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Preview: Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs at Newcastle Tyne Theatre

Michelle Heaton joins Tyne Theatre Pantomime as the Wicked Queen!

Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs
Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Friday 8th to Sunday 31st December 2017

Today was the press launch at Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre & Opera House for this year’s pantomime which includes singer, actress and presenter, Michelle Heaton, who will star as the Wicked Queen in this year’s Pantomime, Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs.

Michelle joins several brilliant cast members who have already been announced, including Matt Pagan from Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro who will play the Prince, local favourites Charlie Richmondand Lewis Denny who will return as Muddles and Herman the Henchman, and talented local actress Robyn McEnaney who was picked to star as Snow White through the theatre’s ‘Search for Snow White’ auditions.

Charlie Richmond introduces Michelle Heaton
Photo: Carliol Photography
Michelle Heaton still has family in
Gateshead and still tours with her pop band Liberty X.  Along with Jessica, Kelli, Kevin and Tony they were formed during their time on the hit ITV show Popstars. It was the year of Hearsay Vs Liberty X in 2001 and the band went on to sign with Richard Branson’s’ V2 label. In the subsequent 5 years they had 7 top 10 singles, including their most successful, ‘Just a little’.  This track debuted at number 1 in the UK, selling 100,000 copies in its first week.  The track also won the Brit award for Best British Single in 2003.

Wicked Queen - Michelle Heaton
The band reformed for the TV show The Big Reunion on ITV in 2013.  The year of 5ive, Blue and others – they had a very successful and critically acclaimed TV show and followed on with a sellout Arena tour.  After the group went their separate ways, Michelle appeared on various TV shows, including Celebrity Big Brother, Come Dine with Me and the Irish Apprentice. She has also appeared regularly on ITV’s Loraine show and Loose Women. Recently Michelle has gone back to touring not just with Liberty X but also with Atomic Kitten internationally.  She stepped in to the shoes of Liz McClarnon, for a recent tour of Australia and New Zealand and more dates with both bands follow this year, both in the UK and internationally.  Michelle will be performing with Liberty X in a couple of day’s time in Dubai before doing dates with Atomic Kitten.

Charlie Richmond introduces Fran, one of the local dancers
Photo: Carliol Photography
Theatre Director Joanne Johnson says: “I’m so excited to announce that Michelle Heaton will be part of our pantomime this year, it’s great to have a local celebrity treading the boards! I think we have a fantastic strong cast and Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs will be an amazing show for the whole family. We already can’t wait until December!”

This is not the first time that Michelle has performed in the role as she was the Wicked Queen in a Scottish panto last year too.  She has wanted to do panto in the region for some time and is pleased to get the chance in such a fun role: “this cast is second to none” she remarked today.

Robyn McEnaney
Photo: Carliol Photography
Adding to the local flavour of the Tyne Theatre Panto is Snow White herself.  Gateshead’s Robyn McEnaney trained at Newcastle College before performing as a Disney Princess at Disneyland Paris.  After being informed of her audition success she said she was “very excited to be working with Charlie Richmond.” Robyn was given an opportunity in the preview to sing and she has a real quality to her singing voice. Robyn will be a superb addition to the cast.

Charlie Richmond introduces the seven dwarfs
Photo: Carliol Photography
Local lad Charlie Richmond also trained at Newcastle College before going to Sunderland University to study drama. He made his debut in the 1999 film Purely Belter. More recently he has been known at NETG Towers as ‘the funny one at the Newcastle Panto.’ He is at ease when handling both the audience and fellow actors and he always brings a smile to our faces.

Callobro star Matt Pagan is the Prince
Photo: Carliol Photography
Taking a break from touring with Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro is Matt Pagan who’ll be appearing as the Prince. After signing with Simon Cowell’s Syco label they have had three successful album releases. Matt is no stranger to pantomime either. He played this role in Carlisle in 2013. Matt was given the opportunity to sing today and he too has a rich voice that will be fabulous to hear in this year’s panto.

The Tyne Theatre celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2017 and it is fitting that they will have a professional pantomime with a nice mix of local talent and famous faces. We look forward to it opening on Friday 8thDecember.

Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs runs from Friday 8th to Sunday 31st December.
Tickets are available now from Eventim Tickets LINK

The Tyne Theatre & Opera House Box Office is open 10am-3:30pm Monday to Friday and event days.
Booking and Information Line: 0844 2491 000 (10am – 6pm Monday to Friday)

Preview: Peacocks, Lobsters and Us at Stockton ARC

A romantic comedy for the Tinder generation

Peacocks, Lobsters and Us
Stockton ARC Arts Centre
Monday 31st July 2017

Steelworks Theatre Company’s world premiere of Peacocks, Lobsters & Us premiers at ARC Stockton Arts Centre on Monday 31st July before heading to the Edinburgh Festival.

Steelworks Theatre Company was founded by award-winning playwright and Hull Truck favourite Gordon Steel, writer of Like a Virgin, Dead Fish, A Kick in the Baubles and Studs. 

Steelworks’ inaugural production Grow Up Grandad, had a sell-out run at ARC, Stockton Arts Centre followed by a highly successful UK tour last year. It has since been published by Josef Weinberger. 

This is Steelworks first venture to the Edinburgh Festival.  

A Family Affair
Following her successful playwright father into the business, Director and Choreographer Rebecca Steel takes Steelworks in a new direction.  Pure serendipity has resulted in Rebecca performing in the same venue as her father, when he won a Fringe First for his first play, Dead Fish in 1993.   The C Venue, Celtic Lodge on the Royal Mile has fond memories for Rebecca who, as a small child, would leaflet her father’s show.

Dating, Mating and Dance
Explosive dance theatre with an original, quirky insight into life’s most compelling experience – Love. The mating game becomes the dating dance in this witty and charming take on boy-meets-girl. In turn comic, tragic and full of heart, we answer the questions you never dared ask: Should you have sex on the first date? When is it too soon to leave? Is it a walk of shame or a stride of pride? How smooth are your chat up lines? Who should make the first move? Does the ‘The One’ exist? We can’t promise to turn you into a femme fatale or the next Casanova, but we could show you how to dance your way out of your dating dramas.

Director Rebecca Steel has worked extensively as a performer for companies including The Cholmondeley’s and Featherstonehaugh’sSweetshop Revolution and Collision Dance Theatre. She has choreographed across the country and internationally for The Loons Theatre Company, New Zealandcreating specially commissioned original circus-dance-theatre for the Christchurch Arts Festival; recently she was movement director for ‘And Yet It Moves’ at the Young Vic.

She is currently Head of Theatre Studies at Eton College where she has directed numerous shows including Tamburlaine, Oh What a Lovely War, Tristan and YseultDeath of Salesman and Romeo and Juliet.

Peacocks, Lobsters  & Us can be seen at ARC Stockton Arts Centre on Monday 31st July at 7pm and 8:30pm and in Edinburgh 3rd-19th August at C Venues. Venue 50, C Cubed, Royal Mile at 19.55. 
This performance is priced on a Pay What You Decide basis, click here to find out more.
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Preview: Rory Bremner at South Shields Customs House


Rory Bremner
South Shields Customs House
Monday 24th July 2017

Two special guests will join Rory Bremner on stage when he makes his South Tyneside Comedy Festival debut.Britain’s best-known satirical impressionist brings his Partly Political show toThe Customs House on Monday 24th July, taking aim at Trump, Boris and Brexit.

He will be joined by Jo Caulfield, one of British comedy’s most in-demand stand-ups, and journalist and author Susie Boniface, also known as the Mirror columnist Fleet Street Fox.

Rory Bremner     
Bremner said: “'I’m really looking forward to a first visit to South Shields and taking part in an exciting comedy festival!”

Bremner is best known for the political satire show Bremner, Bird and Fortune, which was a mainstay of Channel 4’s comedy output for more than 20 years. He’s won back-to-back BAFTAs for Britain’s Top Comedy Performances, three Royal Television Society awards and two British Comedy Awards. He’s guested on many of Britain’s top comedy shows on radio and TV, including Spitting Image, Whose Line Is It Anyway, Have I Got News For You, Mock the Week, The News Quiz, The Now Show and QI.

Festival director, writer and comedian Jason Cook said: “Getting Rory was a real coup. He’s been on everything and his Bremner, Bird and Fortune shows have won so many awards that it’s going to be amazing to see someone of his calibre playing our fantastic little theatre. It’s a full show as well, with other performers in Jo and Susie, so it’ll be like watching his TV shows, but live! Absolutely unmissable.”

Jo Caulfield
Jo Caulfield will make a second appearance at the South Tyneside Comedy Festival this year, in her own show on Sunday, July 30, ahead of a huge nationwide tour.

A fantastic line-up of stars and up-and-coming comedians are appearing at The Customs House throughout July and August as part of the South Tyneside Comedy Festival.

They include comedy magician and TV regular Pete Firman, panel show favourites Stephen K Amos and Ed Gamble and Britain’s Got Talent act The Mimic Men.Adam Rowe and Peter Brush are back by popular demand after proving a hit at Jason Cook’s Comedy Club, which is based at The Customs House. Canadian comedian Sean Collins and local acts including the Geordie Rat Pack, Carl Hutchinson and Steffen Peddie complete the bill.

Tickets for Rory Bremner: Partly Political are £15. The show starts at 8pm and the show is suitable for people aged 16 and over.
The full South Tyneside Comedy Festival line-up is available at

Preview: Northumbria’s Performing Art’s MA Students Takeover

Northumbria’s Performing Art’s MA Students Takeover at Gateshead Q Festival

MA Theatre and Performance Students from Northumbria University take over Q Festival’s, Spielgeltent on Baltic Square, Gateshead on Wednesday 26thJuly!

For one night Northumbria’s M.A. Theatre and Performance students take over over the Spiegeltent At Q Festival for an evening full of performances showcasing up and coming talent from the region. The evening consists of multiple scratches of work that they have been working on during the course of their degree. The night will also include a performance of Drag Me to Love by Bonnie and The Bonnettes before their National Tour in September 2017.

Scratches 7pm - 8:30pm
Drag Me to Love 9pm

Scratch: Rooted by Becky Glendenning-Laycock and Fleur Rozan
In a battle between who we wanted to be when we were little girls Vs who we’ve turned out to be, we will come to realise that life doesn’t always hand you the story you wanted to tell when you were 9 years old. And that’s ok we guess. Isn’t it?

Scratch: Don’t Shoot the Messenger by Ashley Fraser and Becky Morris
This is about me, you, us, and everything that is going on around us. These are things that you may be aware of, or these may be things have you’ve ignored. Built from facts, opinions and true events we explore the reality of today's society.

Scratch: Untitled by Jake Jarratt and Andrea Scrimshaw
Two viewpoints, one male, one female, we challenge this idea of why sports are different for either gender. We take hold of our space and explore clich├ęd situations; replaying them in ways which challenge how society expects genders to behave within and around sport.

Drag Me to Love by Bonnie and The Bonnettes
So imagine this. You are 14 years old and you are a drag queen. Its golden stilettos, ripped fishnets, shoulder pads, and neon bobs. It’s expression. It’s glamour. It’s power. It’s Doncaster, 2009. But not everything is as it seems and piece by piece the glamorous world of drag fades away.

It’s about being young, having that fire in your belly and seeing no limitations or rules. It’s the uncertainty of your own identity and the creation of a new one. It’s about finding a safe place between the two. It’s a reflection. An exorcism. A scrapbook.

We will laugh. We will cry. We will sing and we will dance.
You are bound to fall, as we drag you into love.

Check the trailer for Drag Me to Love out here:

Accessibility:  Fully accessible; please contact if you have any special requirements.*  
Additional Information: This event is part of Q Festival; an exciting new collaboration between Gateshead Council and Jesterval Comedy Festival.
Age Range: Adults only; 14yrs+
Price Details:  Full Price: £7.00 Concessions: £5.00 Student ID on the night will be required.

Preview: I've Got a Job For You, Gav at Gateshead Baltic Square

Chance to preview Gavin Webster's sitcom pilot at Jesterval

I've Got a Job For You, Gav
Gateshead Baltic Square
Monday 31st July 2017
Doors: 9:15pm

Popular Geordie comedian, Gavin Webster, has announced a second screening of his comedy pilot following a successful preview at The Stand Comedy Club last week.

'I've Got a Job For You, Gav', which has been written by Gavin and stars an array of familiar faces from the North East comedy and theatre scene, will enjoy a screening as part of the region's Jesterval comedy festival on Monday 31st July.

The show, which sees Gavin take on the role of salt of the earth taxi driver, Gav, has been in the making since March 2016, and was filmed in and around Tyne and Wear.

In addition to the man himself, the cast is made up of well-known North East comedians and actors including Simon Donald (co-founder of Viz), Judi Earl (Key Change, Open Clasp), Alfie Joey (BBCNewcastle, BBC2's Hebburn), Sammy Dobson (I, Daniel Blake), Cal Halbert (who has performed at the London Palladium as well as on Britain's Got Talent with comedy partner Alfie), Dave Greener, Matt Reed, Suzanne Richardson and Brogan Gilbert.

This isn't the first time Gavin has appeared on screen, having enjoyed success alongside Sammy Dobson in Ken Loach's award-winning I, Daniel Blake last year. Gavin also lent his voice to animated BBCcomedy, Walk on the Wild Side along with Sarah Millican and Jason Manford.

Della Haq, event manager, Jesterval, said: “We are thrilled that Gavin has chosen to bring his sitcom pilot to Jesterval this year. Gav is one of our all time favourites and has performed at Jesterval since we begun, so it just seems fitting.  We can’t wait to see it!"

To book tickets for the screening of 'I've got a job for you Gav' visit Event audiences will also enjoy live stand-up from Gavin and Matt Reed. Tickets are FREE, but spaces are limited.

Preview: Peter Pan at Whitley Bay Playhouse

ABD Productions present:
Peter Pan
Whitley BayPlayhouse
Thursday 3rd - Saturday 5th August 2017
1.30 pm & 6.30 pm

Sparkling with fairy dust and full of magical moments, this full scale, beautifully costumed, visually exciting production is a must-see!

Fall under the spell of Neverland, where children can fly and exciting adventures can happen.

Meet the Darling family and Nana the dog. Join Peter Pan, mischievous Tinkerbell, The Lost Boys, Tiger Lily and the Indians as they tackle Captain Hook and his pirates. Make new friends with the bossy Neverbird, the planet dancers and the water sprites.

Anne Dalton, award winning writer of “Her Benny”, has worked her musical magic on this tale which never ages. Don’t miss it!

Tickets priced at £15, £12 conc. are on sale from the website call 0844 248 1588*
*Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.