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Preview: Felt Nowt’s New Year’s Eve Livestreamed Comedy Shows


The cream of the North East Comedy crop to appear online for two NYE online shows


Felt Nowt’s New Year’s Eve Livestreamed Comedy Shows

Thursday 31st December 2020

8:30pm and 10:30pm shows

New Year's Eve is just around the corner and you are now not legally allowed to leave your couch.

So, Felt Nowt have pulled together a number of the best comedians in the North East to put on a couple of shows that you can watch from home.

It will all be performed and recorded in the same venue, with great sound and lighting, socially distanced. It won’t just be comics phoning in from their houses with bad wifi. It’ll be as close to a live gig as possible.

The 8.30pm show features:

MC - Hal Branson

Carl Hutchinson, Louise Young, Lee Kyle, Sammy Dobson, Si Beckwith

The 10.30pm show welcomes:

MC - Hal Branson

Gavin Webster, Lauren Pattison, Matt Reed, Cal Halbert, Anja Atkinson

There are two tiers of tickets available: VIP ‘front row’ tickets for £25 that will allow you to watch on Zoom and interact or a youtube stream ticket for £15 for those that prefer to just watch. And for those dedicated comedy fans & flash Harrys there's a discounted option that gives you access to both! (£40 VIP / £20 livestream)

*Only One Ticket Required Per Household (unless you're generous / drunk when booking)

Felt Nowt is a not-for-profit organisation that has a goal to transform the North East comedy scene for audiences and comedians.


It has been formed by a number of well known North East comedians, including Gavin Webster, Hal Branson, Lee Kyle and Lauren Pattison.


As a Community Interest Company Felt Nowt will reinvest all of its profits back into the business with the long-term goal of taking comedy to communities which might not otherwise have access to it.

On The Web:



Instagram: feltnowt




Felt Nowt’s New Year’s Eve Livestreamed Comedy Shows - Thursday 31st December 2020

8:30pm and 10:30pm shows

£25 front row tickets. £15 stream tickets.

£40 front row for both shows. £20 stream for both shows.

Early show tickets -

Late show tickets -

Both shows -

Tickets will also allow you entry to our aftershow, a live version of the cult call in Comedy Results show, which we could well regret.




Preview: Dirty Dancing at Newcastle Tyne Theatre


Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage announces Newcastle show


Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage

Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House

Tuesday 26th – Wednesday 27th October 2021

Tickets for the three performances are available from our affiliates Eventim UK: #Ad


Kira Malou (Baby) - Photo: Alastair Muir

Producer Karl Sydow is delighted to announce new dates for a  UK and Ireland dates for the 2021 tour of a dazzlingly renewed version of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage, which will arrive in Newcastle next October.

Kira Malou (Baby) Michael O'Reilly (Johnny) - Photo Alastair Muir

The iconic story of Baby and Johnny, featuring the hit songs 'Hungry Eyes', ‘Hey! Baby’, ‘Do You Love Me?’ and the heart stopping ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’, returns to the stage, following two blockbuster West End runs, four hit UK tours, and multiple sensational international productions. 

It’s the summer of 1963, and 17 year-old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is about to learn some major lessons in life as well as a thing or two about dancing.

On holiday in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents, she shows little interest in the resort activities, and instead discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles across an all-night dance party at the staff quarters. Mesmerised by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort dance instructor.


Her life is about to change forever as she is thrown in at the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady both on-stage and off, and two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives.

Kira Malou (Baby) Michael O'Reilly (Johnny) Photo: Alastair Muir

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage originally opened at London’s Aldwych Theatre in 2006 with a record-breaking advance of £15 million, making it the fastest ever selling show in West End theatre history. The production became the longest running show in the history of the Aldwych Theatre and played to over 2 million people during its triumphant 5 year run.

Since its Australian debut in 2004, Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage has become a worldwide phenomenon, with productions staged in the USA, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore and throughout Europe, consistently breaking box office records. Recent tours in France, Germany and Australia were all sell out smash hits. The first ever UK tour of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage launched in 2011 and then returned to the West End in 2013 playing at the Piccadilly Theatre in London, prior to launching a second UK and Ireland tour. A further tour and West End Christmas season followed in 2016/17. It went on to embark on a 2018/19 tour, entertaining audiences up and down the country. That means that in the UK, the original touring production has now played to in excess of 6,000,000 people and Baby has carried over 21,000 watermelons!

Simone Covele (Penny) Michael O'Reilly (Johnny) - Photo: Alastair Muir

Produced by Karl Sydow & Joye Entertainment in association with Lionsgate, Magic Hour Productions and Triple A Entertainment Group, and written by Eleanor Bergstein - script writer of the phenomenally successful 1987 film - the production features the much-loved characters and original dialogue from the iconic film, as well as exciting extra scenes.



Tickets for the three performances are available from our affiliates Eventim UK: #Ad


Preview: The Osmonds - A New Musical Sunderland Empire

The Osmonds - A New Musical

Sunderland Empire

Tuesday 13 - Saturday 17 September 2022

Tickets available now from our affiliates ATG Tickets: #Ad

You Loved Them For A Reason. Now, for the first time, you can see this sensational new musical and relive one of the world’s biggest ever boybands. The Osmonds: A new musical tells the official story from Jay Osmond about the five brothers from Utah who were pushed into the spotlight as children and went on to create smash hits decade after decade.

From their star residency on The Andy Williams Show, to the arrival of Donny and Marie, The Osmonds lived a remarkable life recording chart topping albums, selling out vast arena concerts and making record breaking TV shows - until one bad decision cost them everything.

Directed by Shaun Kerrison and choreographed by Olivier Award winning Bill Deamer, this brand new musical features a chart topping list of anthems including Love Me For A ReasonCrazy HorsesLet Me InPuppy LoveOne Bad AppleLong Haired Lover From LiverpoolPaper Roses and many more, The Osmonds: A New Musical will take you back to the relive 60s…the 70s…the 80s….

We’re Having a Party and you’re invited to join us for this night of drama, nostalgia and dancing in the aisles.

Tickets available now from our affiliates ATG Tickets: #Ad


Preview: Eric Gales at Whitley Bay Playhouse

Eric Gales & Danny Bryant

Whitley Bay Playhouse
Saturday 2nd April 2022
Tickets available from our affiliate Ticketmaster UK: #Ad

Gales’ story is an incredible one, he was a child prodigy and released his debut album The Eric Gales Band in 1991 as a 16-year-old on Elektra Records. It was the first of 10 albums on a major label through a blistering career. He has released 15 studio albums in total ahead of ‘The Bookends’ and a host of other collaborations. He has battled drink and drug issues and spent time in jail in 2009 for possession of drugs and a weapon. Gales proudly tells his story every night before every show, now over two years sober he is creating some of the most breath-taking music he has ever made. Talking about his approach to song writing in this time he reflects. “I guess the songs would answer the question more or less, I definitely don’t have anything clouding my view and it’s definitely a much purer place where its coming from.”

If ‘Middle of the Road’ was the rebirth of Eric Gales, then ‘The Bookends’ is him knocking away his boundaries and taking flight on a voyage of self-discovery asking himself what do you think you can do and pushing that into the stratosphere.

“It’s still a revelation to hear his late-period bloom. These songs could be crossover hits” (Classic Rock 8/10)

“You’re in for a rockin’ ride.” (Guitarist 10/10)

“From the opening Whammy Pedal fuelled notes of The Bookends, Gales affirms that he is one of the most capable and exciting guitarists on the planet.”  (Guitar Techniques 5/5)

Special guest on all shows is the critically acclaimed British Blues rock guitarist Danny Bryant. Hailed as “A National Blues Treasure,” Bryant recently released his 11th studio album ‘Means of Escape’ via Jazzhaus Records to great fanfare.

Tickets available from our affiliate Ticketmaster UK: #Ad


News: Newcastle's Live Theatre announces appointment of new Executive Director/Joint CEO

Newcastle's Live Theatre announces appointment of new Executive Director/Joint CEO 

Live Theatre today announces that Jacqui Kell has been appointed Executive Director/Joint CEO, and she will take up the post in March 2021. The Executive Director post is part of a new leadership structure at this internationally renowned new writing theatre which will see two posts, Executive Director and Artistic Director, working together as Joint CEOs and replacing that of Jim Beirne, the outgoing Chief Executive. 

Before joining Live Theatre as Operations Director in September 2018, Jacqui worked as Director of Business Strategy and Interim Chief Executive at Arch in Northumberland. Prior to that she spent ten years at Newcastle City Council in several high-profile roles including management of the European team charged with attracting international and national funds to major projects in the city. 

Jacqui Kell 

Commenting on her appointment as Executive Director/Joint CEO, Jacqui said: “I’m really privileged and looking forward to taking up this new role.  Following a difficult year for many sectors including theatres we have great plans for 2021 and beyond.  Work will start in January to improve our physical space and we have a brilliant creative programme planned, which will continue to present work digitally, but most importantly will see audiences welcomed back into our theatre to enjoy the work on stage.  It’s been a pleasure to work alongside Jim Beirne and I’m excited about what our outstanding team can continue to create and achieve as well as working with our board, partners, tenants, funders and stakeholders on delivering our future plans.” 

Lucy Winskell OBE, Chair of the Board, Live Theatre said: “I am delighted that Jacqui has been appointed to this new role, following a rigorous recruitment process. During her time as Operations Director she has proven to be extremely commercially minded, developing new partnerships, managing fruitful stakeholder relationships and leading on both the successful Arts Council England capital programme bid and the Culture Recovery Fund application. Live Theatre has a great reputation for breaking new ground and I am confident that Jacqui’s vision, expertise and innovative and entrepreneurial approach will make a significant contribution to the long-term sustainability of Live Theatre.” 

Jim Beirne, Chief Executive Live Theatre said: “Having worked with Jacqui for over two years, I am thrilled by the news of her appointment. I have seen first-hand her outstanding leadership skills and I know she will guide her highly creative and talented colleagues, to further successes. I am personally very proud of the achievements of the team at Live Theatre and our reputation.” 

Image: Stephen Oliver

Live Theatre has an international reputation as a theatre for the quality of work with the four phase (Live Elevator) approach to the development and production of artistically strong and relevant new plays. In the last few years Live Theatre’s work has received an Olivier Award for Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour and The Red Lion by Patrick Marber, directed by Max Roberts, starring Stephen Tompkinson was nominated for an Olivier Award. In 2016 Live Theatre’s commission from Shelagh Stephenson, Harriet Martineau Dreams of Dancing was nominated as best regional theatre production by BBC Radio 4 Front Row listeners. Guardian readers nominated Iris, commissioned from Alison Carr as Regional Play of the Year and Clear White Light written by Paul Sirett was voted one of the Guardian readers’ top theatre shows in 2018. 

Live Theatre’s pioneering work with children and young people (CYP) is also highly regarded. A key part of the continuum of talent development and a seminal part of the artistic programme, CYP’s two main strands are Live Tales and Live Youth Theatre. 

The team at Live Theatre have continued to develop their artistic, creative and learning programmes throughout the pandemic.Live Wired was introduced to bring their work and shows including the critically acclaimed 10 Minutes To … Call Home and the recent 5 Plays of Christmas to audiences through digital platforms. 

Applications are still open for the new Artistic Director/Joint CEO role. Creative professionals with a significant track record of creating exciting work, wanting to engage with new approaches to making work and engaging communities have until 10am on Monday 18 January 2021 to apply. For more information see 


REVIEW: Arbuthnot and Dame Bella’s Christmas Adventure

 South Shields Customs House presents

Arbuthnot and Dame Bella’s Christmas Adventure - a new family musical

DVD and (hopefully) in theatre

Eeee! Boys and girls. Where have you been? What have you been doing? Who have you been doing it with?

Everyone at the North East Theatre Guide has missed out pantomimes and so we were really excited to be asked to review the Customs House show. It has been a regular favorite with its unique blend of local comedy and excitable raucous audiences.  

This year we were offered a chance to watch the show at home as it has been recorded and is now available on DVD. This is not the only difference as the directing duties have moved across to David Hopper, who has also written the script with Jen Stevens. Jen has also produced original music for the show rather than using this year’s relevant chart hits. Having said that, the unique designs and costumes of Fox and Shriek give the show visual similarity to the normal Christmas shows at the Customs House.

So what is the tale about? The official blurb says: “Two brothers, Santa Claus, and his brother Jack Frost, have gone their different ways. One is kind and caring, the other filled with jealously.

But on discovering one child, in Cooksonville, no longer believes in Santa, Frost sees his chance to freeze Santa and stop Christmas.

Can Arbuthnot persuade his cousin Dennis to believe? Can Roxy the Reindeer, Jerry the Snowman and Grace the Elf navigate the North Pole, And... Will Dame Bella get her stockings filled this Christmas?”

I suspect the title was chosen long before the show was written as it is much more of an ensemble piece rather than purely a vehicle for Dame Bella and her son. If anything “Dennis rediscovers the magic of Christmas” is closer to the final show as Arbuthnot’s marra pops up regularly. 

At the start Santa is frozen by his brother Jack Frost (Steven Lee Hamilton) as a boy in Cooksonville called Dennis (Glen Richard Towsend) doesn’t believe in Santa, so the Christmas Fairy (Eleanor Chaganis) sends Grace the Elf (Bronwen Hanson) so sort it out. Unfortunately she collects cousin Arbuthnot (David Hopper) and her mother Bella (Ray Spencer) instead of Dennis. Our titular couple decide to stay and help sort out presents whilst Roxy the Reindeer (Bethan Amber) and eventually Jerry the Snowman (Dale Jewitt) help Dennis to make it to the North Pole.

Unlike some pantos, this year’s story is closely followed (rather than complicating things with side stories) which will help keep the interest of the younger viewers. Ray and David are a great double act and there is a conscious decision to break the fourth wall and talk to the camera. This will help with the engagement. Unfortunately the recorded show does lack the audience so to make it work best it would be recommended to watch it with a group. Occasionally the audience participation words appear on the screen which will help the kids not used to the format.

Bethan Amber and Bronwen Hanson’s characters are both charming and add a caring element to the chaos that surrounds the others of stage. In a much shorter show (just under 90 minutes) you might not see as much of some characters like Eleanor Chaganis’s Fairy or Dale Jewitt’s Snowman as you’d like. Indeed Bella and Arbuthnot get a couple of scenes, including a classic messy scene, to go through their usual antics but their screen time is reduced too. The thing is: I’d rather see this shorter show than no show at all.

So yes, it does feel strange not seeing this in a theatre full of excited kids full of sugar and noise. 2020 has been full of strange stuff. The DVD will be an ideal thing to stick on when you have a room full of kids to entertain when your bubbles get together over Christmas. The use of original songs that help the plot gives the show more of a musical feel but there are still plenty of panto elements to enjoy. The filming will give your family a great seat in the house and the camera work, from Wycombe 89, is used well to involve the kids in the action from time to time.

Let’s hope panto is back to normal soon as we miss the action!

Review: Stephen Oliver

Photos: Jordan Embleton

Tickets & DVDs:

Capacity in the theatre has reduced to allow social distancing in household or support bubbles of up to six. The venue’s bar and restaurant remains closed, however refreshments can be ordered to be delivered direct to seats.

Tickets from £15 are on general sale from 

DVDs are available by visiting: 


REVIEW: Emperor’s New Clothes from Northern Stage & Kitchen Zoo

A Northern Stage & Kitchen Zoo Co-production

The Emperor's New Clothes


12-31 December 2020

Based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen

Northern Stage have not allowed a pandemic to stop them delivering a fine slice of family friendly theatre. Their co-production with Kitchen Zoo follows their tradition of presenting a drama that will captivate younger audience members.

This show marks the final Christmas Northern Stage production for Mark Calvert who has been responsible for revitalising this important fixture in the North East’s creative calendar. It is the introduction to theatre for many young people. I remember taking my son along when he was very, very young and watching his face light up. These shows were instrumental in making him a fan of theatre and inspire him to create and perform in shows years later.

The show begins with the cast appearing at the closed curtain to start the show. Scarper and Chase are a pair of chancers who float through life seizing opportunity as it presents itself, regardless of the legality of their actions. Chasing a dog who steals their food results in them ending up in the house of the King. His Royal Highness had been in the search for someone to create his new costumes and he assumes that our chancers are there for the job. 

The plot then follows Hans Christian Anderson’s tale using a mix of songs, puppets, shadow play and careful positioning of props to deliver the famous outcome.

The success of the show hangs on the shoulders of the ensemble cast of four. Hannah Goudie-Hunter and Bob Nicholson and the central pair of chancers: Magnus Scarper and Broderick Chase. They draw the audience into their adventure quite skilfully and help keep the show appealing to a wide range of ages. 

Jeremy Bradfield returns as both the musician and the King, though much of his music-making activity is kept off camera. This is one of the downsides to watching this on download as it has been entertaining in recent years to see him in action on the periphery of the stage. 

Making her professional debut is Simmie Kaur who finds herself gelling the plot together as Laura Lindow’s script allows for some explanation along the way. All four performers get a chance to show their comedic side as the hour long show is full of lighter moments.

Watching online does feel different to being part of a crowd at a live show. Fortunately the sound effects help give the impression that this is a live experience. 

This show is filmed using a number of cameras. The advantage of this is that the little ones get close up with the action and the focus of attention is where the director wants it to go. Everyone is guaranteed the best seat in the house and the sound is perfect during the musical numbers. 

Rather than produce a televisual drama of the type you might see of the BBC’s children’s channels, this is a standard theatre production that has been captured on video. The performers talk to the room rather than to the camera. Perhaps this is a missed opportunity as breaking the fourth wall and addressing the cameras may have helped engage the very youngest of audience members. But like everything else in 2020, we have all had to learn to adapt to new online formats (after all - this is the first review of a theatre stream for the North East Theatre Guide).

A quick aside here: the programme notes suggest that you have a go at running the stream before running any event for the kids at home. We would recommend this too as we tried a couple of set ups before settling on running it through the laptop onto our big TV. We found that, in our case, trying to run it off the phones to the TV was causing the speech to be out of sync with the pictures.

The Emperor's New Clothes gets a lot of things right. It has the engagement that has been the hallmark of Northern Stage’s family Christmas output for many years. It delivers a great tale in a way that should work for kids in Key stages 1 and 2 / ages 5-10. There is enough going on in the hour for adult theatre fans too. This show is too important for the culture of the region to be missed out completely because of our current restrictions. This is a close substitute to the live experience so grab the ice cream or popcorn and enjoy it from your own home. 

Review: Stephen Oliver

Photos: Pamela Raith


Mark Calvert Director & show deviser

Laura Lindow Writer & show deviser

Bob Nicholson & Hannah Goudie-Hunter Show Devisers

Alison Ashton Set and costume designer

Jeremy Bradfield Composer, Musical Director & sound designer

Martin Hylton Movement director

Sam Vivash Lighting designer

Faye Alvi BSL interpreter

Michael Davies Audio description

Meerkat Films Video production


Hannah Goudie-Hunter Magnus Scarper, Dr Harris Tweed,| Mouse

Bob Nicholson Broderick Chase, Professor Real Leather

Jeremy Bradfield King Shirley XII, Strumbley Bass

Simmie Kaur Bogus Mcphee, 1st Minister


The Emperor’s New Clothes will be streamed online from Saturday 12 – Thursday 31 December. Tickets are £15 per household and go on general sale on Monday 16 November.  Northern Stage supporters and members can book advance tickets for £10 from Monday 9 November.

Book online at or call the box office on 0191 230 5151. 


Preview: Dan Snow’s History Hit at Newcastle Tyne Theatre


Dan Snow’s History Hit Announces Newcastle Date


Dan Snow’s History Hit

Newcastle Tyne Theatre and Opera House

Thursday 7th October 2021

Tickets: Tickets are now on sale from our affiliate Eventim UK: #Ad


Award winning, chart topping podcast and online TV channel History Hit has announced a new 10 date live tour for Autumn 2021.


The tour will see one of the world’s most celebrated history broadcasters Dan Snow taking his accessible interview style to the stage in 10 cities across England, Scotland and Wales. He will talk to some of our best historians about the biggest stories from the past as well as hear the history of the towns and cities that he visits.

Interviews and show content will also be broadcast on the UK's number 1 history podcast, Dan Snow's History Hit, which is now a daily show. VIP Packages to gain backstage access and meet Dan after show dates are also available.

Dan Snow is a BAFTA award winning broadcaster, having made TV shows that have been watched by tens of millions of people worldwide. The chart topping podcast Dan Snows History Hit receives over a million listens each week and his most recent book, ‘On This Day in History’ was a Sunday Times Bestseller.

History Hit is the UK’s biggest digital history brand across podcasts, Video on Demand, social media and the web. Go to for more information.


Tickets: Tickets are now on sale from our affiliate Eventim UK: #Ad