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Preview: The Tempest at Newcastle Northern Stage

“O, brave new world that has such
people in it!”

The Tempest
Newcastle Northern Stage
Friday 25th September - Saturday 10th October 2015

Photo: Mark Savage Photography
A sparkling new production of Shakespeare's tale of love, revenge and forgiveness comes to the stage this autumn by award-winning director Phelim McDermott. The Tempest opens at Northern Stage, Newcastle on 25 September before transferring to Oxford Playhouse from 14 October.

Photo: Mark Savage Photography
Directed by Improbable’s Phelim McDermott (Shockheaded Peter, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Satyagraha), the creative team includes set and costume designer Becs Andrews (Through His Teeth, Royal Opera House), original music by Brendan Murphy (Lands of Glass, Unfolding Theatre) and lighting design by Colin Grenfell (The Crucible, West Yorkshire Playhouse).

Photo: Mark Savage Photography
Phelim says, “Of all Shakespeare's plays it’s great to return to Northern Stage 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 - I want to do justice to the text because it’s a fantastic play, but I’d like to feel that we’ll create our own Tempest.”

Photo: Mark Savage Photography
Tyrone Huggins (RSC, National Theatre, Eastenders) 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.

Photo: Mark Savage Photography
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), Peter Peverley as Caliban (Twelfth Night, Northern Stage, Pete was also a founder member of the Northern Stage ensemble), John Paul Connolly as Alonso (Richard III, Shakespeare's Globe, West End and Broadway), Hannah McPake as Trinculo (The Gamblers, Greyscale), Gary Kitching as Antonio (Oh What a Lovely War, Northern Stage), and Christopher Price as Ferdinand (Catch-22, Northern Stage).

Photo: Mark Savage Photography
Costume and set designer, Becs Andrews: “The set design has lots of options for transformation; the cast will bring it to life during the rehearsal process. Improbable have a unique way of working – it’s very process-driven, which is what’s unusual, and what’s interesting to me; it’s very exciting.”

Photo: Mark Savage Photography
Northern Stage 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. Improbable’s work manages to combine being very funny, playful and accessible with a sophisticated theatricality and great skill in its use of text.”

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The Tempest comes to Newcastle’s Northern Stage from Friday 25th September - Saturday 10th October 2015
Tickets: £24, £19.50, £14.50 / £12 Students under 21s

Box Office: or 0191 230 5151

Photo: Mark Savage Photography

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