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Preview: NEWCASTLE THEATRE ROYAL ANNOUNCES AUTUMN ‘15 / SPRING ‘16 SEASON
Bringing the West End to the doorstep of North East audiences, Newcastle Theatre Royal is delighted to announce a new season packed full of productions for all the family. From musicals to dance spectaculars with everything from comedy to opera in between there is something to suit every taste.
Photo: Dewynters Katrina Tepper
Fans of musical theatre will delight in the fabulous, multi award-winningproduction of Mary Poppins(8 Sept – 29 Oct ‘16). This Cameron Mackintosh production stars Zizi Strallen and Matt Lee as Mary and Bert. Newcastle Theatre Royal audiences will remember Zizi from her recent visit playing Lana in the Matthew Bourne's The Car Man and she recently starred in Cats in the West End. Matt is an award-winning musical theatre star, who played the role of Bert in Australia and has recently been a judge on Australia's So You Think You Can Dance.
The magical story of the world’s favourite Nanny arriving on Cherry Tree Lane has been triumphantly and spectacularly brought to the stage with dazzling choreography, incredible effects and unforgettable songs. The stage version of Mary Poppins is brilliantly adapted from the wonderful stories by PL Travers and the beloved Walt Disney film.
Another musical film classic, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1 - 12 Jun ‘16) will have audiences of all ages flying high with its mixture of madness, intrigue and exuberance. Having broken all Box Office records in the West End, this fun-filled production promises laughs, magic galore and favourite songs including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Hushabye Mountain and Truly Scrumptious.
Guaranteed to have you dancing the night away, the award-winning musical comedy Hairspray (19 - 30 Jan ‘16) is back on tour, bigger and bouncier than ever! Starring Tony Maudsley (ITV1’s Benidorm) as Edna Turnblad, Claire Sweeney (Educating Rita, Chicago) as Velma Von Tussle, PeterDuncan (BBC1’s Tumble) as Wilbur Turnblad, and Brenda Edwards (Chicago, We Will Rock You, X Factor) as Motormouth Maybelle, this irresistible feel-good show will be sure to have you smiling for days!
Guys and Dolls
If it’s great songs, fabulous dance routines and some New York gangster-glamour you’re after then Guys and Dolls (22 Mar – 2 Apr ‘16) will be right up your street.
Direct from the West End, this highly-acclaimed production features some of Broadway’s greatest show-stopping tunes, including Luck be a Lady, Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat and My Time of Day. Directed by New York’s Gordon Greenberg, with dazzling choreography by world-renowned Cuban ballet star, Carlos Acosta.
And for more star choreographers, look no further than this season’s fantastic selection of dance shows. Matthew Bourne returns to Newcastle with New Adventures’ adaptation of Sleeping Beauty (5 – 16 Apr ‘16). The traditional tale of good versus evil and rebirth is turned upside-down, creating a supernatural love story that even the passage of time itself cannot hinder. Featuring spectacular designs by Olivier Award-winners Lez Brotherston (set and costumes) and Paule Constable (lighting). With specially recorded surround sound, designed by Paul Groothuis.
Newcastle audiences can enjoy a triple bill from Britain’s national dance company, Rambert (2 – 4 Feb ‘16). Love, desire and betrayal are the ingredients of The 3 Dancers, the shocking true story which inspired a masterpiece by Picasso. Choreographed by Didy Veldman, with orchestral music by leading Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin.
The Strange Charm of Mother Nature, created by Rambert’s Artistic Director Mark Baldwin, is inspired by the science of the cosmos. To music including Stravinsky and JS Bach, dancers fizz with the energy of the miniscule building blocks that created life, the universe and everything. The programme is completed by Frames, an inventive and visually arresting piece by British dance’s hottest property, Alexander Whitley. Twelve performers skilfully manipulate 70 interlocking metal bars, forming shapes, structures and spaces which, quite literally, frame their dancing in a different light.
More metal bars, together with paint cans, bin lids and brooms will be featured in Stomp (15 – 20 Feb ‘16), alongside eight energetic performers who fuse dance, percussion and comedy to create a feel-good rhythmic spectacular, in this inventive and infectiously entertaining show. The multi award-winning global phenomenon is now entering its 23rd year and has entertained over 15 million people worldwide. Featuring new routines, new music and new choreography, Stompis fresher, faster and funnier than ever – don’t miss it!
Fans of drama have plenty to tempt them in the new season starting with An Inspector Calls (9 – 13 Feb ‘16) by the National Theatre. Directed by Oscar-nominated Stephen Daldry, the multi award-winning production of J.B. Priestley’s classic thriller has thrilled audiences in the West End, on Broadway and throughout the world with its epic and wildly imaginative staging, raw emotion, evocative score, lashing rain and chilling suspense.
Following the thrillingly successful production of Dead Simpleearlier this year, the work of No. 1 best-selling author PeterJames returns to the Theatre Royal with his first critically acclaimed stage hit The Perfect Murder (22 – 27 Feb ‘16). Follow a young Detective Roy Grace as he investigates his very first homicide case, where nothing is quite as it seems. Have you ever wondered how to commit the perfect murder? This highly entertaining dark comedy thriller might be your answer!
Lord of the Flies
Also returning to the Theatre Royal stage, after their success with recent smash-hit, To Kill a Mockingbird, award-winning Regent’s Park Theatre company present Lord of the Flies (8 – 12 Mar ‘16). William Golding’s 20th century classic explodes onto the stage in a grippingly sinister story of a struggle for survival, superstition and immorality.
Classic comedy masterpiece Single Spies (15 -19 Mar ‘16) is the award-winning play from Alan Bennett, which returns to the stage in this eagerly awaited national tour.
Directed by Olivier nominated Rachel Kavanaugh, this amusing and compelling play explores our fascination with Russian spies and royalty. It chronicles the lives of two members of the notorious ‘Cambridge Five’ spy ring in the 1950s – Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt. With forgery, fraud and hilarious blunders, Single Spies gives us a glimpse into a life full of espionage, secret identities and even an interrogation by the Queen.
The James Plays
And described by The Telegraph as ‘better than Shakespeare’ The James Plays (30 Apr – 1 May ‘16) arrive at Newcastle Theatre Royal as part of a high-profile UK and international tour. Exhilarating and vividly imagined, The James Plays bring to life three generations of Stewart kings who ruled Scotland from 1406 -1488. Causing a storm of attention and thrilling audiences at both the Edinburgh International Festival and the National Theatre in London, this run is set to captivate audiences on tour. Sit in one of a limited number of on-stage seats, to form a ‘people’s parliament’ overlooking the court of the Kings!
Acclaimed company Opera North (3 – 5 Nov ‘15) provide a wealth of opportunities for opera aficionados and novices alike with the vivacious comedy of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and the heart-wrenching tale of love and sacrifice in Janáček’s Jenůfa. The company also bring to life one of Broadway’s greatest treasures, Kiss Me, Kate (6 – 7 Nov ‘15), a super stylish show-within-a-show, set around a fictitious production of a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew. Set in the 1940s with Cole Porter’s richest score, dazzling choreography, stunning sets and gorgeous costumes, and performed by a full orchestra and chorus. Opera North return later with the remainder of their season (2 - 5 Mar ‘16) featuring Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte, Donizetti’s L’elisir D’amore and Giordano’s Andrea Chénier.
From opera to operetta as Gilbert & Sullivan favourite The Mikado (15 – 18 Jun ‘16) arrives to transport audiences to a land of fun and flirtation. This delicious mix of cheeky EnglishMusic Halland exquisite Japanese tradition is packed with anti-Establishment silliness and full of larger than life characters including self-serving politicians that are all too recognisable today. This playful show features some of G&S’s most popular tunes, including Three little maids, Tit-willow and I’ve got a little list.
Now if it’s Panto you’re after, you better get in quick, with over 55,000 tickets already sold for our 15/16 Pantomime Dick Whittington (24 Nov ‘15 - 17 Jan ‘16). Danny, Clive, Chris and the gang are joined this year by Emmerdaleactress Charlie Hardwick who plays Spirit of The Tyne in another spectacular production jam-packed with fun, adventure and comedy!
And don’t forget there are plenty of great shows to suit all tastes in our current season with family-favourite musicals The Sound of Music (1 - 12 Sept ‘15),
Jesus Christ Superstar (14 - 19 Sept ‘15) and The Glenn Miller Story (21 – 26 Sept ‘15). Three huge hits join us straight from the West End - King Charles III(28 Sept – 3 Oct ‘15), Jacqueline Wilson’s Hetty Feather (8 – 11 Oct ‘15) and Handbagged(26 – 31 Oct ‘15),while a new adaptation of the hit film The Shawshank Redemption (19 – 24 Oct ‘15) will be a hit with fans of this tale of freedom and hope.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
A visit from Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (6 – 7 Oct ‘15) and Vincent and Flavia’s The Last Tango (13 – 17 Oct ‘15) are sure to be a hit with dance fans, who can also treat themselves to an early taste of Christmas with Northern Ballet’s The Nutcracker (10 – 14 Nov ‘15) and their special ballet for children The Elves and The Shoemaker (13 Nov ‘15). Comedy-lovers can catch a one-night special with Dave Gorman (1 Nov ‘15) or be entertained with a night dining in our Upper Circle foyer with Basil, Sybil and Manuel as Faulty Towers, the Dining Experience returns (16 – 21 Nov ‘15).
Newcastle Theatre Royal’s Autumn 2015, Summer 2016 and Autumn 2016 seasons are kindly sponsored by Mill Volvo.
Tickets for all new shows in the Autumn ‘15 / Spring ‘16 season are already on public sale.Tickets can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge) or pay 50p less per ticket when you book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk