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News: Live Theatre’s June to December 2016 Season

Live Theatre’s June to December 2016 Season: Now on Sale

Live Garden, Live Theatre’s new outdoor garden and performance space created as part of its recently completed Live Works development hosts its first performance with Mobile. This ordinary looking caravan is a treasure trove of magic and digital wizardry, offering an intimate 40 minute show for nine people at a time. Presented by The Paper Birds and co-commissioned by Live Theatre and The Marlowe Theatre Mobile premieres at Live Theatre from Wednesday 8 to Sunday 26 June before going on a national tour. 

Live Garden Launch on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July marks the official opening of Live Garden with a showcase of work from Live Theatre’s past and present. The free outdoor event includes a new short piece by current writer-in-residence Paddy Campbell, Alan Plater’s monologue Wor Tony and The Great White Shark,alongside a new exciting theatrical performance devised and performed by young people from Live’s Youth Theatre working with balletLORENT and composerScott Twynholm.

Live Garden will also host further events throughout the year including a Mini Melapresented by GemArts on Sunday 17 July and the national Fun Palaces initiative on Saturday 1 October, as well as being a new public space for visitors to enjoy.

Jim Beirne, Chief Executive, Live Theatre said: “This summer sees the culmination of two years of development work on Live Works and we’re delighted to be launching an exciting new outdoor performance area this summer. It’s a great opportunity for us to meet new audiences and to show them the work and activities associated with Live Theatre. Live Garden is also a beautiful public space that we hope will become a recreational addition to the area and a place for people to relax and escape the bustle of the Quayside.”

Carnegie Medal-winning author David Almond adapts his critically acclaimed short story The Savage for the stage with its World Premiere at Live Theatre from Thursday 30 June to Saturday 23 July. This contemporary fable with music and stunning audio visual effects will appeal to young people and adults alike, and is directed by Live Theatre’s Artistic Director, Max Roberts. David’s first commission with Live Theatre marks the launch of Live Tales, Live Theatre’s new creative writing centre for children and young people.

Max Roberts, Artistic Director, Live Theatre said: “It’s great to have a writer of David’s quality and reputation writing for Live Theatre. His enthusiasm and support for Live Tales has been enormous and The Savage marks its opening. I’m very much looking forward to bringing his play to fruition moulding David’s rich lyrical writing with music and beautiful settings that will appeal to a wide age range of audiences.”

Harriet Martineau Dreams of Dancing by Shelagh Stephenson follows A Northern Odyssey as the second of her trilogy of plays at Live Theatre exploring Tyneside’s political and cultural heritage. The play, directed by Max Roberts follows leading radical thinker, feminist and anti-slavery campaigner Harriet Martineau as she spends time in Tynemouth in 1844, has its World Premiere at Live Theatre from Thursday 10 November to Saturday 3 December.

Max Roberts, Artistic Director, Live Theatre said: “I am delighted to welcome Shelagh Stephenson back to Live Theatre and thrilled that she has created another play set in and around Tynemouth where she grew up. Harriet Martineau Dreams of Dancing is a superbly witty and engaging story underpinned with a sharply focused feminist tract. As with A Northern Odyssey the production will include music and dance inspired by the traditions of Northumberland.”

Broken Biscuits written by Tom Wells (Jumpers for Goalposts) is a heart-warming coming of age story following three friends as they transform their lives through music one summer holiday. A co-production by Live Theatre and Paines Plough, Broken Biscuits premieres at Live Theatre from Wednesday 5 to Saturday 22 October before embarking on a national tour.

Gez Casey, Literary Manager, Live Theatre said: “Tom Wells has won over audiences and critics alike with his beguiling bighearted plays and we’re delighted to be working again with partners Paines Plough on the premiere of Tom’s latest work. Funny, celebratory and up-lifting, Broken Biscuits details the ups-and-downs of how three friends work in harmony to outfox adversity.”

The Terminal Velocity of Snowflakes from Thursday 8 to Saturday 17 December is Live Lab Associate Artist Nina Berry’s first full length play at Live Theatre, and takes a touching look at what it means to grow up and fall in love.

Max Roberts, Artistic Director, Live Theatre said: “As well as working with established writers David Almond and Shelagh Stephenson this season, I am also looking forward to co-directing The Terminal Velocity of Snowflakes, the first full length play by Nina Berry, an emerging writer from Newcastle with real talent. Her writing is distinctive, witty and contemporary and her play will provide a delightful alternative Christmas entertainment.”

Among Live Theatre’s visiting theatre programme this autumn, The 56 examines the solidarity, strength and community in the face of tragedy, marking the 31st anniversary of the Bradford City football ground fire; 
And Then Come The Nightjars presented by Theatre503 and Bristol Old Vic is a story of male friendship against the odds and a tribute to rural English life, set as Foot and Mouth Disease sweeps across the countryside; Spine is a Fringe First and Herald Angel award-winning Edinburgh Fringe sell-out show from Soho Theatre which charts the friendship between a wise-cracking teenager and elderly East End widow; The Lamppost Petition is about Grandparents and what it means to get older, and is one of the winners of the Bridging the Gap Bursary;  
Jess and JoeForever, a coming of age play from Zoe Cooper (Nativities, Petrification); and Key Change by Open Clasp devised with women in HMP Low Newton Prison returns to Live Theatre after a successful run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and receiving a prestigious New York Times Critics Pick.

The annual Julia Darling Travel Fellowship is presented at Rendezvous – Wish You Were Here on Sunday 5 June, along with performances of poetry, music and cabaret hosted by Charlie Hardwick. The Fellowship is managed by New Writing North, supported by Live Theatre and ticket sales from the evening support the continuation of the prize.

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, Live Theatre’s sell-out co-production with National Theatre of Scotland has embarked on a new international tour this summer including the Theatre Royal, Newcastle, International Festival of Ideas, New Haven and National Theatre, London.

In addition to regular music from Jumpin’ Hot ClubLive Theatre also has music from Northern Roots in the build up to Freedom City 2017, and a one-off Christmas performance from The Proud Ones.
For more information about Live Theatre’s June to December 2016 season or to book tickets visit or contact the box office on (0191) 232 1232.

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