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Friday, 18 January 2019

Preview: Swan Lake at Newcastle Tyne Theatre

Russian State Ballet & Opera House to return in 2019 with Swan Lake

Swan Lake
Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Tuesday 26th November 2019


The Tyne Theatre & Opera House are thrilled to welcome the critically acclaimed Russian State Ballet & Opera House back to their stage this November with their superb production of Swan Lake.

The last time the touring company brought Swan Lake to the Tyne Theatre stage in November 2017, the show completely sold out and the theatre is expecting the return of Swan Lake in 2019 to be just as popular.
Tchaikovsky's timeless ballet will be performed alongside a live orchestra with over 30 musicians.

135 years ago audiences heard Swan Lake by the great Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky for the very first time. From that moment on, the world of ballet would never be the same. 

Swan Lake is a tale of two young women, Odette and Odile, who resemble each other so strikingly that one can easily be mistaken for the other. 
It is the compelling legend of a tragic romance in which a princess, Odette, is turned into a swan by an evil curse. Prince Siegfried chances upon a flock of swans while out hunting. When one of the swans turns into a beautiful young woman he is instantly captivated – will his love prove strong enough to break the evil spell that she is under? 

From the opulent splendour of the palace ballroom to the moonlit lake where majestic swans glide in perfect formation, this compelling tale of tragic romance has it all. 

Swan Lake captures, like no other ballet, the full range of human emotions – from hope to despair, from terror to tenderness, from melancholy to ecstasy. 

Theatre Director Joanne Johnson said: "It's an absolute pleasure to welcome the Russian State Ballet & Opera House back to our stage each year. Every year we have seen their audiences grow to the point where they now sell-out the theatre. It's no surprise as their performances are spellbinding, and Swan Lake is such an exquisite ballet that can be enjoyed by all ages. We advise advance booking!"

Tickets are on sale now and are priced: £36 adults, £34 concessions (over 60s), £25 children (under 16s), £30 restricted view.

Tickets are available now via the Tyne Theatre box office or online from our affiliate Eventim UK: 
http://bit.ly/swanLAKE #Ad

Sunday, 13 January 2019

News: Thrive - Building a Career in the North East and Beyond


THRIVE - building a career in the North East and beyond
Newcastle Live Theatre
Thursday 17th January 2019
5:30 – 9:00pm

This week a major event happening in the region is Thrive - Building a Career in the North East and Beyond, and it's a free event for students and graduates. It is the Equity student symposium where you can gain the tools you will need to launch your career. Equity activists, performers and officers will lead workshops throughout the evening to offer practical advice and essential information.

You will learn about your employment rights, including information on equalities, pay, overtime, bullying and harassment. You'll also learn about what your union does, and how you can get involved, as well as top tips for freelance life.

After the workshops, we’ll be hosting a panel Q&A on 'creating a meaningful career in the North East'. The following panellists have been confirmed so far:

Joe Douglas, Artistic Director of Live Theatre
Ali Pritchard, Artistic Director of Alphabetti Theatre
Mark Calvert, Associate Director of Northern Stage
Harriet Ghost, Co-Founder of Blowin’ A Hooley Theatre
Craig Conway, actor

Afterwards, there will be the opportunity to network with fellow creatives over drinks.

Equity is the UK trade union for professional performers and creative practitioners. As a leading industry organisation, Equity is known and respected nationally and internationally for the work we do with, and on behalf of, our members working across all areas of the entertainment industry.

Date: Thursday 17th January 2019 5:30 – 9:00pm

Venue: Live Theatre, 27-29 Broad Chare, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3DQ

The event is FREE – To reserve a place see:


Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Preview: Peter & Petula’s Slumberland Singalong at South Shields Westovian Theatre


Cast announced for new South Shields children's show


Peter & Petula’s Slumberland Singalong
South Shields Westovian Theatre
Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th February 2019

Written by and featuring original songs by Wayne Miller
  

South Shields theatre company Walton-Gunn Productions reveal the cast for their newest production, Peter & Petula’s Slumberland Singalong. A show hot on the heels of their Halloween hit Peter Plank’s Spooky Spectacular Show. It will feature the return of well known North East panto performer Wayne Miller as the lovable fool Peter Plank. Also a return to the South Shields stage for Sarah Boulter, who comes fresh from the success of Snow White at the Gala Theatre in Durham. She is set to take on the role of Peters sister, the feisty Petula Plank.

Peter and his sister Petula decide to celebrate with a sleepover. Only, everything gets in their way of sleep. Too many sweets, spooky monsters in the closet, pillow fights and of course the chance to sing the night away. They invite their friends the boys and girls along to join in with their slumberland singalong, making it a sleepover you just cant miss.

The show is filled with silly jokes, interactive singalong songs and slapstick, all perfect for the under sevens. At only an hour long Peter & Petula’s Slumberland Singalong is ideal for the little ones out there. Promising to be a show you just can’t miss, a promise made by the production’s writer and star Wayne Miller.

“We have designed our new show to work perfectly for the under sevens, packing it full of silliness, interactive fun and lots of clowning around. We know it’s something families look for, something to hold the little one’s attention and not be too long for them. Having created a Christmas show for this age group for the past ten years, I know it’s a piece of theatre that will make the young and old smile equally as much.”

Wayne Miller
Last Christmas saw Wayne Miller’s hugely popular show Santa’s Naughty Elf reach a milestone, celebrating ten years. A show that has made Wayne a favourite with North East audiences. Also, being no stranger to Santa’s Naughty Elf, Sarah Boulter was a long standing member for many years before moving on to wow panto audiences at the Gala Theatre in Durham. Their on stage partnership was loved by many, none more than by Wayne himself.

“I’ve known Sarah for a long time and we have shared a stage on many an occasion, but none as special as in Naughty Elf. We have a great chemistry performing together, which makes any show that much easier and this is something I cant wait to get back to. She is an extremely special actor and always brings that certain something to knock anyone’s socks off!” add Wayne

Sarah Boulter
Sarah will rejoin her fellow Naughty Elf alum on a very familiar stage, The Westovian Theatre in South Shields, where Sarah was seen last year performing in The Great Joe Wilson written by North East writer Ed Waugh. This theatre has seen a boom in new productions and events of late, something Walton-Gunn are keen to be part of, bringing Peter Plank back for his third outing there.

Tickets:
Peter & Petula’s Slumberland Singalong will be performed at The Westovian Theatre in South Shields on the 9th & 10th February. 1pm & 3:30pm. Tickets £7 or £23 for a group ticket. Tickets on sale at www.ticketsource.co.uk/walton-gunn


Preview: Motown the Musical at Newcastle Theatre Royal


SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED! 

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL MAKES NORTH EAST DEBUT AS TAMLA MOTOWN CELEBRATES 60th BIRTHDAY

Motown the Musical
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Tuesday 4th - Saturday 22nd June 2019


This Saturday 12 January, Motown - the musical genre that inspired a whole generation and (literally) rocked the world turns 60.  To celebrate, in June, Berry Gordy’s own Tony Award-winning Motown the Musical will make its North East debut on the Theatre Royal stage.

The Motown Record Corporation was set up in a converted house in the suburbs of Detroit by boxer Gordy on the 12 January 1959 with just $800 borrowed from his family. But this unassuming house went on to become the home of one of the greatest and most unifying musical movements of all time as the industrious Gordy discovered and launched the careers of icons including Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and many more. 

This summer Motown the Musical, which stormed Broadway just five years ago uncovering the true story of the legendary record label that changed music history, will debut in the North East with a historic three-week run at the Theatre Royal between 4 and 22 June. 
This will be a memorable date in the touring calendar nodding to the occasion 54 years ago in 1965 when the original Tamla Motown Revue Going to a Go-Go (featuring some of the labels biggest artists) played Newcastle City Hall.

With music and lyrics from the Motown catalogue and book by Motown founder Berry Gordy, Charles Randolph-Wright’s production features a live orchestra playing 50 Motown tracks including Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, I’ll Be There, Dancing In The Street, Stop! In The Name Of Love, My Girl and I Heard It through the Grapevine and tells the story behind the classic hits.

The show received its world premiere in April 2013 in New York and recouped its $18 million investment by the end of 2014.  The first US National Tour opened to critical acclaim in Spring 2014 in Chicago, grossing $20 million dollars during its standing-room-only sixteen-week run. The London production opened in February 2016 and continues to play to standing ovations at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

Edward Baruwa (Motown the Musical, Les Misérables, Sister Act) will play the leading role of Berry Gordy, Karis Anderson (from pop band Stooshe) will play Diana Ross, Nathan Lewis (finalist on ITV’s The X Factor) will play Smokey Robinson and Shak Gabbidon-Williams (The Lion King, Hairspray) will play Marvin Gaye. 

Charles Randolph-Wright, Director of “Motown the Musical” said, “I am so thrilled that we have been able to find this incredible cast of British artists for the UK tour of Motown the Musical. Their talent has astounded us all, as they embody the soul of Motown and capture the energy and essence of those iconic artists. We are so excited to bring this show to cities across the UK and can’t wait to begin. Get ready!”

Motown the Musical has music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Ethan Popp, co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Bryan Cook, dance arrangements by Zane Mark.  Choreography is by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams, scenic design by David Korins, costumes by Emilio Sosa, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Peter Hylenski, video by Daniel Brodie and Wig design by Charles Lapointe. “Motown the Musical” is produced in the UK by Kevin McCollumDoug Morris, Adam Spiegel and Berry Gordy.

Photos: Tristram Kenton

Tickets:
Motown the Musical is at Newcastle Theatre Royal for a very special three-week run between Tuesday 4 and Saturday 22 June 2019 playing evenings at 7.30pm and matinees Wed 2pm (5 June only), Thu 2pm, and Saturday 2.30pm. Early booking is advisable.  Tickets from £15 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 at www.theatreroyal.co.uk

Preview: Wonderland at Newcastle Northern Stage


WONDERLAND – FULL CAST FOR 2019 RETURN REVEALED

Wonderland
Newcastle Northern Stage
Wednesday 27 February to Saturday 9 March 2019

Directed by: Adam Penford
Written by: Beth Steel

Nottingham Playhouse has announced the full cast list for the 2019 production of its popular and acclaimed play Wonderland. Following rave reviews from critics and audiences Nottingham Playhouse revealed that Wonderland would be returning to the theatre to kick off its 2019 season, prior to a run at Northern Stage in Newcastle.

© Nottingham Playhouse
Set in 1983 Nottinghamshire, Wonderland sees two 16-year-olds, Malcom (played by John Booker) and Jimmy (played by Joshua Glenister) wait nervously at the pithead. Guided by veteran miner Colonel (played by William Travis), they descend into the brotherhood, banter, searing heat and liquid blue light of Welbeck Colliery.

Meanwhile in London, an American CEO Ian MacGregor (played by Robin Bowerman) is brought in to reform King Coal. Pits close and a strike is called. Taking the stage as The Times reporter David Hart will be Giles Taylor, while Geff Francis will play pit manager Tilsley and transport secretary Nicholas Ridley. Holding roles as pitmen in the story will be Karl Haynes as Bobbo, and Jack Quarton as Fanny.

© Nottingham Playhouse
Nicholas Shaw and Paul Kemp have been confirmed to play pitman Spud and real-life politician Peter Walker in the Nottinghamshire-based show, respectively. Directed by Nottingham-born Adam Penford and written by the daughter of Nottingham miner Beth Steel, the local story proved a huge hit with East Midlands audiences and returns to the award-nominated theatre for the second year running.

Morgan Large’s ambitious coal-face set design also received critical acclaim, winning Best Design in the UK Theatre Awards 2018. Adam said: “Wonderland was a huge hit in 2018 and received standing ovations every performance. Our audience has been calling for its return since it closed and it’s clear they feel an ownership of Beth Steel’s beautiful play.  It’s rare that theatre resonates so strongly with a community, producing tears and laughter in equal measure. I’m sure the production will capture the imagination of the audience again, whether they’re returning or seeing the show for the first time.  I’m also thrilled we’re taking it to Northern Stage, where the story will resonate just as deeply.”

Tickets from £10 For more information visit www.northernstage.co.uk   

News: Stars from legendary Newcastle Theatre Royal panto help at People’s Kitchen


THEATRE ROYAL PANTO STARS HOST COFFEE MORNING FOR NEWCASTLE’S HOMELESS

Stars from legendary Newcastle Theatre Royal panto Goldilocks and the Three Bears are leaving the woods on Friday 11th January and trotting down to the People’s Kitchen in Newcastle to serve up morning coffee and treats for the city’s homeless and vulnerable people.   
                                                                    
Photo: Paul Coltas
The Theatre Royal has teamed up with iconic North East family tea and coffee company Ringtons to put on a special New Year’s coffee morning for the city’s vulnerable people at The People’s Kitchen on Bath Lane. The People’s Kitchen is a charitable institution staffed by 200 volunteers which has been feeding the homeless and vulnerable of Newcastle six days a week for more than 30 years.

Stars from the show including Wayne Smith (who plays the colourful ‘Starbuck’) as well as the show’s musical director Richard Atkinson will be on hand from 10am to serve up hot Ringtons award-winning Breakfast tea, fresh coffee and a range of Ringtons treats including Ginger Snaps, Crest Biscuits and Chocolate Mallows.  Three members of the Ringtons team and staff from the Theatre Royal will also be assisting.

The event will be open to all friends of the People’s Kitchen and will run until approximately 12 noon.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears is the Theatre Royal’s big top family panto extravaganza full of magic, music, mayhem and plenty of porridge, and has proved another big hit - over 90,000 tickets have been sold and the show still has two weeks to run. This is the second charitable enterprise by the Theatre Royal team this season following the beaming out of the panto for free to 137,000 hospital beds across the UK over a three week period. 

Ringtons was begun by Samuel Smith OBE in 1907 when he moved from his home town in Leeds and began selling tea from a horse and cart in Newcastle Upon Tyne.  Now, 112 years later, the company continues to deliver its quality teas and coffees, biscuits, sweet treats and homeware pieces door-to-door to over 230,000 customers throughout the UK. While many more enjoy Ringtons’ goods via its wholesale division which caters to the UK’s leading hotels, restaurants and businesses.

Theatre Royal pantomimes are widely thought to be among the best in the UK, due to the winning combination of father and son team Clive and Danny - for whom Goldilocks will mark their fourteenth consecutive Theatre Royal panto appearance – and their West End production quality. This combination is brought together by Newcastle’s own Michael Harrison, who co-writes, produces and directs the show.

A true North East panto born and bred, local references always play a huge part and this year the show nods to Ringtons throughout with references to ‘Rington’s Circus’ and ‘Dame Rita Rington’. 

The cast of Goldilocks includes legendary father and son team Danny Adams and Clive Webb, sensational musical performers Laura Evans and Wayne Smith, who have shone in the last two Theatre Royal pantos, Mick Potts (reprising his role as The Idiot), the North-East’s own Pete Peverley (back for his fifth consecutive year), and of course the Theatre Royal’s favourite panto villain Steve Arnott.

The People’s Kitchen provides a unique service for the homeless and vulnerable people of Newcastle offering high quality and relevant services to maximise positive outcomes.  It receives no Government funding and all volunteers give their services for free. All friends have open access to their services regardless of their personal circumstances, and as well as friendship and food, the organisation also provides basic essentials like clothing and showers. 

People’s Kitchen Trustee David Yellowley said: “We are grateful to the Theatre Royal and to Ringtons for hosting this special additional event for us – a warm place to go accompanied by cheering refreshment and friendly faces is just what many people need at this time of year.”

Tickets:
Goldilocks and The Three Bears, the greatest panto on earth! Must end Sunday 20 January 2019. Tickets are already on sale for next year’s pantomime Beauty and the Beast – The Spellbinding Pantomime which plays Tuesday 26 November 2019 until Sunday 19 January 2020. Tickets 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 at www.theatreroyal.co.uk (only from 28 November for Goldilocks).

Friday, 4 January 2019

Preview: Comedy About A Bank Robbery at Newcastle Theatre Royal


MISCHIEF THEATRE STEAL THE SHOW WITH THEIR NEW SMASH-HIT COMEDY

The Comedy About A Bank Robbery
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Tuesday 22nd – Saturday 26th January 2019

Following the phenomenal success of its multi award-winning comedy The Play That Goes Wrong, Mischief Theatre make a triumphant return to Newcastle Theatre Royal with the Olivier Award nominated West End smash hit The Comedy About A Bank Robbery.

Having played to packed-out audiences with The Play That Goes Wrong in 2017 and 2018, Mischief Theatre had previously delighted North East theatre-goers in 2015 with the hilarious Peter Pan Goes Wrong.

Now booking into its third year at the Criterion Theatre in London, Mischief Theatre’s smash-and-grab hit, The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, is a fast and fabulous comedy caper hailed the funniest show in the West End!

Summer 1958. Minneapolis City Bank has been entrusted with a priceless diamond. An escaped convict is dead set on pocketing the gem with the help of his screwball sidekick, trickster girlfriend… and the maintenance man. With mistaken identities, love triangles and hidden agendas, even the most reputable can’t be trusted. In a town where everyone’s a crook, who will end up bagging the jewel?

The touring cast presents: Seán Carey as ‘Sam Monaghan’, David Coomber as ‘Neil Cooper’, Julia Frith as ‘Caprice Freeboys’, George Hannigan as ‘Everyone Else’, Liam Jeavons as ‘Mitch Ruscitti’, Damian Lynch as ‘Robin Freeboys’, Killian Macardle as ‘Officer Randal Shuck’, Ashley Tucker as ‘Ruth Monaghan’, and Jon Trenchard as ‘Warren Slax’. With Understudies: Charlotte Duffy, Tom Hopcroft, Julie Cullen, Ross Virgo and Eddy Westbury.

Company Director Jonathan Sayer said: “The Comedy About a Bank Robbery is not like our other shows in the fact that Bank is not a ‘play within a play’. It’s a traditional fourth wall play, but you can still expect an incredibly high gag rate, huge stunts like the previous shows, all intertwined with some Marx Brothers patter and also lovely singing and bits of acrobatics. It’s a much more ambitious piece! And then of course as well it has a big storyline to it, so you really fall in love with the characters and follow their journey.”

He added: “A huge inspiration for The Comedy About A Bank Robbery has been silent comedies, big physical comedy, like Charlie Chaplin. A lot of that work started out in the theatre, in vaudeville and in the music hall, doing these big dangerous stunts and then they moved it onto the silent screen.”

Mischief Theatre was founded in 2008 by a group of graduates of The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).  Starting as an improvised theatre group on the London and Edinburgh fringes, they have grown into one of the UK’s leading theatre companies, winning the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy for The Play That Goes Wrong, and licensing their productions worldwide. Mischief Theatre have two shows playing concurrently in the West End: The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre - also playing on Broadway - and The Comedy About A Bank Robbery at the Criterion Theatre.

In December 2016, Mischief made their television debut on the BBC with Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Olivier Award Nominee 2016), which has also enjoyed two sell-out West End seasons. Mischief returned to BBC One in 2017 with a new Christmas special, A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong. The company is led by Artistic Director Henry Lewis and Company Director Jonathan Sayer.

The Comedy About a Bank Robbery is written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields. The tour is directed by Kirsty Patrick Ward. Originally directed by Mark Bell with Nancy Zamit for Mischief Theatre; Designer: David Farley; Costume Designer: Roberto Surace; Lighting Designer: David Howe; Sound Design: Jon Fiber for JollyGoodTunes; Musical Director and Arranger: Joey Hickman; Associate Musical Director: Barbara Hockaday; Resident Director: Katie-Ann McDonough. Produced by Kenny Wax Ltd and Stage Presence, in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre presenting a Mischief Theatre Production.

Photos: Robert Day

Tickets:
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery plays Tue 22 – Sat 26 Jan 2019. Tickets are priced from £14.50 and can be purchased at www.theatreroyal.co.uk or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge).

Carrying David
Whitley Bay Playhouse
Thursday 6th June 2019

2.30 & 7.30pm
Tickets: http://bit.ly/CarryingDavid #Ad

Inspired by the love of his terminally ill brother David, on June 3, 1989 Glenn McCrory made boxing history, becoming the Cruiserweight Champion of the World.
Funny and heartbreaking, Carrying David is a remarkable one-man play reflecting the highs and many lows of Glenn's unrelenting drive and incredible sacrifice to become the very first world boxing champion from the North East.
Written by Ed Waugh (The Great Joe Wilson, Mr Corvan's Music Hall, Hadaway Harry)
Starring Micky Cochrane (The Great Joe Wilson)
Directed by Russell Floyd (Hadaway Harry, The Great Joe Wilson)

Preview: Memory Lane at Whitley Bay Playhouse


Timeless Theatre Productions Presents
Memory Lane
Whitley Bay Playhouse
Tuesday 7th May 2019 at 2:30pm

This fast moving, roller coaster of a journey through some of the greatest songs of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, will be a show you are sure to remember. Over 160 amazing costumes, a touch of humour from one of the UK’s top comedians and performances rarely seen outside the ‘West End’ from this superb cast of singers and dancers. Including songs by Barry Manilow, Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra, Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, The Nolans, Abba and many more.

Now entering their 14th successful year of producing shows that bring astounding press reviews like this one from WH Times, London…..’Visually stunning, incredible performances….an all round fantastic show….absolutely brilliant’.

Come along and enjoy some of the greatest songs ever written. From the producers of ‘Memories are made of This’, ‘All our Yesterdays’, and ‘Rolling back the Years’.

Tickets are available to purchase now.

Tickets are available from the Box Office open Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm, Saturday 10.30am – 2.30pm plus until show start on event days. Tickets can also be purchased on the booking hotline 0844 248 1588* or online at http://bit.ly/MemoryLaneWB #Ad

*Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.





Thursday, 3 January 2019

Preview: Dirty Dusting at Whitley Bay Playhouse

Dirty Dusting
Whitley Bay Playhouse
Thursday 24th January 2019
Tickets: http://bit.ly/DirtyDustingWBay #Ad

Treat yourself to an evening of pure theatrical Viagra when Dirty Dusting returns to the stage in 2019 after three sell out UK tours.

A chance wrong number, gives three cleaning ladies, a great idea ‘Why not run a sex chat line?’ after all, their age and appearance won’t matter on the phone and providing they can keep this a secret from their boss, they could be on to a winner. This is a heart-warming, feel good comedy which will have you rolling in the aisles and smiling every time you answer the phone. Dirty Dusting is a sex chat line that really cleans up.

Tickets: http://bit.ly/DirtyDustingWBay #Ad