage’s commitment to creating access and opportunities for working class actors with exceptional talent, so we’re delighted that they’re working with us on our big spring production this year.” Kylie Ann Ford, Sisley Henning, Sian Armstrong, Samantha Bell, James Hunter and Matt Howdon will take on dozens of ensemble roles.

Creative Team:
Lorne Campbell Director
Jean Chan Designer
Tim Lutkin Lighting Designer
Alasdair Mcrae Sound Designer
Ros Steen Voice Director
Liv Lorent Movement Director
Rebecca Frecknall Assistant Director

Nigel Barrett Cyrano de Bergerac
John Paul Connolly Le Bret/Ligniere
Chris Jared Christian
George Potts De Guiche/Rageneau
Cath Whitefield Roxane

Sian Armstrong                    Samantha Bell            Kylie Ann Ford
Sisley Henning                      Matt Howdon              James Hunter

Cyrano de Bergerac can be seen at Royal & Derngate, Northampton from Friday 3 to Saturday 25 April and at Northern Stage from Wednesday 29 to Saturday 16 May

Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Road, Northampton NN1 1DP
Dates: Friday 3 to Saturday 25 April 2015
Times: Evenings 7.45pm (except Tuesday 7 April 7pm)
Matinees – Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm
No performances on Sundays
Tickets: £10 to £29*
Box Office: 01604 624811 or online at 
A transaction fee of £2.80 applies to telephone and website bookings only. Does not apply in person, or to Groups and Friends, and is per-transaction, not per-ticket.

Northern Stage, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 7RH
Dates: Wednesday 29 April to Saturday 16 May 2015
Times: Evenings 7.30pm (except Monday 11 May 6pm)
Matinees – Saturday 2pm
No performances on Sundays
Tickets: £24, £19.50 & £14.50 / Students & U21s £12
Box Office: 0191 230 5151 or online at