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Monday, 3 August 2015

Preview: Autumn 2015 at Newcastle Northern Stage



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Preview of the Autumn 2015 season at Newcastle’s Northern Stage

The Tempest: Tyrone Huggins
After presenting some of the best theatre the north has to offer at the Edinburgh Fringe over the summer, autumn at Northern Stage starts with a storm and ends with a whirlwind. The Tempest(25 September – 10 October) is a Northern Stage co-production with Improbable and Oxford Playhouse, directed by Phelim McDermott. Award-winning poet and playwright Caroline Bird (Secret Theatre) is writing a brand new version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (28 November – 2 January 2016) for kids over 7 and their families.

Dead Dog in a Suitcase
Visiting company highlights include Kneehigh’s Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) (20-24 October) – a raucous, shocking new take on the Beggar’s Opera written by Carl Grose, directed by Kneehigh Artistic Director Mike Shepherd, with a powerful live score by Charles Hazlewood.

Selina Thompson
Dark & Lovely
After last year’s hugely successful Rapunzel, balletLORENT return with Snow White (16-17 October) – the première of a new dance theatre show for families, written by Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. Selina Thompson is back following a residency earlier this year with Dark and Lovely (3-4 November), exploring black hair: its politics, its connotations, its history and what it tells us about being Black, British and Female in the UK today. And Daniel Bye presents a new show about an ordinary ten year old boy whose best friend just happens to be a robot, Error 404 (29-30 October).

Daniel Bye
Error 404
Improbable is arguably one of Britain’s most inventive, original and exciting theatre companies, and its Artistic Director, Phelim McDermott, has an international reputation including productions such as Shockheaded Peter with the Tiger Lillies for Lyric Hammersmith, A Midsummer Night's Dream for Deutsches Schauspielhaus, and Satyagraha and The Perfect American by Philip Glass for English National Opera. Northern Stage’s Artistic Director, Lorne Campbell says, “Bringing Phelim to Northern Stage to direct The Tempest is part of our ongoing commitment to getting some of the finest directors in the world to direct for the company and to present work here, following on from Rachel Chavkin (Catch-22) and the presentation of the Krymov Ensemble (Opus No.7) in 2014.”

Phelim McDermott says, “Of all Shakespeare's plays it is great to return to direct the first play I was ever in as a teenager! We have a strong ensemble of actors who will work in our unique Improbable style. We will be aiming to bring the text alive making a show that will be different every night yet true to the heart of this magical and unusual play.”

Tyrone Huggins will play Prospero. Huggins wrote and starred in The Honey Man (Birmingham Rep) - the critically acclaimed story of an ageing Caribbean recluse, who tries in vain to save "Miranda" (his colony of bees), drawing parallels with Shakespeare’s magical tale of revenge, love and, ultimately, forgiveness. He was also one of a group of high profile writers announced for Eclipse Theatre Company’s Revolution Mix – a three-year equality initiative to bring Black British stories to regional theatres – which Northern Stage is a partner in, along with the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Liverpool Everyman and Bristol Old Vic among others.

He is joined by Jade Ogugua as Miranda (The Guilty, ITV), Eileen Walsh as Ariel (The Magdalene Sisters), Tony Bell as Stephano (Oh, The Humanity, Northern Stage), Hannah McPake as Trinculo (The Gamblers, Greyscale) and Chris Price as Ferdinand (Catch-22, Northern Stage). More cast members are still to be confirmed.

Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the death of award-winning writer Julia Darling, Northern Stage is producing a revival of her witty and uplifting musical play, Manifesto (15-17 October). Inspired by the city she loved and the events surrounding her, Julia worked with Jim Kitson to set her series of poems to music, creating what was to be both her first ever musical and her final work. Alongside the production, Northern Stage is running a season of events to encourage people to make their own Manifestos for change. Starting with an Open Stages project for children aged 5-12 and working with local schools in Autumn to continue the project, Northern Stage has also teamed up with New Writing North and Juice Festival to support a series of writing workshops for young people, and is holding an open audition for singers to join a mixed cast of professionals and amateurs.

Curious Monkey
Beats North
Stage 2 is home to more exciting artists’ residencies, giving companies the space to develop new work and ideas, including balletLORENTas they make the next of their fairy tale pieces written by Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy (Snow White, 16-17 October); and North East based Curious Monkey (Mamela, Beats North) who will begin work on their new show Leaving written by Paddy Campbell (Wet House). This new verbatim play looks at the pivotal moment of leaving care, focusing on two true stories to explore mental health issues and the challenges of leaving the care system.

Jenny Eclair
Plus, there’s big name comedy from Jenny Eclair(28 October) and Festival of the Spoken Nerd (30 October), an eclectic programme of theatre, comedy, music and spoken word from some of the best performers from the North East and across the UK in Stage 3, and family entertainment including Family Day (12 September) and regular Saturday morning storytelling sessions with The Storyteller, Chris Bostock for children aged 4-8 and their families, starting on 5 September.

Festival of the Spoken Nerd
Finally, the season ends with two Northern Stage productions for the festive period: Caroline Bird (Chamber Piece, Secret Theatre) is writing a brand new version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (28 November – 2 January 2016) for kids over 7 and their families. She says, “This is the Wizard of Oz with a heart transplant. As a child, I absolutely loved the story. However, being a ten-year-old know-it-all bookworm who could spot a moral sleight of hand at a hundred yards, I hated the final bit when the horrible, lying Wizard gives them life-lessons. I thought, ‘Hey! He’s a humbug, living in Emerald luxury while Munchkins get enslaved, and now we’re taking his advice? No thanks very much!’ So this is inspired by that childlike anger: Oz is a troubled land, Dorothy the Brave is there for a reason - she lands in a mysterious country of tiny people and wicked witches, where the trees carry bazookas, the crows recite slam poetry, and a mouse can blow your head off. In just one day, this little girl revolutionises an entire nation. She brings freedom, and colour.”

And for under 6s, Up and Out, Christmas Sprout (14 November – 2 January 2016) is written by Laura Lindow (Heartbreak Soup, Live Theatre) and directed by Unfolding Theatre’s Annie Rigby. Annie says, “I’ve admired Laura’s writing for many years, so it’s a delight to collaborate with her this Christmas and we’ve got a great team working to create a magical world for Northern Stage’s youngest audiences. It’s such a privilege to make theatre for children - for many, it might be the first time they’ve come to see a show and we want to make the whole experience very special.”

Tickets:  
The Storyteller
First Saturday of every month, 10.30am–11.30am
£4
Join Chris Bostock, the Storyteller, on a journey of discovery and dreaming, with lots of participation and plenty of fun. Listen, enjoy and pass on these memorable stories.
NARC Music Nights
Sat 18 July & Fri 18 Sep, 8pm
From £5
Regional bands, short film-screenings, music videos by local film-makers plus a few surprises each night.
Family Day
Sat 12 Sep, 11am–3pm
Free
We’ll have all kinds of things to do and see as we throw open the doors and let you explore our building.
Into Thin Air
Tue 15 – Wed 16 Sep, 7.45pm
£10 / £8 concs.
Into Thin Air explores the increasing pressure on everyone to succeed at everything. A slick, intelligent exploration of how we cope in an increasingly pressurised world.
Night Visit
Thu 17 Sep, 7.30pm
£9 / £7 concs.
A séance of stories, sounds, images summoning ghosts. Travel through the night, encounter spirits, voyage beyond death, as Sally Pomme Clayton tells her families’ ghost stories. Dazzling images are manipulated live. Biography and myth merges with history and dream.
You, Me and Everything in Between
Thu 24 – Fri 25 Sep, 7.45pm
£10 / £8 concs.
A science-fact love story. Two ordinary people do an extraordinary thing. Two ordinary people look out into the universe and find the most human thing: love.
The Tempest
Fri 25 Sep – Sat 10 Oct
Eves: 7.30pm (6pm Wed 7 Oct), Sat: 2pm & 7.30pm Sat
£24, £19.50, £14.50. Student / Under 21, £12
An exciting new production of Shakespeare’s tale of love, magic, revenge and forgiveness.
Curious Monkey: Beats North
Tue 29 Sep – Thu 1 Oct, 7.45pm
£10 / £8 concs.
Two young northern lads explore the soundtrack to their lives in this double bill by Luke Barnes and Ishy Din featuring DJ Mariam Rezaei.
Cinema
Thu 15 Oct, 7.45pm
£10 / £8 concs.
19 August, 1978. Cinema Rex fire, Iran. 422 Dead. Who will remember them? Shahrzad – a feral cat – bargains with death for one more life.
Manifesto for a New City
Thu 15 – Sat 17 Oct, 7.30pm
£10 / £8 concs.
A friendly revolution snatches power from the city’s leaders and delivers it to its bread-kneaders, flower arrangers, and chocolate fanciers. A revival of Julia Darling’s much loved musical play.
Snow White
Fri 16 – Sat 17 Oct, Fri 7pm, Sat 2pm & 7pm
£24, £19.50, £14.50. Student / Under 21, £12
A young woman with beauty as pure as feathered snow and a mother’s wicked jealously meet in this new family show from balletLORENT with magical mirrors, poisonous apples, love and deception. Written by Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.
Donald Robertson is not a Standup Comedian
Tue 20 – Wed 21 Oct, 7.45pm
£10 / £8 concs.
Donald Robertson has no mates and he isn’t funny. But with guidance from his new mentor Gary, he hopes that this is all about to change.
Kneehigh: Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs)
Tue 20 – Sat 24 Oct
Tue & Fri 7.30pm, Wed 6pm, Thu & Sat 2pm & 7.30pm
£24, £19.50, £14.50. Student / Under 21, £12
Mayor Goodman has been assassinated. Contract killer Macheath has just married Pretty Polly Peachum and Mr and Mrs Peachum aren't happy. Not one bit. Based on The Beggar’s Opera, John Gay’s classic musical satire, Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) is busting with wit, wonder and weirdness.
First in 3
Thu 22 Oct, 7.45pm
£5
Showcasing the best in new writing, comedy, theatre, music and everything in between.
Jenny Eclair
Wed 28 Oct, 8pm
£17.50
Professional grumpy old woman, Splash survivor, amateur soup-maker and novice knitter, Jenny Eclair is younger than Madonna but eats crisps and likes wine. She puts middle age under the microscope and decides whether to laugh, cry or buy a Dachshund.
Young Person’s First in 3
Wed 28 Oct, 7pm
£4
The sell-out event is back! Come and join young artists as they showcase their talent.
Daniel Bye: Error 404
Thu 29 – Fri 30 Oct, 11am & 2pm
£10.50 / £8.50 children
He lost his best friend in a terrible accident and when his mum brings home an unusual parcel, things start getting weirder and weirder. Join him on a roller coaster of laughter, tears, music and games – you might even change the ending.
Open Stages Performance
Sat 31 Oct, 3pm
£3
Celebrating the creativity of 5–12 year olds with a brand new show! Our smallest performers take to the big stage.
Festival of the Spoken Nerd
Fri 30 Oct, 8pm
£15 / £13 concs.
The science comedy phenomenon returns, and this time they’re off the chart. Join acclaimed stand-up mathematician Matt Parker, experiments maestro Steve ‘Danger’ Mould and geek songstress Helen Arney for graph-a-minute fun on unprecedented linear scale.
Dark and Lovely
Tue 3 – Wed 4 Nov, 7.45pm
£10 / £8 concs.
Selina Thompson is exploring black hair and what it tells us about being Black, British and Female in the UK today.
Great Northern Slam
Thu 5 Nov, 7.45pm
£7
Ten of the best slam poets in the North have three minutes each to wow the audience in a bid to impress the judges and become Great North Slam Champion.
Shakespeare Schools Festival
Mon 9 – Sat 14 Nov, 7pm
£10 / £8 concs.
The Festival works with over a thousand schools all over the UK, staging productions in their local professional theatre. Each night four schools perform a different abridged Shakespeare play. Come along to celebrate their achievements.
Sacre Blue
Tue 10 – Wed 11 Nov, 7.45pm
£10 / £8 concs.
A bubble bath. A protest. A slice of toast. Some science. A solo performance piece confronting anxiety through poetry & storytelling. A riot organised by your Nan.
Up and Out Christmas Sprout
Sat 14 Nov – Sat 2 Jan, See website for performance schedule
Adult: £14 / £12.50 / £7.50
Child: £10 / £9.50 / £7.50
Under 12 months: £2
Follow our brave(ish) hero William Russell Sprout Junior up and out into the winter sky. Up, up and away to the Wild Beyond, negotiating snowy rooftops and stormy seas on his quest to put things back the way they were.
600 People
Tue 17 – Wed 18 Nov, 7.45pm
£10 / £8 concs.
Is there anyone, y’know, out there? Alexander Kelly talked to an astrophysicist to find out. This is what he learned: Stellar Wobble. The Distance Ladder. And murderous dolphins.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Sat 28 Nov – Sat 2 Jan, See website for performance schedule
£24, £19.50, £14.50. Student / Under 21, £12. Family tickets £60
A cyclone sweeps Dorothy Gale far, far away from her grey, boring life. She’d rather keep her trainers on than wear ruby slippers but here she is in the Technicolor land of Oz, ready for an adventure. A new version of the classic written by award-winning poet and playwright Caroline Bird, directed by Mark Calvert.
The Suggestibles Impro Pantso
Thu 17 Dec, 8pm
£17
The legendary Suggestibles improvised comedy troupe are back to wreak hilarious havoc on the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz set. Your suggestions inspire the whole extravaganza. Strictly for extremely naughty big kids.



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