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Preview: The Rise & Fall of a Northern Star at Sunderland's Independent

First theatre production for Sunderland's Independent

The Rise & Fall of a Northern Star
Sunderland's Independent  
Friday 15th May 2015

On Saturday 18th April, musician, actor, writer, Stella Grundy kicked-off the Spring tour for her multimedia music production, The Rise & Fall of a Northern Star. This unique and incendiary show, which was directed by Ian Bloomfield, blends comedy and tragedy in rhythmic, pacey dialogue, interspersed with Stella's original music.  The story is a cautionary tale of rock n roll wannabe, Tracy Startrying to make her mark in the male-dominated Manchester music scene of the eighties and early nineties.

This tour incorporates specific theatres and music venues which suit The Rise & Fall of a Northern Star's cross-over production style ~ the next date lined up is The Independentin
Sunderland on Friday 15th May. It's the first time a theatre production has taken place at this venue.

The original script from The Rise and Fall of a Northern Star was developed around nine songs that Stella composed specifically for the piece. These tracks will be released as part of a concept album, to complement the touring show. Recorded recently at Gadget's Lab Studios, Manchester, it was produced by Stella herself along with Jonathan Hurst and features legendary bassist, Jah Wobble. (The album is available on request). 

As part of the multi-media touring production of The Rise and Fall of a Northern Star, Stella has created a 'mockumentary', Then and Now, which is shown on the screen as an integral part of the play. Then and Now features various 'talking heads', including Clint Boon and Mike Joyce, who form part of Tracy Star's narrative by providing humorous anecdotes about Tracy's 'historical moments' from her musical past.  This works brilliantly as part of the audience's experience and enables them to form an emotional connection with
Tracy as a fully-rounded and believable character from the Madchester era.

Tickets can be obtained from the following website: call 0191 219 3455

The Tour
The Rise and Fall of a Northern Star Tour Dates:
(supported by The Arts Council)

Saturday 18th April ~ The Tabernacle, Wales
Saturday 2nd May ~ The Dancehouse, Manchester (Mad Manc Cabaret)
Friday 15th May ~ The Independent, Sunderland
Friday 22nd May ~ Salford Arts Centre
Monday 25th May ~ The Bierkeller, Bristol
Friday 29th May ~ Upstairs at The Western, Leicester
Thursday 4th June ~ Cast, Doncaster
Friday 5th June ~
Hull Truck
Thursday 11th June ~ Seven Arts,
Monday 15th June ~ The Bike Shed,
Thursday 18th June ~ Theatre in the Mill, Bradford
Monday 29th June ~
Hebden Bridge Arts Festival
Tuesday 7
th July ~ Oxford Playhouse

(Also Sunday 8th Nov ~ Shine Festival at Butlins, Minehead)

Breaking News is the new EP from North East band Peculiar Disco Moves. The new video is a portrayal of celebrity life, where red tops will sell their Granny to get a picture of a Z-lister parking his car one minute, then drop him or her like an anchor in the sea the next. 

Preview: The Importance of Being Earnest at Newcastle Theatre Royal


The Importance of Being Earnest
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Monday 8 – Saturday 13 June 2015

Much-loved television star David Suchet is coming to Newcastle Theatre Royal in a brand new guise, as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, Monday 8 – Saturday 13 June 2015.

Often described as ‘one of the funniest plays in the English language’, Oscar Wilde’s superb satire on Victorian manners is guaranteed to have Newcastle audiences laughing out loud.

The play concerns the lives of two bachelor friends, upper crust dandy Algernon Moncrieff and the most reliable John Worthing J.P. who lead double lives to court the attentions of the desirable Gwendolyn Fairfax and Cecily Cardew. The gallants must then grapple with the uproarious consequences of their ruse, and with the formidable Lady Bracknell, played by David Suchet.

David Suchet as
Lady Bracknell
David is one of Britain’s most respected actors on stage and screen; he is winner of an International Emmy award, has been nominated for numerous Olivier, Tony and BAFTA awards throughout his career, and was awarded the CBE in 2010. David is best known for his role as the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie’s Poirot. He has recently completed all 74 Poirot TV films, which is the whole canon of Agatha Christie’s Poirot stories. 
But leaving the famous Frenchman behind and stepping into the shoes of a woman was an offer that concerned the actor at first: “I agreed to the idea with slight trepidation but once I’d looked into it and realised that such notable actors as Brian Bedford on Broadway and Geoffrey Rush in Australia had played Lady Bracknell, I could see that I’d be following in a line of leading male performers and I felt more comfortable.”

David will be joined on stage by Michelle Dotrice (playing Miss Prism), who many audience members will know from her TV appearances as long-suffering wife Betty in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em and more recently on stage as Mrs Wilberforce in the touring production of The Ladykillers.

The Importance of Being Earnest also stars Emily Barber as Gwendolen Fairfax, Michael Benz as John Worthing, Philip Cumbus as Algernon Moncrieff, Imogen Doel as Cecily Cardew and Richard O’Callaghan as Reverend Canon Chasuble.

The show is directed by Adrian Noble, former artistic director at the RSC where his productions included: The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (Stratford, Barbican), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stratford, Barbican and Broadway) and The Secret Garden (Stratford, London). Noble’s extensive list of other directing credits includes The Captain of Kopenickfor the National, The King’s Speechin the West End, Cosi Fan Tutti at the Opera De Lyon,  Brand by Ibsen starring Ralph Fiennes and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at The London Palladium starring Michael Ball.

The Importance of Being Earnest appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Mon 8 – Sat 13 June 2015 (Evenings: 7.30pm, Matinees: Thur 2pm and Sat 2.30pm). Tickets from £14.50 (Save 50p per ticket by booking online). 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: Voca People at Darlington Civic Theatre


Voca People
Darlington Civic Theatre
Monday 18 May 2015.

With their creative mix of music and comedy, Voca People are set to amaze at Darlington Civic Theatre on 18 May.

With more than 50 million YouTube hits to their credit and a global audience of over 1 million for their live shows, Voca People are a musical comedy sensation. In a show which features 80-plus all-time favourite hits from Madonna to Michael Jackson via Mozart, their fabulous A Cappella and beat-boxing skills are showcased in hilarious comedy skits to create a show that is hugely entertaining for audiences of all ages.

You won’t believe your ears as these amazing vocalists take you on a journey through musical history! Glorious harmonies and an incredible range of sounds are produced without the help of instruments or sound effects – just eight incredibly talented singer-comedians.

Created and directed by award-winning Lior Kalfo in collaboration with co-creator, arranger and musical director Shai Fishman, who is an innovative composer of music for film, television and theatre and is currently working on a musical project for NASA, this fun-packed show has been touring the world since 2009, selling out theatres in Europe, North and South America and the Far East. It was performed off-Broadway for over a year, where it won the Lucille Lortel Award for ‘Outstanding Theatrical Experience’.

Full of energy, comedy and fun, Voca People received rave reviews from audience and critics alike when they made their UK debut at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe last year and that success has now led to their first tour of the UK. Don’t miss this out-of-this-world show!

Voca People land at Darlington Civic Theatre on Monday 18 May. Tickets* are £18 & £20
To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit 
*Includes a £1 restoration levy

Preview: God of Carnage at People’s Theatre


The God of Carnage
Newcastle People’s Theatre
Tuesday 5 to Saturday 9 May 2015

In the intimate space of their Studio Theatre, The People’s Theatre will be presenting The God Of Carnage, a funny and razor-sharp study of the tension between polite appearances and the savagery that lurks beneath.

Two successful middle-class couples meet to discuss an incident involving their young sons in the local park. But this superficially civilised get-together soon degenerates into a grotesque ballet of shifting loyalties and fractious emotions.

Playwright Yasmina Reza (Art, Life x 3) is famous for holding a mirror up to bourgeois hypocrisy. Her exquisitely acidic dialogue burns through her characters smug veneers with both comic and uncomfortable consequences.

The original French is translated by playwright, film director and long-time collaborator of Reza’s, Christopher Hampton, into a wonderfully English dissection of social pretense. Niceties and forced bonhomie give way to raised voices and honest opinions, as the gloves come off and the adults become the children.

One of the most acclaimed European plays of recent years, The God Of Carnage wowed West End and Broadway audiences, winning the 2009 Olivier Award for Best Comedy and Tony Award for Best Play. Film fans may know 2011’s Carnagestarring Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet.

We are proud to give this modern classic a rare outing in the region. Our Studio Theatre productions are always popular and we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.  

The God Of Carnage by Yasmina Reza will be coming to The People’s Theatre in Newcastle from Tuesday 5to Saturday 9 May 2015 at 7.30pm
Tickets: £13.50 (Concessions £11)
Box Office phone: 0191 265 5020


Preview: Welcome to the Carnevil at Tyne Theatre

Circus of Horrors:
21st Anniversary Tour

Welcome to the Carnevil
Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Saturday 13th February 2016

The Tyne Theatre & Opera House is excited to announce the return of The Circus of Horrors to our stage after the successful showing under new management this year. The show that stormed into the finals of Britain's Got Talent & now a West End smash is back to mark its 21st Anniversary in spectacular style.

The last few of years has seen the profile of The Circus of Horrors jump tremendously after rampaging into the finals of Britain's Got Talent & to this date it is still the only circus ever to reach the finals.
Its appearances on various subsequent TV shows have turned what set out as a cult show into a household name – taking the extreme to the mainstream, Its TV credits now boast The X Factor, The Slammer, Daybreak, Fairground Attractions, Who wants to be a Millionaire, Body Shockers, Fake Reaction, This Morning, Ant & Dec, The One Show  & A Royal Command Performance.

Last year saw another giant leap for the show when it began a series of dates in London’s West End becoming the first circus to appear in a West End Theatre for 100 years & in 2015 sees the show return to The Fuji Rock Festival in Japan.

The Circus of Horrors started it’s gruesome begging's at the 1995 Glastonbury Festival and became an instant hit, touring all over the world from Chile to Chatham, Argentina to Aberdeen, Japan to Jersey including festival appearances with Alice Cooper, Eminem, Motley Crue, Oasis, Iron Maiden, The Manic St Preachers, Foo Fighters and many more.

The latest incarnation Welcome to the Carnevil’is set in Victorian London in 1899, Jack the Ripper was still at large & this was the age of the Freakshow, a young girl dreamt of running away to join the Circus only to see her dream become a nightmare in a decrepit & corpse ridden Carnevil, plagued by a swamp of Killer Klowns, Sword Swallowers, Demon Drawfs, Death Deifying Aerialists, A Guiness World Record holding Hairculian Diva swinging solely from her hair, back flipping & fire limboing acrobats & lots lots more, A show ruled by the undead & climaxing in an awesome flaming apocalypse.

The story twists and turns with grisly murders and sensational shock’s – all interwoven with some of the greatest and most bizarre circus acts on earth, performed by an almighty cast with a forked tongue firmly in each cheek and the devil drivern rock n’ roll of Dr Haze & The Interceptors from Hell.

If Quentin Tarantino had directed Cirque Due Solely then you would be only half way there.

On The Web:

Tickets are priced from £18 to £27 (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: The Last Tango at Newcastle Theatre Royal


Vincent Simone & Flavia Cacace in
The Last Tango
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Tuesday 13 – Saturday 17 October 2015.

Britain’s best-loved dance duo to perform together in theatres for the last time

Fresh from their sell-out hit shows Midnight Tango and Dance ’Til Dawn, Strictly superstars Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace have created their most moving production yet as the pair prepare to dance in their final ever theatre show. The Last Tango is coming to Newcastle Theatre Royal Tuesday 13 – Saturday 17 October 2015.

Twenty years of dancing together has seen them become Strictly Come Dancing favourites, World Argentine Tango Champions, and create and star in their own Olivier Award nominated West End productions – but now, as the nation’s favourite dancers prepare to take on new projects, it is time for Vincent and Flavia to say goodbye to audiences across the UK in a brand new, thrilling live performance.

Flavia said; “We have had such a fantastic time creating and dancing in MidnightTango and Dance ’Til Dawn. It’s an incredible experience to perform live in front of our wonderful audience night after night, but all good things must come to an end, so we’re creating our final ever theatre show. It’s going to be intimate, intense and full of our award-winning Argentine tango. The Last Tango is going to showcase our best work and most beautiful dance moves before we finally say farewell to theatre.”

Vincent “The last few years have been amazing – we’ve loved it. It may be our final theatre tour but we’re going to go out with a bang! This is going to be our best show yet!"

Don’t miss your last ever chance to see this dynamic duo do what they do best live - in an intimate, passionate and explosive experience. It’s time for The Last Tango.

The Last Tango is directed by Olivier Award winning choreographer and director Karen Bruce and produced by Adam Spiegel Productions (The Producers, Dance ‘Til Dawn, Midnight Tango, Love Me Tender).

The Last Tango is at Newcastle Theatre Royal Tuesday 13 – Saturday 17 October 2015 (Evenings 7.30pm, Matinees: Wed & Thu 2pm and Sat 2.30pm).
Public and online booking opens on Fri 1 May.  Become a Friend of the Theatre and you can book from Tue 28 April.  Tickets are available from £16.50 (save 50p per ticket by booking online) and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or book online and select your own seat (from 1 May) at 

Friends of the Theatre Royal can book earlier than everyone else and get the best seats.  Memberships start from only £30.  To become a Friend, contact the Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or visit

Preview: Henning Wehn at Whitley Bay Playhouse

Henning Wehn - Eins, Zwei, DIY
Whitley Bay Playhouse
October 8th 2015

The German comedy ambassador Henning Wehn, will wow the Playhouse audience this autumn.

After more than a decade in Britain, Henning Wehn has ‘groan’ to like puns... though he still couldn't eat a whole one. As Henning’s assimilation is not yet complete he hasn't lost his sense of Westphalian wonderment at the foibles of British society. Why does everybody want to be owned by a house? What’s wrong with having the Euro? And why hold society and government responsible for personal underachievement? - You’ve only got yourself to blame for not being born into a better social class!

Henning’s recent TV and radio appearances include Have I Got News For You (BBC1), The Road To Rio co-presented with Mark Watson (Dave) various 8 Out Of 10 Cats & 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (Channel 4), Would I Lie To You (BBC1), Room 101 (BBC1), Newsnight (BBC2.
Expect a crash course in personal accountability and have a right old laugh at the same time!  Wunderbar!

“A diplomatic master class” - The Scotsman
“Brought the audience to its knees” - The Telegraph

Tickets are on sale and are priced at £16.50
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

Preview: Henry Rollins at Tyne Theatre & Opera House

Henry Rollins 
Newcastle Tyne Theatre and Opera House
Monday 11th January 2015

Tyne Theatre and Opera House are very excited to be welcoming Henry Rollins as part of his first tour since his tour in 2012.

Photo: Heidi May
Henry Rollins has forged his own distinct career path, with the intensity of his punk rock roots with Black Flag and Rollins Band matched by the uncompromising attitude that has permeated through his spoken word performances and journalism. Now Rollins – who can also add actor, radio host and TV presenter to his eclectic list of credits – has announced details of his first UK “talking shows” since his memorable Long March tour of 2012.

Tickets went on sale on Friday 13th March at 9am

In describing Henry Rollins, the tendency is to try to squeeze as many labels as possible into a single sentence. “Rollins is many things,” says the Washington Post, “diatribist, confessor, provocateur, humourist, even motivational speaker…his is an enthusiastic and engaging chatter.” Entertainment Weekly’s list includes “Punk Rock icon. Spoken word poet. Actor. Author. DJ. Is there anything this guy can’t do?” TV Guide has more concisely called him a “Renaissance Man” but if Henry Rollins could be reduced to a single word, that word would undoubtedly be “workaholic”.  When he’s not traveling, Rollins prefers a to keep a relentless schedule full of work, with gigs as an actor, author, DJ, voice-over artist and TV show host to name a few of the roles that keep his schedule full.

Rollins has toured the world as a spoken word artist, as frontman for both Rollins Band and Black Flag and as a solitary traveler with insatiable curiosity, favouring road-less-traveled locales in places such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Siberia, North Korea, South Sudan and Iran.

Henry currently hosts a weekly radio show on L.A.’s renowned NPR affiliate KCRW, in addition to writing weekly columns for the LA Weekly and Rolling Stone Australia. In 2013, after previously anchoring shows for IFC and National Geographic, Henry joined the History Channel’s H2 network as host of the TV show 10 Things You Don’t Know About. In 2014, Henry received the prestigious Ray Bradbury Creativity Award in recognition for his lifelong contribution to the arts, his passion for social activism, as well as his intense passion for the importance of maintaining books and libraries.

Tickets are priced at £18.50 (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). Website: