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Preview: Spring 2017 at Northern Stage

Spring 2017 at Northern Stage

Queens of the North
Spring at Northern Stage features ambitious new productions made in Newcastle alongside new work from some of the UK’s most exciting and innovative theatre companies. Plus comedy, dance, family shows and an eclectic programme in the newly transformed Stage 3 performance space. 

Queens of the North - a season of stories by women, about women, told through the eyes of women - launches with two headline co-productions from Northern Stage and Greyscale.

Dr Frankenstein
The first is based on one of the greatest novels in the English language; Dr Frankenstein opens at Northern Stage (3 Feb - 11 March) before touring. Following the story of a brilliant, visionary young woman born into a world not ready for her, Dr Victoria Frankenstein’s scientific experiments lead her to the very brink of human knowledge in Selma Dimitrijevic’s psychologically disturbing version of Mary Shelley’s classic drama, di-rected by Northern Stage Artistic Director, Lorne Campbell.

Hedda Gabler
The second is a new adaptation of Hedda Gabler (16 Feb - 8 March) written and directed by Greyscale Artis-tic Director, Selma Dimitrijevic. Often mistaken for a love story, Ibsen’s masterpiece - possibly the greatest stage role ever written for a woman - is actually a funny, shocking and powerful exploration of the nature of identity, and the desperation and absurdity of trying to be something you’re not.
Played on the same stage and performed by a 7-strong ensemble, both shows will be designed by Tom Piper MBE.

Earlier this year, Piper worked with former Northern Stage Artistic Director Erica Whyman on A Mid-summer Night’s Dream for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and won critical acclaim for his Poppies: Weep-ing Window installation with artist Paul Cummins which opened at the Tower of London in 2014 before tour-ing nationally. The ensemble are Polly Frame (The Odyssey, English Touring Theatre) who will play Dr Victo-ria Frankenstein, Victoria Elliott (Get Carter, Northern Stage) who will play Hedda Gabler, Ed Gaughan (The Birthday Party, Royal Exchange), Donald McBride (Pitmen Painters, Live Theatre), Libby Davison (The Bill, ITV), Scott Turnbull (Gods Are Fallen And All Safety Gone, Greyscale) and Rachel Denning (The Vote, Donmar

East is East
Returning to his native North East before directing the world premiere of Ravi Shankar’s only opera, Sukanya, Suba Das directs a new production of the Olivier Award-winning comedy that became a BAFTA-winning film, East is East (18 April - 13 May) in a Northern Stage/Nottingham Playhouse co-production.

From the writer of the critically-acclaimed Wet House (Live Theatre), Paddy Campbell’s new play Leaving (23 Feb - 4 March) draws on his own experience of working in a children’s home as well as taking inspiration from two real life stories of people who have been through the care system in a new Curious Monkey pro-duction directed by Amy Golding and developed at Northern Stage.

The Wedding
Visiting companies include Gecko, who return to Newcastle with brand new show; created by the company’s artistic director, Amit Lahav, The Wedding (30 March - 1 April) opens at Northern Stage before touring. Ac-claimed theatre company Cardboard Citizens presents Cathy (16-17 January) - a powerful and emotive show, provoking discussion and debate, inspired by Ken Loach’s pioneering drama, Cathy Come Home. Pilot Theatre are back with The Machine Stops (30 March) - EM Forster’s short story masterpiece published in 1909 is astoundingly prophetic and poignant in 2017: a chilling prediction and exploration of our increasingly complex relationship with technology. And hot on the heels of critically acclaimed 2015 and 2016 tours, groundbreaking learning-disability theatre company Mind the Gap present Contained (4-6 May) - a vibrant, compelling and personal production of nine interwoven true stories of the everyday and the extraordinary.

For dance fans, following a triumphant premiere in London, BalletBoyz are back with Life. (6-8 April) featur-ing work by internationally acclaimed choreographers; and Mark Murphy’s V-Tol: Out of This World (26-27 May) combines Murphy’s signature mix of aerial choreography with projected film and explosive special ef-fects.

The Twits
For families, children aged 6+ will be treated to a mischievous new production of Roald Dahl’s The Twits (21-25 March) from Curve, Leicester. While for younger children there’s a topsy-turvy re-telling of The Elves and the Shoemaker (20-22 April) for children aged 4+; the timeless classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar (18-19 May), and Dinosaur World (1-3 June) featuring remarkably life-like puppets, both for children aged 3+; and every first Saturday of the month, Chris Bostock, The Storyteller, captivates children aged 4-8 with tales of discovery and dreaming, with plenty of participation thrown in.

Jonny & the Baptists
After a short break to redevelop Northern Stage’s most intimate performance space, the Stage 3 programme is back with an eclectic mix of theatre, music, comedy, spoken word, poetry and scratch nights including one of comedy’s most exciting rising stars, Rachel Willan: On Record (9 March); a riotous new musical comedy about inequality, Jonny & the Baptists: Eat the Poor (28-29 March); and 2016 Fringe First award-winners Kieran Hurley: Heads Up (11-12 April) and Sh!t Theatre: Letters to Windsor House (3 May).

Susan Calman
Plus, live comedy from some of the UK’s best stand-ups including new shows from Mark Thomas (16 March), Andrew Lawrence (2 February), Dr Phil Hammond (15 February) and Susan Calman (6 March).

For full details or to book tickets online see or call the box office on 0191 230 5151.

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