Looking at theatre and the arts across North East England, the North East Theatre Guide continues to celebrate culture in our region.
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Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Thursday 1st November 2018
Theatre and Opera House are excited to welcome multi-award-winning comedian Sara Pascoe to their stage for the
first time on Thursday 1st
November with her smash hit Edinburgh Fringe and complete sell out West End
LadsLadsLadsis Pascoe’s most honest,
heartfelt and personal show to date. Full of jokes, hope and white wine, LadsLadsLads is the thinking person's stag do*.
The show follows the huge success of the sold out 'Animal' tour (inspired
by Sara’s acclaimed book of the same name, published by Faber and Faber).
the last year, Sara has starred on Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief (making it to the Final); adapted Pride
and Prejudice for the
Nottingham Playhouse/ York Theatre Royal; filmed a solo stand up special for
TV: Sara Pascoe Live from the BBC; hosted an episode of Live
at the Apollo and
appeared as a weekly guest on Frankie
Boyle’s New World Order.
has also been seen on television shows ranging from Have I Got News For You, QI and
Man and filmed and
co-stared in the most recent WIA series. Sara is presently
writing her second book, Sex Power Money and her forthcoming BBC Radio 4
series, Modern Monkey (due
to air next month).
for an actual stag do, PLEASE. Do bring a polite friend, your mamma, someone
you hope to seduce or a book for the interval.
Joanne Johnson says: “Our comedy line-up
for 2018 is constantly growing, with more shows still to be announced! The biggest
names in comedy are coming to tread the boards of our beautiful theatre, and
we’re now the go-to venue for comedy in Newcastle. After a sell-out Tyne
Theatre debut for Jason Cook’s Comedy Club
in January, we’re thrilled to announce it will return on Saturday 16th June, and we’ve also
recently announced Stewart Francis will visit us
as part of his last ever tour on Thursday 28th November. Many of
these shows are selling out, so we recommend booking well in advance!”
Tickets for Sara Pascoe are priced at £18.50 or £14.50 concessions (students
with ID, senior citizen or unwaged).Tickets will be available from our affiliate
Eventim UK tickets from 10am Thursday: http://bit.ly/2nlYz1i
(Age restriction 15+)
ADVERTISEMENTS from our affiliates George Ezra tickets
Arts Centre Washington’s Spring season has a superb selection of shows
foil astronauts, tap dance spectaculars, lonely noses, outlaw vicars and an
Highlights of the theatre programme include:
Circled in the Radio Times - Thursday 22 March. The new
storytelling show from John Osborne (creator of John Peel's Shed) about how
finding an old collection of copies of the Radio Times leads to him piecing
together the life of the previous owner, and looks at the changing nature of
the way all of us watch television.
If I Say Jump (Common Chorus) - Thursday 19 April. Jenny’s a vicar. But she’s got problems. Her
creepy ex-husband keeps sending her flowers and won’t sign the divorce papers.
The church hall is being renovated by a dodgy builder, who’s being investigated
by the police. And her best friend Danny has turned up in the vestry with a
gun. A bold and exhilarating tale of contemporary Britain!
War of the Worlds
- Friday 6 April, The critically-acclaimed Pantaloons invade the stage in this
funny yet faithful new adaptation as they use musical instruments, puppetry
and, um, enthusiasm to recreate deadly heat-rays, giant fighting-machines,
squidgy tentacled Martians and interplanetary warfare on an epic scale. The
chances of success? A million to one.
Testosterone (Rhum and Clay / Kit Redstone) - Thursday
3 May. Performer Kit Redstone is in an amusing and unique position, having
transitioned from female to male in his early thirties, he has experienced
adult life on both sides of the gender fence, giving him the opportunity to
notice what differences there are in how he is treated by society - what he
gains and what he loses by becoming a man. However, his biggest challenge comes
when he enters a male gym changing room for the first time and is confronted by
masculinity in all its forms. Comic theatre exploring masculinity and gender
identity. Winner of the best theatre show award at the Pleasance 2017 &
nominated for the Peter Brook Empty Space Award 2017.
Austen’s Women (Dyad Productions) - Wednesday 23 May. Thirteen of Jane Austen’s heroines come to
life in this bold revisiting of some of literature’s most celebrated
works. Rebecca Vaughn stars in this
crtically acclaimed one woman tour de force.
As ever the
centre has a fantastic programme of theatre for children and families, such as:
The Tin Foil
Astronaut (Kitchen Zoo) - Saturday 10 February.
From the makers of The Owl and the Pussycat comes a new cosmic adventure
to outer space. This is a story of discovery and individuality
and a celebration of differences for 3-7 year olds and told with live music and
The Nose That Nobody Picked - Saturday 17
February. A rip snorting musical for all
the family adapted for stage from the award winning book by David Parkin.
Suitable for ages 5+ and families. One day Christopher a keen, but unorthodox
gardener, finds a living nose raised by slugs in his garden.
In his hunt to find Little Big Nose a face,
he encounters Doctor Skinner (Pete Shenton, New Art Club), an eccentric plastic
surgeon, who has connections to the nose’s past, and sinister intentions for
The Ginger Bread Man - Sunday 4 March. Hiccup
Theatre cook up a brand new version of this classic tale adding delicious
original live music, tasty storytelling and dollops of fun for children aged
Oskar’s Amazing Adventure (Theatre Fideri Fidera) Wednesday 4 April. An original and heart-warming play for younger
children aged 2+. Adapted from the
picture book of the same name, this interactive show follows the adventure of a
little puppy called Oskar.
If tap dance is your thing then you do not
want to miss ‘Fall Out’ (Saturday 2 June) by Old Kent Road. Five dancers accompanied by a live band take
us on a journey of what it’s like to fall in and out of love.
Washington’s theatre is also very well used by amateur theatre groups and this
March they play host to the very first Durham and Sunderland One Act Festival
(7 – 10 March). Part of the All England
Theatre Festival, local amateur groups will be performing one plays in the hope
of going through to the Northern Semi Final in May.
performance artist Bryony Kimmings was approached by Complicité to create a new
show, the invitation came from producer Judith Dimant - who had just received a
cancer diagnosis. Never one to shy away from creating art from life, Bryony
asked Judith if she wanted to make a production about cancer. What followed was
a baptism of fire, and an unexpected journey into the ‘Kingdom of the Sick’ -
following patients, meeting doctors and learning from world experts, including
Dr Kathryn Mannix from the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. What Bryony
didn't know is how far into the Kingdom she would fall.
Guide… will blow everything you think you know about cancer out of the water.
This funny and moving show will look behind the poster campaigns and pink
ribbons at the reality of cancer: newfound friendships, pain and death, mundane
treatment cycles, hairlessness and scars...with songs.
Kimmings said, “This musical began as a seed in 2014. So much has happened
since its inception. A four year labour of love. It begins with Judith the
producer of Complicité having breast cancer, it moves through two years
following beautiful patients, me having a baby, Judith going into remission,
some deaths and some huge life changes. All the time writing music! I wasn’t
able to be in the original production for tragic personal reasons so I am over
the moon that I am able to step into it for this tour. We are thrilled to have
had the time to reimagine and develop the musical since its first incarnation
at the National Theatre, which we can’t wait to share with audiences across the
UK and Australia.”
palliative care expert and author of With the End in Mind, Dr Kathryn Mannix
was asked to advise the writing team about what dying is like. She explains,
“After describing the process we so commonly see to the writers, they actually
wrote it into the doctor's script. I have had thank-you messages from people
who were profoundly comforted by hearing an explanation. All based on taped interviews with real
patients, this show is a witness to a truth we all recognise: the biggest enemy
is not cancer, but fear that breeds in the silence. I'd love to think that this
piece of theatre could open up discussion across the country.”
in 2016 at HOME, Manchester and the National Theatre where it received critical
acclaim, the production will be revived and re-worked for UK and Australian
touring in 2018 including dates at Northern Stage in Newcastle. Kirsty Housley,
Co-Director of The Encounter and long-term Complicité collaborator will direct,
with writer Bryony Kimmings performing in the production.
Guide to the War on Cancer is at Northern Stage Newcastle (7-10 February)
before touring to Australia.
MASTERPIECE REVIVED AFTER 20 YEARS WITH AN ALL-STAR CAST
Newcastle Theatre Royal,
Monday 5th – Saturday
10th March 2018.
Nigel Havers, Denis
Lawson and Stephen Tompkinson will star in a tour de force revival of
the Olivier, Tony and Moliere award-winning comedy ART at Newcastle Theatre
of the most successful comedies ever and winner of every major world theatre
award, ART is a stage masterpiece and
global phenomenon. Now celebrating its twentieth anniversary, ART tells
the story of three old friends in Paris - Serge, Yvan and Marc, who discover
they have very differing opinions about what constitutes ‘art’ when one buys a
very expensive, rather peculiar painting.
Originally a French language play written by Yasmina Reza, the English version translated
by Christopher Hampton opened in the West End in 1996 to critical acclaim and
ran for eight years. This revival production from The Old Vic is a masterstroke
in casting with Nigel Havers, Denis Lawson and Stephen Tompkinson as Serge,
Marc and Ivan respectively.
David Pugh said, “It is twenty years since Dafydd (Rogers) and I first produced
the comedy masterpiece ART in the West End, and the original post-London tour
played for 78 weeks. This time, we want
to break our own record; in fact, we want to play as many theatres as Sir Ken
Dodd has played in his wonderful career, and with this marvellous cast, we
think we have every chance!”
Havers’s films include Chariots of Fire,
A Passage to India, Empire of the Sun and The Whistle Blower. He has starred in many television
productions, including The Charmer, Dangerfield, Manchild, and, more recently, the hit US series Brothers and Sisters, Lewis Archer in Coronation Street, Benidorm and Lord Hepworth in Downton
Abbey. His numerous theatre work
includes The Importance of Being Earnest
and Harold Pinter’s Family Voices,
both directed by Sir Peter Hall for the National Theatre, Richard II and Man and
Superman for the RSC, the hugely successful touring productions of Rebecca and Alan Bennett’s Single Spies.
Denis Lawson is known for his roles as John Jarndyce
in the BBC's adaptation of Bleak House, for which he was nominated for an EMMY award, and as DI Steve
McAndrew in BBC1's hit series New Tricks. In film, his notable
credits include the roles of Gordon Urquhart in the film Local Hero and
Wedge Antilles in the original Star Wars trilogy. On stage, he won an Olivier Award for Best
Actor in a Musical for his performance as Jim Lancastar in Mr Cinders at the Fortune Theatre, and he was nominated for an
Olivier for his performance as George in La
Cages Aux Folles at the Playhouse Theatre.
Stockton-on-Tees born Stephen Tompkinson’s TV credits
include five series of DCI Banks,
four series of Trollied, seven series
of Wild at Heart, six series of Drop the Dead Donkey (British Comedy
Award Winner for Best TV Comedy Actor) and three series of Ballykissangel, and his films include Phil in Brassed Off. His theatre
work includes Spamalot, Rattle of a Simple Man and Arsenic and Old Lace in the West End, Cloaca (Old Vic) and Tartuffe (National Tour).
on the original production by Matthew Warchus, ART will be directed by Ellie Jones, with design by Mark Thompson,
lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound design by Mic Pool, original music by Gary
Yershon, fight direction by Terry King and casting by Sarah Bird CDG. The 2018 UK & Ireland Tour is produced by
David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers.
ART is at Newcastle Theatre Royal
from Mon 5 to Sat 10 March 2018, playing evenings at 7.30pm, matinees on Thu
2pm and Sat 2.30pm. Tickets from £14.50 can be purchased from the Theatre Royal
Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls
cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge)or book online
are limbering up for a chance to represent the region in a national
groups will take to the stage at The Customs House on Tuesday 6th February
for the 10th annual Step Up and Dance community dance performance.
showcase event for groups in North and South Tyneside is part of the regional
dance festival Pulse, managed by Dance City in Newcastle.
Inaudible, dancers from Harton Academy in
performing in Step Up and Dance 2017.
Customs House is a partner in Pulse, alongside Arts Centre Washington, Tin Arts
in Durham, Arc Stockton and Queen’s Hall Arts Centre in Hexham.
Two groups from each venue will be selected to
perform at the regional Pulse event at Dance City on Saturday, March 17, from
which one group will be chosen to represent the region in the national youth dance festival U Dance, which
takes place in Suffolk in July.
Stephenson Rockettes from George Stephenson High
Shields performing in Step Up and Dance 2017.
The groups taking part in Step Up and
Dance 2018 are: Epinay Business and Enterprise School,
Jarrow; John Spence Community High School, North Shields; Boldon School; White
Illusion; Triple Threat Dance, based at Mortimer Community College in South
Shields; Keelman’s Way School, Hebburn; St Wilfrid’s Catholic College, South
Shields; and Sarah McVey School of Dance, based in South Shields.
Clifford, learning and participation officer at The Customs House, said: “Step
Up and Dance is a great opportunity for local people to dance on a professional
stage and share their work with friends and family, other dancers and the wider
really looking forward to Tuesday evening’s performance, as the
groups will be sure to put on a fitting show for our 10th community
Tickets for Step Up and Dance 2018 are £5 and available from the
box office on (0191) 454 1234 or online at www.customshouse.co.uk. The show starts at 7pm.
than 20 years at the helm Geof Keys, Artistic Director of the Queen’s Hall Arts
Centre, Hexham is stepping down this summer. During his time at the arts centre
he has led some big changes.
Queen’s Hall Arts was set up to take the local arts service out of direct local
authority control. The new charity quickly raised the funds for major building
works, creating gallery spaces, improving access and renovating the theatre.
The rather daunting public building that housed a theatre and a library has
become a welcoming multi-purpose arts centre and local services hub.
It has been
a period of growth and development for the arts with an expanded programme of professional
work alongside a commitment to community activity – and not just at the Queen’s
Hall. Some of the work Geof is most proud of has been across Northumberland – establishing
the Highlights rural touring scheme, supporting local film clubs and playing a leading
role in Bait, the Creative People & Places programme in SE Northumberland.
numbers for the service have risen from 29,000 in 2001 to over 87,000 in 2017.
He says “20
years is an extraordinary length of time to be doing this job. I am deeply grateful to the QHA staff and
board (and to the artists we support and the community we serve) for making it
a pleasurable and satisfying experience – notwithstanding that it can be hard
work at times! I believe that now is the
right time for me to move on and also the right time for the organisation to
refresh itself under new leadership, cushioned by the new agreements we
our core funders, Arts Council England and Northumberland County Council, and a
building fit for purpose.”
favourites Arbuthnot and Puddles are back for a new adventure at The Customs
House this February half term.
bringing some special friends along as one of the biggest panto baddies comes
back to wreak havoc in Cooksonville in Puddles’ Adventure. The show sees the
return of Fleshcreep – and only Arbuthnot (David John Hopper) and Puddles (Dale
Jewitt) can save the day.
caught wind of his sneaky plans and must now join forces with their friends from
all over town to form the ultimate superhero crime-fighting team.
But the duo, who appeared together for the first time in The Customs House’s most
recent panto, The Lambton Worm, face a race against time to get to everyone
before Fleshcreep hypnotises them to join his evil horde.
Steven Lee Hamilton, who appeared as The Brave and Bold Sir
John in The Lambton Worm, reprises his role as Fleshcreep from the 2016/2017
panto at The Customs House, Jack and the Beanstalk. The team recruited to help defeat him also
features much-loved characters from previous pantos, including Chorizo the Pig
from Little Red Riding Hood and Dormouse from Alice in Wonderland.
Chorizo will be repreised by Kylie Ann Ford, while Dormouse will
be played by Eleanor Chaganis, who starred as Princess Aneesa in The Lambton
Will the heroes succeed in their task, or will Fleshcreep
brainwash all of Cooksonville and take over? Join Arbuthnot, Puddles, Chorizo
and Dormouse in this toe-tapping, boogie-woogie adventure to find out!
David, who is directing the show and co-writing it with
Dale, said: “I am over
the moon to be back at The Customs House.
“Arbuthnot is my favourite character to play and the audience at The Customs
House really do make the shows. Let’s see what mischief Arbut can get himself
into this time!”
Adventure runs from Wednesday 14th to Friday 16th February 2018, with performances at 11am and
priced £7.50 each, are available from the box office on (0191) 454 12334 or
online at www.customshouse.co.uk.
Always honest, always regretting it later, Sara opens her heart and mouth again to share the adventures of the last year. Full of jokes, hope and white wine LadsLadsLads is the thinking person's stag do*.
Following a sell-out run in London’s West End, the multi-award-winning comedian and star of Live at The Apollo, Mock the Week, QI and Taskmaster, takes her new show on tour.
"Whipsmart... winningly funny" – The Guardian
"Her most personal show yet and perhaps her most accomplished. Beautifully structured... knowing, yet effortless" – Daily Telegraph
*Please please do not bring an actual stag do, PLEASE. Do bring a polite friend, your mamma, someone you hope to seduce or a book for the interval.
Based upon a play and novel by Alexandre
Dumas the Younger
Director: Ellen Kent
Ellen Kent produces and directs Verdi's classic tragedy
using a full live orchestra and a cast featuring some stunning voices who
filled the auditorium with a fabulous sound.
Violetta (Alyona Kistenyova), a courtesan and socialite has recovered from
a serious illness and decides to throw a party at a salon in Paris until
sunrise. She meets Alfredo Germont (Vitalii Liskovetski), a young bourgeois
from a provincial family who catches her eye. This is an issue for both her
current lover, Barone Douphol (Eugen Ganea) and Alfredo's father Giorgio (Iurie
Verdi creates a contemporaneous love triangle complete with nineteenth
century disease and lack of cures. The score seems light over some fairly heavy
issues in the libretto. The potent mix is intoxicating.
Some touring operas cut corners in order to keep the costs down but that
isn't the case in Ellen Kent's show. The striking set of a Italianate-style
large house interior with classical features dominates the stage. The cast look
resplendent in their lavish costumes.
The production is sung in Italian with English surtitles displayed above
the performance space. Enough information was there to keep you ahead of the
story but not so much as to be distracting. To be honest, as music fans,
we were happy to let the room fill with the marvellous Verdi sound without
worrying too much about the translation of every line. It was easy enough to
keep track of proceedings.
The live orchestra, under conductor Vasyl Vasylenko, produced a fresh and
vivid sound which backed some stunning vocal performances. Alyona
Kistenyova and Vitalii Liskovetski worked well together as the lovers going
through the many stages of a relationship. Their voices complemented each other
well. Iurie Gisca gave the paternal role depth and Iurie was responsible for
some splendid vocal performances.
As an introduction to opera La Traviata is a good place to start. That
beautiful combination of voices and live musicianship performing a passionate
tale was stirring. One highlight was the Brindisi,
the best known drinking song in opera. La Traviata was appreciated by the
Tickets for Madam Butterfly are still available from
the Box Office on High Street West, via the ticket centre 0844 871
3022* or from our affiliate ATG Ticketswww.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland *calls
cost 7p per minute plus standard network charges. Booking and transaction fees
may apply to telephone and online bookings.
BALLET MASTERPIECES COMING TO DARLINGTON HIPPODROME
Hippodrome are delighted to welcome back TheRussian State Ballet
& Orchestra of Siberia with three great ballet masterpieces. Formed in
1981, The Russian State Ballet of Siberia has quickly established itself as one
of Russia’s leading ballet companies and has built an international reputation
for delivering performances of outstanding quality and unusual depth. The
soloists and corps de ballet are superb and never fail to delight audiences
with their breath-taking physical ability and dazzling costumes.
Juliet - Thursday 15 February 7.30pm
Shakespeare’s tale of primal passion and timeless
tragedy is brought to life by Prokofiev’s soaring score and emotionally charged
choreography. From the grandeur of the masked ball to the intimacy of the
lovers’ balcony, this star-crossed story of duels, bitter family feuds and love
that cannot be is the world’s greatest love story.
Swan Lake - Friday
16 February 7.30pm and Saturday 17 February at 2.30pm & 7.30pm
The greatest romantic ballet of all time with a
haunting and unforgettable score by Tchaikovsky. From the impressive splendour
of the palace ballroom to the moon-lit lake where swans glide in perfect
formation, this compelling tale of tragic romance has it all.
Nutcracker - Sunday 18 February 2.30pm
As midnight strikes on Christmas Eve, this most
famous of fantasy ballets for all the family sweeps us away to a fairy-tale
world where nothing is quite as it seems: toy dolls spring to life, the
Mouse-king and his army battle with the Nutcracker Prince and we travel through
the Land of Snow to an enchanted place where the magic really begins.
Final piece of disabled-led theatre commissioned by Cultural
Shift premiers at Stockton ARC on Wednesday 14 March
Lighthouse Stockton Arc Wednesday 14th March 2018
Lighthouse is the third and final
professional piece of disabled-led theatre commissioned by Cultural Shift, and
written and directed by Vici Wreford-Sinnott. Vici’s pioneering and critically
acclaimed work aims to challenge perceptions of disabled people in contemporary
British culture, and ask questions about the society we have become. More than
holding up a mirror, her productions act as interventions.
Mona’s husband is missing, but their tenancy in the lighthouse
and the home she fought for is at risk, so mother and daughter struggle to keep
the lighthouse working, trying to cover up that he is gone.
Telling the story of a d/Deaf mother and
daughter, Lighthouse explores the tensions and comforts within, and is
performed by two d/Deaf actors in both BSL and English, with additional
A poignant piece exploring both the power and limits of love. How
will the two d/Deaf women’s relationship survive being thrown between
confinement and liberty?
Cultural Shift is ARC's strategic programme of activity,
delivered in partnership with Little Cog, actively programming and delivering
new and increased opportunities for disabled people in the arts. ARC is working
to ensure our cultural landscape is vibrant and representative of the people
living and working in our communities.
The aims of Cultural Shift are:
• to challenge negative commonly held perceptions about
disability and disabled people
• to involve disabled people in the arts at every level
ARC, through its artistic policy is committed to supporting work
which is contemporary in its approach and relevant to peoples’ lives today.
comments on Vici Wreford-Sinnott’s work:
'A challenging important play' - Northern Echo
'A gripping, thought provoking, superbly acted, emotionally
engaging, full on 75 minutes' - Audience, ARC
'Inspiring, thought-provoking, mesmerising – we’ll be talking
about it for weeks to come.' - Audience, ARC
is priced on a Pay What You Decide basis. ARC wants to encourage more people to
come and see shows at ARC more often. Pay What You Decide not only allows
visitors to pay what they can afford, rather than a fixed ticket price, but
also removes the financial risk of buying a ticket for a show in advance
without knowing whether they are going to enjoy it or not. More information
about this pioneering initiative can be found here.