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Saturday, 29 February 2020

Preview: Kevin Bloody Wilson at Newcastle Tyne Theatre

Kevin Bloody Wilson plus Special Guests
Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Thursday 5 March 2020

A long time ago, a long way from anywhere, in a West Australian mining town called Kalgoorlie, the legend of Kevin Bloody Wilson was born. It all started innocently enough – just a guy with too much time on his hands changing the words to other people’s songs, and writing a few of his own, purely for the fun of it.
Thirty-five years later, countless live gigs and millions of album sales down the track, Kevin Bloody Wilson has not only found his niche, he’s grabbed an esky and a deckchair and he’s made himself really bloody comfortable in it!
Kev’s songs match the Kalgoorlie landscape, dry and unforgiving. These songs are uniquely Australian, and yet year after year, album after album, tour after tour, people from all corners of the globe keep laughing their guts out at Kevin Bloody Wilson’s completely authentic and original body of work.
The bawdy ballad has been around forever. The Bard, William Shakespeare, wrote bawdy verse. Scotland’s Wee Robbie Burns wrote an entire book of dirty ditties and bawdy poems.
The bawdy ballad has lifted the spirits of Troops from both sides of wartime conflicts, and who of us doesn’t remember at least two or three bawdy limericks? Yet, in today’s politically correct times, it seems only one person is perpetuating and preserving this unique art form – Kevin Bloody Wilson.
Labelled by ’60 Minutes’ as Australian Comedy Icon and defender of free speech, Kev’s Master Craftsmanship and world-wide popularity, is further proof that Kevin Bloody Wilson is the sole owner of an entire genre of music, The Contemporary Bawdy Ballad.
Some politically correct snowflakes may Kev a bit offensive…

Preview: BLKDOG at Newcastle Northern Stage

Far From The Norm
Newcastle Northern Stage
Tuesday 10th March 2020

Vital and gripping, BLKDOG is the Olivier Award-winning work from Botis Seva, exploring coping mechanisms in youth culture. Co-produced by Far From The Norm and Sadler’s Wells, BLKDOG tours the UK in spring 2020 with performances at Newcastle’s Northern Stage in March.

A genre-defying blend of hip hop dance and free form antics, the latest edition of BLKDOG explores the inner battlefield of an ageing artist trying to retain his youth. Performed by Seva’s powerhouse company Far From The Norm, BLKDOG searches for coping mechanisms in the ultimate hunt for acceptance.  

An excerpt of BLKDOG was originally performed at Sadler’s Wells in Autumn 2018 as part of an evening of new commissions to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the current Sadler’s Wells theatre. 

Established in May 2009, Far From The Norm was founded by artistic director Botis Seva and is a collective of dance artists renowned for experimenting with hip hop form whilst tackling socio-political concerns. Far From The Norm’s work portfolio crosses theatre performances, outdoor spectacles and immersive experiences that are renowned for challenging yet inspiring their audiences. The company is committed to producing evocative, authentic work by taking audiences on visceral journeys whilst presenting conceptual yet compelling truths.  

In August 2018, Seva collaborated with Billy Boyd Cape to create a short film, Reach, commissioned by Sadler’s Wells as part of Channel 4’s Random Acts series. Far From The Norm has previously performed at Sadler’s Wells with Breakin’ Convention and curated a Wild Card evening. Seva was Guest Artistic Director of National Youth Dance Company, run by Sadler’s Wells, in 2018 – 2019 and is currently one of four choreographers working on a new commission with Northern Contemporary Dance School’s postgraduate company, VERVE.

BLKDOG’s music comes from long-standing collaborator Torben Lars Sylvest who has also worked with Scottish Dance Theatre and Ivan Blackstock; costume is being created by Ryan Dawson Laight whose credits include Gary Clark Company’s WASTELAND and Aakash Odedra Company’s #JeSuis; and lighting comes from Tom Visser, also known for his creations with Nederlands Dance Theater and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artists Hofesh Shechter and Crystal Pite.

BLKDOG is coproduced by Far From The Norm and Sadler’s Wells and supported by Arts Council England.

Photos: Camilla Greenwell

Box Office: 0191 230 5151

Preview: The Talented Mr Ripley at Newcastle Northern Stage

Tom Ripley is a con-man, fantasist and, soon to be, murderer

The Talented Mr Ripley
by Patricia Highsmith (1955)
Newcastle Northern Stage
Wednesday 4th – Saturday 7th March 2020

Adapted by Mark Leipacher (2015)
Will he get away with it this time?!  The Faction's critically acclaimed production of Patricia Highsmith's psychological thriller The Talented Mr. Ripley is making a comeback with a mid-scale tour from 25th February 2020.

When Tom Ripley meets Dickie Greenleaf, Tom's skills for forging signatures, telling lies and impersonating just about anybody are nothing more than impressive games.  But as his friendship with Dickie grows to obsession, Tom's talents have very dangerous consequences.

The Faction breathes fresh life into Patricia Highsmith's blackly comic tale of ambition, escapism, and murder.

This 2020 tour is made possible by the generous support of Arts Council England. Originally premiered and nominated for 4 Off West End awards including Best Actor when it premiered at New Diorama Theatre in 2015

Cast & Creatives:
Andre Bullock               Freddie
Christopher Hughes     Ripley
Christopher York          Dickie
Emma Jay Thomas      Emily
Lachlan Mccall             Peter
Marcello Walton           Herbert
Sophie Spreadbury      Marge

Ali Graham                  Stage Management
Chris Withers              Lighting
Frances Norburn         Costume
Holly Pigott                  Set
Mark Leipacher           Director
Max Pappenheim        Sound
Rachel Valentine Smith Producer
Ryan Funnell               Production Management
Sophia Tuffin               Stage Management
The Other Richard        Production Photography
Invisible Darkness        Production Recording
Stage Rights are provided by Diogenes Verlag.


Box office: 0191 230 5151

Friday, 28 February 2020

Preview: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at Newcastle Theatre Royal

Award-Winning Musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie Struts Into Newcastle

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Monday 30th March – Saturday 4th April 2020

The smash-hit, critically acclaimed West End Musical, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie makes its regional debut at Newcastle Theatre Royal as part of its first UK tour.

Inspired by the sensational Jamie Campbell (‘Drag Queen at 16’) from County Durham, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie stars Layton Williams (Bad Education, Billy Elliot the Musical) as Jamie New and Shane Richie (EastEnders) as Hugo / Loco Chanelle.

Both are reprising their West End roles and will be joined by fellow London cast member Shobna Gulati (Coronation Street, Dinnerladies) as Ray – a role she will also be playing in the film version of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie which will be released in cinemas in October 2020 - and George Sampson (winner of Britain’s Got Talent) as Dean.

Further cast includes Amy Ellen Richardson (Margaret New), Lara Denning (Miss Hedge), Sharan Phull (Pritti Pasha), Cameron Johnson (Sandra Bollock / Jamie’s Dad), John Paul McCue (Laika Virgin), Rhys Taylor (Tray Sophisticay), Richard Appiah-Sarpong (Cy), Simeon Beckett (Levi), Kazmin Borrer (Vicki), Ellis Brownhill (Mickey), Jodie Knight (Fatimah), Jessica Meegan (Bex), Talia Palamathanan (Becca), Adam Taylor (Sayid), Alex Hetherington (Swing), Emma Robotham-Hunt (Swing), Ellie Leah (Understudy) and Garry Lee (Understudy).

Nica Burns, Producer of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie said: “We are delighted that our first national tour of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is packed with West End stars. Three hot off the Apollo stage who are joined by a host of super- talented performers from other West End casts, from The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole to Matilda The Musical and Scrooge. It’s fantastic to welcome George Sampson who shot to fame as the youngest person to win Britain’s Got Talent at the tender age of 14.  Together they will give you a fun, funny and fabulous evening.”

Jamie New is sixteen and lives on a council estate in Sheffield. Jamie doesn’t quite fit in. Jamie is terrified about the future. Jamie is going to be a sensation. Supported by his brilliant loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight. With catchy songs by lead singer-songwriter of The Feeling, Dan Gillespie Sells, and book and lyrics by writer Tom MacRae, this funny, fabulous, feel-good, musical sensation has been wowing audiences and critics alike.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Monday 30 March to Saturday 4 April 2020 playing evenings at 7.30pm and matinees on Thurs at 2pm and Sat at 2.30pm.  Tickets from £16.50 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 at

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Preview: School of Rock at Sunderland Empire

School of Rock – The Musical

Sunderland Empire
Monday 29th November - Saturday 4th December 2021

School of Rock - The Musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash hit, award-winning West End show, will go on a major UK Tour in 2021, coming to Sunderland Empire for one week only from Monday 29 November 2021.

Based on the hilarious hit movie, this new musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band – sensationally performed live by the production’s young actors every night with roof-raising energy!

While teaching these pint-sized prodigies what it means to truly rock, Dewey falls for the school’s beautiful, but uptight headmistress, helping her rediscover the wild child within.

‘The most enjoyable few hours money can buy’ The Daily Telegraph

Featuring 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and all the original songs from the movie, this high-octane smash delivers face-melting guitar riffs and touching romance in equally awesome doses.

‘A big hearted show. Loud and cheeky, a feel-good experience
With a hint of anarchic wildness’ evening standard

The production opened at the New London Theatre (now the Gillian Lynne Theatre) in November 2016 to 5-star reviews and widespread critical acclaim. It went on to win the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music. The Broadway production recently concluded its run at the Winter Garden Theatre with a US national touring production continuing. An Australian production opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne last October.

‘A triumph for Andrew Lloyd Webber as the king of hit musicals’ Daily Mirror

School of Rock - The Musical features new music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Glenn Slater (The Little Mermaid, Sister Act) and a book by Julian Fellowes. It is directed by Laurence Connor (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, London Palladium 2019) with choreography by JoAnn M.Hunter, set and costume designs by Anna Louizos, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Mick-Potter, music supervision by John Rigby with Matt Smith as musical director.

Andrew Lloyd Webber is the composer of some of the world’s best known musicals including Cats, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Phantom of the Opera (which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary) and Sunset Boulevard.  In New York, School of Rock – The Musical, a stage version of the movie, is currently running alongside Cats and Phantom of the Opera, equalling Lloyd Webber’s previous record of three shows running simultaneously on Broadway.

His awards, both as composer and producer, include seven Tonys, seven Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, the Praemium Imperiale, the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre, a BASCA Fellowship, the Kennedy Center Honor and a Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Requiem, his setting of the Latin Requiem mass which contains one of his best known compositions, Pie Jesu.  He owns seven London theatres including the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, the New London Theatre and the London Palladium.  He was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 1992 and created an honorary member of the House of Lords in 1997.  He is passionate about the importance of music in education and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has become one of Britain’s leading charities supporting the arts and music.

School of Rock has a book by Julian Fellowes, for which he received a Tony nomination. Julian the creator, writer and executive producer of the worldwide hit TV series Downton Abbey, which has received 69 Emmy Award nominations, winning 15, including two awards for Fellowes.

Casting for the UK Touring production is to be announced.

The UK & Ireland Tour of School of Rock – The Musical is produced by David Ian Productions.

Tickets will be available from the theatre box office and ATG Tickets: #Ad

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Preview: Shagged, Married, Annoyed at Newcastle Utilita Arena

Shagged, Married, Annoyed With Chris And Rosie Ramsey
Newcastle Utilita Arena


After selling out in under an hour of the general on-sale and setting a new record for the largest ever live podcast
event at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena, the Arena is pleased to confirm an extra date of Sunday 13th September 2020.

Tickets for the new date will go on sale 10am Friday 6th March and are available online #Ad

For the first time ever Chris and Rosie Ramsey are bringing their smash hit podcast, Shagged. Married. Annoyed., live to venues this September.   

As always, the loveable Geordie duo will be chatting all about life, relationships, arguments, annoyances, parenting, growing up and everything in between, but this time in front of a live audience.
For the first time ever we are bringing our podcast live to The North East and playing the Newcastle Utilita Arena. We’re aiming to break the record for the biggest live podcast... and you can be there in the crowd. NO PRESSURE!

The only way we can have a conversation without being interrupted by a small child or ending up staring at our phones is by doing a podcast. One that has gone on to frequently top the charts and has had a phenomenal 18 million downloads to date... which we did not expect at all, to be honest! As always, we will be chatting all about life, relationships, arguments, annoyances, parenting, growing up and everything in between, but this time in front of a live audience... so we might even be chatting to YOU!

Tickets for the new date will go on sale 10.00am Friday 6th March and are available online or from 11.00am in person from the Utilita Arena Box Office. #Ad

Accessible seating is available online, or by calling the accessible hotline on 0800 988 4440.

Please note venue facility and booking fees will apply.

Age recommendation 16 years +