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Saturday, 25 March 2017

Preview: The Red Lion at Newcastle Live Theatre



Rehearsals are underway for The Red Lion at Live Theatre, Newcastle, a play written by Patrick Marber set in the locker room of a Northern lower league football club
A Live Theatre Production
The Red Lion

Newcastle Live Theatre

Thursday 6th April to Saturday 6th May 2017

Written by Patrick Marber
Directed by Max Roberts
Designed by Patrick Connellan
Starring Stephen Tompkinson, John Bowler and Dean Bone

Actors Stephen Tompkinson (DCI Banks) John Bowler (Auf Wiedersehen Pet) and Dean Bone (The Savage) have started rehearsals for Live Theatre’s new production of The Red Lion written by Oscar Nominated writer Patrick Marber, which runs at the Newcastle quayside based theatre from Thursday 6 April to Saturday 6 May 2017.

Following its critically acclaimed first run at the National Theatre in 2015, The Red Lion has been specially adapted by writer Patrick Marber for Live Theatre and the North East, where it will be directed by Live Theatre’s Artistic Director Max Roberts.  The play is set in the locker room of a North Eastern lower league football club in the ultra-competitive twilight world of semi-professional football. The Red Lion is a powerful, funny and touching drama that reaches beyond the beautiful game, exploring contrasting ideas about loyalty, ambition and what it takes to win, from three different generations.  If you thought that badge-kissing mercenaries, wide-boy agents and dodgy deals were confined to the Premier League, think again.

Stephen Tompkinson
Stephen Tompkinson, well known for his TV appearances as DCI Banks, and who previously appeared at Live Theatre as the lead in Faith & Cold Reading, is re-united with Harrigan co-star John Bowler. John started his TV career in the film Ha'way the Lads playing Sunderland footballer Jimmy Seed. He then went on to feature in Auf Wiedersehen Pet and has since starred in The Bill, EastEnders and Coronation Street. John, who grew up in Newcastle, will be making his first appearance at Live Theatre. They will be joined by up and coming actor Dean Bone cast as the young football player, Jordan. Dean, originally from Gateshead, has had lead roles in Live Theatre’s recent productions The Savage and The Terminal Velocity of Snowflakes having started in Live’s Youth Theatre.

Stephen Tompkinson, actor, said: "Performing at Live Theatre in Shaun Prendergast's Faith & Cold Reading, was one of the best experiences in my career. I am delighted to be back at Live Theatre, in Patrick Marber's brilliant play The Red Lion.”

John Bowler
John Bowler, actor, said: “I was attracted to the part of Yates by Max Roberts, Steven Tompkinson, Patrick Marber and football - not necessarily in that order!  I have always been a fan of Live Theatre and the work Max has created over the years so to be invited to work with him opposite the wonderful Stephen Tompkinson in this brilliant play by Patrick Marber proved irresistible!”

Dean Bone
Dean Bone added: "It's always an absolute privilege to work at Live Theatre. I cannot wait to get started on a project about football, something I feel passionately about. And working with two excellent, experienced professional actors such as Stephen Tompkinson and John Bowler is something any young actor would jump at the chance at!”
Max Roberts, Artistic Director, Live Theatre said: “I am delighted to be working with Patrick Marber, directing his play The Red Lion. I am also pleased to welcome back Stephen Tompkinson to Live Theatre’s stage, and to have cast alongside him well-established actor John Bowler who will be making his first appearance here, and rising talent Dean Bone who has starred in two recent Live Theatre productions having started here in Live’s Youth Theatre.”

Patrick Marber
Patrick Marber was a writer and performer on The Day Today and Knowing Me, Knowing You… with Alan Partridge. His plays include Dealer’s Choice, winner of the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy and Closer, both at the National Theatre. Closer was adapted by Patrick into a film, which starred actors Julia Roberts, Jude Law and Natalie Portman. Patrick was also Oscar nominated in 2006 for his film adaptation of Zoe Heller’s novel Notes on a Scandal which starred Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench. His other plays include After Miss Julie, Don Juan in Soho and Three Days in the Country.

Patrick Marber, writer of The Red Lion said: “I am thrilled to be making my Live Theatre debut. It’s been a great and exciting opportunity to revise the play with Max Roberts at the helm. I’m greatly looking forward to seeing this version of the play in Newcastle.”

‘Marber’s dressing room drama is a remarkable three-hander about a sport he clearly knows intimately’ ★★★★ The Guardian
‘a triumph’ The Telegraph

A series of FREE post show talks accompany the play. 

Director Max Roberts
Writer Patrick Marber and Director Max Roberts take part in a free Meet the Writer talk after the 2pm performance on Saturday 8 April; actors Stephen Tompkinson, John Bowler and Dean Bone discuss their roles in a free Meet the Cast talk after the 7.30pm performance on Wednesday 19 April, and in a Football Panel Discussion sports writers Harry Pearson (The Far Corner) and George Caulkin (The Times) join director Max Roberts and industry professionals in a discussion about the importance of amateur football in the North East and issues raised in the play after the 7.30pm performance on Wednesday 3 May. All post show talks include a question and answer session, are free but must be pre-booked.

Live Theatre
Live Theatre is fully accessible and offers a range of additional assisted interpretation at specific performances of The Red Lionaimed at improving the theatre experience for all audience members. These include British Sign Language Interpretation at the performance on Wednesday 26 April, 7.30pm, Captioning on Thursday 27 April, 7.30pmand Audio Description on Saturday 6 May, 2pm.  A Free Touch Tour on Saturday 6 May, 1pm is a ‘hands on’ tour of the set describing props, costumes, characters and the visual style of the show ahead of the performance with additional audio description especially for visitors with visual impairments.

The 2pm matinee on Thursday 27 April is designated as a Relaxed Performance which allows a more laid back approach to noise or movement from the audience, with audience members being able to leave and come back in again and don’t have to be quiet. This is suitable for young people with special educational needs, or anyone who many benefit from a more relaxed environment.  These services are offered at no extra cost for service users. Performances with extra interpretation should not affect the performance for other audience members, although Relaxed performances may have more noise and movement from other audience members. 
Tickets:
The Red Lion is suitable for ages 16+ and is at Live Theatre, Newcastle from Thursday 6 April to Saturday 6 May 2017. Tickets for The Red Lion cost between £10 and £26 with concessions from £6 and group discounts available. For more information or to book tickets visit www.live.org.uk or contact Live Theatre’s box office on (0191) 232 1232.

POST SHOWTALKS
Meet the Writer
SATURDAY 8 APRIL (after
2pm show)
Writer Patrick Marber discusses the writing of the play and adapting it for
Newcastle with Max Roberts, Artistic Director, Live Theatre.
FREE, booking essential. Suitable for Artsmark visits.

Meet the Cast
Wednesday 19 April (after the 7.30pm show)
Director Max Roberts discusses the making of The Red Lion with cast members Stephen Tompkinson, John Bowler and Dean Bone. Followed by a Q&A.
FREE, booking essential. Suitable for Artsmark visits.


Football Panel Discussion
Wednesday 3 May (after the 7.30pm show)
Sports writers Harry Pearson (The Far Corner), George Caulkin (The Times) and former Newcastle Utd and Seaham Red Star player Steve Harper who now coaches for Newcastle United Academy join director Max Roberts and industry professionals in a discussion about the importance of amateur football in the North East and issues raised in the play. Followed by a Q&A.
FREE, booking essential. Suitable for Artsmark visits
Find out more and book.

ASSISTED PERFORMANCES
Live Theatre is fully accessible and offers a range of assisted performances aimed at improving the theatre experience for all audience members. These services are offered at no extra cost for service users. Performances with extra interpretation should not affect the performance for other audience members, although Relaxed performances may have more noise and movement from other audience members.

British Sign Language Interpreted Performance
Wednesday 26 April, 7.30pm
A BSL interpreter positioned on or next to the stage communicates in a non verbal language

Thursday 27 April, 2pm
Relaxed Performance
A laid back approach to noise or movement from the audience is taken during this performance, audience members can leave and come back in again and don’t have to be quiet. Suitable for young people with special educational needs, or anyone who many benefit from a more relaxed environment.

Thursday 27 April, 7.30pm
Captioned Performance
Words spoken by the actors are displayed as text on a screen on or next to the stage similar to television subtitles.

Touch Tour
Saturday 6 May, 1pm
A Touch Tour compliments an Audio Described show; this is a ‘hands on’ tour of the set describing props, costumes, characters and the visual style of the show especially for visitors with visual impairments.
Saturday 6 May, 2pm
Audio Description
This optional service allows audience members who choose to wear headphones to listen to a live commentary of the action on stage in between the words spoken by the characters.

To find out more about Live Theatre’s assisted performances see www.live.org.uk/assistedperformances




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