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Tuesday, 31 March 2020

News: Darlington Hippodrome to offer free online dance classes for children and young people


OFFSTAGE BUT NOT OFFLINE

Darlington Hippodrome to offer free online dance classes for children and young people

Darlington Hippodrome, in association with the D Project, will run three free interactive online dance classes each week for the next three weeks, prior to the beginning of the summer term when the venue’s regular programme of Youth Theatre and Youth Dance classes will move online.

The first sessions will take place on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 April. The session at 10am on Thursday will be a Contemporary class – a mix of contemporary centre exercises (including floor work). You will learn phrases with restricted space in mind and also get creative with choreographic tasks.

On Friday 3 April there will be two sessions, At 10am, young people of all ages can join a Dance Fitness class –  exercise to music with fun movement , that will keep spirits up and maintain stamina, strength and flexibility. At 2pm Debbie will teach the Mass Dance routine due to be performed at this year’s Darlington Dance Festival.

As well as being aimed at existing members of the Hippodrome’s Youth Dance, April’s free online classes are also open to new participants! If your child would like to give it a go, simply email Hippodrome.BoxOffice@darlington.gov.uk up to an hour before the start of each class and you’ll be sent a link to join the session on Zoom.

NEWS: Newcastle Theatre Royal Delay Search For New Chief Executive


Newcastle Theatre Royal Delay Search For New Chief Executive

Newcastle Theatre Royal Chief Executive Philip Bernays has today announced that he is to postpone his planned retirement.

Newcastle Theatre Royal Chief Executive Philip Bernays
In light of the unprecedented challenges the Theatre Royal is facing, in common with all other theatres, the Board of Newcastle Theatre Royal Trust has taken the decision to postpone the recruitment of their new Chief Executive while they focus on managing this crisis.   The current Chief Executive, Philip Bernays, has kindly agreed to stay on to lead the organisation through this difficult time.  

Whilst it remains their intention to hire a new Chief Executive in due course, the Board recognises that many potential candidates will also be fully engaged on working through these issues with their own organisations for the foreseeable future.

Philip Bernays said: “These are extraordinary times and we face extraordinary challenges. I care deeply about the Theatre Royal and couldn’t not continue to support it and the incredible team of people who make it happen. We will come through this crisis; we look forward to bringing entertainment to many generations of theatregoers to come.”

Newcastle Theatre Royal closed its doors on Mon 16 Mar 2020 and has cancelled a number of upcoming performances as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Affected customers are being contacted directly and as a registered charity that receives no funding and relies on ticket sales for the majority of its income, it has launched a donations campaign to help support the venue – further information can be found at https://www.theatreroyal.co.uk/support/donate-now.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Preview: Cinderella at Darlington Hippodrome



Tickets Now On Sale For The Fairy Godmother Of All Pantomimes, Darlington’s Cinderella

Tickets for Cinderella, this year’s spectacular festive family pantomime at Darlington Hippodrome, are on sale now!

Scene from the 2019 Panto
You shall go to the ball this Christmas with the spectacular family pantomime Cinderella at Darlington Hippodrome. Packed with all of the traditional pantomime ingredients audiences expect, Cinderella features laugh out loud comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses.

Scene from the 2019 Panto
Join Cinders as she goes from rags to riches, outwits her ugly sisters with help from her best friend Buttons and meets her dashing Prince. This Christmas bring your family to the most magical of all pantomimes where you can make festive memories as precious as a glass slipper.

Cinderella will be produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, and the team behind Darlington’s annual pantomime, who guarantee another must-see production packed with audience participation, sensational music and dancing, jaw-dropping special effects and fantastic festive entertainment suitable for all ages.

Star casting to be announced soon!

Cinderella runs at Darlington Hippodrome from Saturday 5 December 2020 to Sunday 3 January 2021. For full details and to book visit www.darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk or call 01325 405405.

News: Theatre Hosts Online Quiz


Theatre Hosts Online Quiz

Darlington Hippodrome will be engaging with the community with an arts and entertainment online quiz on Friday 27 March at 7.30pm to help celebrate World Theatre Day.

With the entire country adopting social distancing measures people have looked to the internet to keep engaged with family, to keep fit, to remain mentally active or just to learn new skills.

Through the power of Zoom – an online meetings app – Darlington Hippodrome will be engaging with theatre lovers with an online arts and entertainment online quiz which will take place on Friday 27 March at 7.30pm. There will be rounds on music, art, literature, films and more. Homes can take part as a small team or you can take part as an individual – there will be no ‘winning’ prize – just the fun of joining in a large social online event to help pass the time.

Rebecca Howarth from Darlington Hippodrome told us “This way of engaging with the community is all very new to us and it may be a little rough around the edges, but the theatre is looking at new and exciting ways we can engage with the community to keep spirits up, have some fun and allow people some social interaction in these difficult times.”

Rebecca continued “Over the last couple of weeks Zoom has become the go-to app to allow large groups of people to engage in activities such as keep fit classes, singing classes, drama classes and even learning how to knit. It’s a great way to meet friends and make new ones as well.”

If you are interested in taking part in the online quiz simply go to the Darlington Hippodrome Facebookpage and ‘attend’ the Virtual Quiz Night event. Further details will be posted in the event on Friday evening. All you need to take part is internet access, a phone or laptop with a camera, pen and paper for your answers, an open mind and a sense of humour.

The quiz will be open to the first 100 participants who access the Zoom event on the night, but don’t be disappointed if you miss out on this occasion as there will be future theatre events to get involved in.





Monday, 23 March 2020

Preview: Strictly Ballroom The Musical on tour


Strictly Come Dancing’s Kevin Clifton
To Star As Scott Hastings In
Baz Luhrmann’s
Strictly Ballroom The Musical
2020/2021 UK & Ireland Tour
Directed By Craig Revel Horwood

26/10/2020 – 31/11/2020      Sunderland Empire
08/02/2021 – 13/02/2021      Darlington Hippodrome
15/02/2021 – 20/02/2021      Newcastle Theatre Royal

Former Strictly Come Dancing champion Kevin Clifton is to star in the 2020/2021 UK & Ireland tour of Baz Luhrmann’s smash hit Strictly Ballroom The Musical, playing the lead role of Scott Hastings. After seven glorious years on Strictly Come Dancing, last week Kevin announced his departure from the series and now he makes a full-time move into the world of musical theatre in a role that couldn’t be more perfectly suited.

Kevin Clifton
Kevin Clifton said: “I’m beyond excited to be finally fulfilling a lifelong ambition to play Scott Hastings in Strictly Ballroom The Musical.  When I was 10 years old I first watched the movie that would become my favourite film of all time. This is my dream role.  Plus I get to work with Craig Revel Horwood again!  I really can’t wait to don the golden jacket and waltz all over the UK from September this year in what’s set to be an incredible show!”

The musical is based on the award-winning global film phenomenon, ‘Strictly Ballroom’, which inspired the world to dance. Directed by Craig Revel Horwood, this all-singing, all-dancing and all-glittering show is set to dazzle audiences once more with the new 2020/21 tour.  Kicking off in Nottingham on 26 September, the musical will then waltz around the UK & Ireland before culminating in Reading in June 2021. Tickets are on sale now from the ticket links below.

Kevin joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2013, performing in the final five times and was crowned Strictly Champion in 2018.  He’s a world-class professional dancer, former Youth World Number One and four-time British Latin Champion and has won international open titles all over the world. After making his West End musical theatre debut in 2010 in Dirty Dancing, Kevin has starred in The Wedding Singer as Robbie Hart (Wembley Troubadour Park Theatre) as well as starring in the West End production of Rock of Ages as Stacie Jaxx.

Strictly Ballroom The Musical tells the beguiling story of Scott Hastings, a talented, arrogant and rebellious young ballroom dancer. When Scott’s radical dance moves see him fall out of favour with the Australian Federation, he finds himself dancing with Fran, a beginner with no moves at all. Inspired by one another, this unlikely pair gather the courage to defy both convention and their families – and discover that, to be winners, the steps don’t need to be strictly ballroom.

Featuring a show-stopping book by Baz Luhrmann & Craig Pearce, and bringing together a sublime cast of over 20 world class performers, Strictly Ballroom brings to life iconic songs, including Love is in the Air, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps and Time After Time with dynamic and joyous verve. This tour will also feature some amazing new songs by internationally acclaimed artists including Sia, David Foster and Eddie Perfect. The show’s scintillating singing, dazzling dancing and eye-popping costumes will combine together to bring audiences a story of heart, comedy and drama, and promises to be an unforgettable night under the glitter ball.

This uplifting and courageous musical originated as a stage play that Baz Luhrmann devised with a group of classmates at Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1984. Eight years later he made his screen directorial debut with ‘Strictly Ballroom’, the first instalment in Luhrmann’s acclaimed Red Curtain Trilogy. The vibrant film enjoyed staggering success, winning three awards at the 1993 BAFTA awards and a 1994 Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture, going on to become one of the most successful Australian films of all time, earning more than $80 million at the box office. In April 2014 Strictly Ballroom The Musical had its world premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.

Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom The Musical is a fabulous, feel-good evening full of sequins, singing and salsa. This unmissable kaleidoscope of glitz and glamour is a tonic for the soul and will send your heart soaring and toes tapping long after you leave the theatre!

Tickets:
26/10/2020 – 31/11/2020  Sunderland Empire

08/02/2021 – 13/02/2021  Darlington Hippodrome

15/02/2021 – 20/02/2021  Newcastle Theatre Royal https://www.theatreroyal.co.uk/whats-on/strictly-ballroom-the-musical



News: Chris Cross Adds Magic To Self-Isolation!


Chris Cross Adds Magic To Self-Isolation!

Free Online Magic Broadcast


Locally renowned Magician Extraordinaire, Chris Cross, is bringing his magic tricks to the comfort of homes around the World, this Wednesday Evening. Chris will be broadcasting live from his home in High Spen on Wednesday, where he will perform a few magic tricks and also teach everyone watching how to do some cool card tricks from his published book - The Geordie Book of Magic!

Chris says: ''This will be a fun online event for all ages to attend - all you need is a pack of cards! It's times like this, entertainment is needed more than ever and I'm pleased to be doing my bit for the local community and beyond to spread as much magical morale as possible. So come and forget about your troubles and cure your boredom for an hour and join me for some fun! After this virus has swept over and has gone, you'll have some great tricks to show your mates in the pub (once they re-open!) and the kids can impress their friends at school with their new Harry Potter skills! Most importantly, this broadcast will encourage people to stay in the house for its duration and not go wandering around! everyone needs to stay safe at the moment, to protect themselves and others. Unfortunately, not even I can make this thing disappear! ''

Newcastle native, Chris Cross has performed his multi-award winning sleight of hand all across the globe and has entertained at Mike Tyson's Sportsman's Dinner, Prince Charles's State Visit, Boy George's 50th Birthday Party, Alice Cooper's Press Conference and at many other Celebrity gatherings and events. Locally, he performs for lots of weddings and corporate events and hosts his annual 'Greatest Show on the Tyne' too. He made front page news in 2016, when he suspended himself upside-down from the roof of Newcastle's Castle Keep in a Straitjacket Escape Stunt, to provide a free public entertainment piece for everyone in the North-East who looked up at him that day. 

'Chris Cross Shows YOU How!' will be a free online magic broadcast. If you want to virtually attend this one-off event online via Chris's Official Facebook Page, more info can be found about the event and you can tune in at 6pm until 7pm this Wednesday 25th March, here: www.facebook.com/TheChrisCross.




Friday, 20 March 2020

News: Key Change: award-winning New York Times’ Critics Pick to be streamed online for free

Key Change: award-winning New York Times’ Critics Pick to be streamed online for free

As theatres around the world are forced to close their doors, Open Clasp Theatre Company’s award-winning prison drama Key Change will be made available to watch online for free.
 
Cheryl Dixon as Lucy & Jessica Johnson as Angie in Key Change by Open Clasp
Exquisite★★★★ The Guardian
“A touching, empowering work” ★★★★★ The Stage
A remarkable production★★★★ The Observer
A moving, intimate and superbly acted drama” New York Times Critics’ Pick

Jessica Johnson as Angie & Christina Berriman Dawson as Kelly
Open Clasp has a unique approach and practice, developed over 20 years collaborating with women on the margins of society to create exciting theatre for personal, social and political change. Key Change was created with women serving at HMP Low Newton in County Durham. It originally toured to male prisons, before opening at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe as part of the Northern Stage at Summerhall programme. After winning the prestigious Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh award it opened in New York to critical acclaim, and the company also presented the show in women’s high-security prisons in both Edinburgh and New York State. A sell out national tour followed back in the UK, including a performance in the Houses of Parliament in partnership with the National Alliance for Arts in Criminal Justice, CLiNKS and the Prison Reform Trust. 

In 2017 Open Clasp teamed up with The Space to capture the play on film, and Key Change was streamed globally as part of the UN campaign to end violence against women and girls. Writer and Artistic Director Catrina McHugh, who was awarded an MBE for outstanding services to disadvantaged women through theatre, explains why the company has now decided to make it available online for free: “In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever for us to find ways to connect - with our audiences, partners and the women we’ve worked with for more than 20 years. We’ve seen first-hand the power of theatre to bring people together and make change happen, so it's more important than ever that we continue to reach out to those who need our support most in these unsettling times, even if it's digitally rather than physically. If we as a society can learn anything from this crisis it's the need for investment in the NHS, the provision of free childcare, workers’ rights and access to the arts, to stay connected and stand together. During these uncertain times we are not pulling up bridges, we are looking for new ways to walk over troubled water.  Our aim is to change the world one play at a time, but for now we just want to reach out, make people laugh, feel, care and look to a new horizon.

 Judi Earl, Cheryl Dixon, Jessica Johnson & Christina Berriman Dawson (l-r)
Open Clasp have already reached over 45,500 people with their critically acclaimed productions, Key Change and Rattle Snake using theatre captured live on film. Their new production, Sugar is the first to be created specifically for the screen and is due for release in June 2020. Director Laura Lindow explains, “Creating Sugar as a piece of theatre for film has offered us remarkable opportunities to tell these stories in new and different ways. The viewpoint of the camera is powerfully intimate as the characters take us into their confidence. The stark but beautiful theatrical setting sets up different terms for us to encounter them as we step into their worlds. I really hope that the audience will be left sharing the sense of outrage and also inspiration that we as makers have felt.” 

Key Change will be available to watch online from 1pm GMT on 20 March at www.openclasp.org.uk 
 
Jessica Johnson as Angie & Christina Berriman Dawson as Kelly
Cast & Creative Team
Writer: Catrina McHugh MBE
Director: Laura Lindow
Choreographer: Holly Irving
Lighting Designer: Ziggy Jacobs-Wyburn
Composer: Roma Yagnik
Cast: Cheryl Dixon, Christina Berriman Dawson, Jess Johnson, Judi Earl, Kate McCheyne & Victoria Copeland

Photos: Keith Pattinson


Tuesday, 17 March 2020

News: Northern Stage announces temporary suspension of performances

Northern Stage announces temporary suspension of performances
 
Following the latest government and Public Health England advice, and in line with the UK theatre industry, Northern Stage will temporarily suspend public performances until 20 April. The measures are designed to help keep people safe and minimise the spread of COVID-19.
 
Executive Director Kate Denby said, “This is an unprecedented situation, and a very difficult decision for us to have to make.  We are busily working with our producing partners and visiting companies to understand the impact on our programme and the many artists and organisations we make work with. Where possible we will try to reschedule work for later in the year. We are also reviewing the activity we deliver with our Young Company, community partners, and artists across the region, and re-imagining how we might deliver this over the coming weeks.  
 
“There is no doubt that COVID-19 will have a significant impact on Northern Stage, and on the many artists and organisations we work with each year.  Without people visiting us at Northern Stage, or buying tickets for our work, our income is severely impacted.  Northern Stage is a registered charity, but over 60% of our annual funding comes from earned income, like ticket sales. As we take decisions over the coming weeks we will be considering their impact on the many casual staff, freelancers, artists and small companies that we work with, and will try to ensure we act fairly, transparently and in the best interest of our whole sector.”
 
Customers who have tickets for performances up to and including 19 April will automatically receive an email or letter from Northern Stage offering to exchange their tickets for another event later in the year, receive a credit note or a full refund.  From 17 March, the Box Office will be open from 10am to 6pm for telephone enquiries only.  However, the box office will be exceptionally busy and customers are asked to bear with the team as they work through the refund process at this challenging time.
Kate adds, “We are creative, and resilient, and are already thinking up ways to continue to bring our audiences great stories and theatre over the coming weeks.  We'll be keeping in touch via our website and social media. Thank you to everyone who has sent kind messages over the last few hours; we are incredibly grateful for our brilliant staff, artists, and our incredibly generous audiences. We hope to see you all back at Northern Stage very soon.

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Preview: Million Dollar Quartet at Sunderland Empire


Featuring 24 Of The Greatest Rock’n’roll Hits Of All Time
The Story Of How Four Stars Made Rock’n’roll History Starring Peter Duncan

Million Dollar Quartet 
Sunderland Empire
Wednesday 25 - Saturday 28 March 2020

This worldwide smash hit musical, inspired by the famous recording session that brought together rock‘n’roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time, will embark appear later this month on an extensive tour of the UK.

Re-joining the production as the ‘Father of Rock’n’Roll’ Sam Phillips, is national treasure Peter Duncan. Following rave reviews for his performance in the musical’s 2017 UK tour, the Olivier Award nominee and former Blue Peter presenter returns to the stage in 2020.

On December 4, 1956, history was made when these four star musicians gathered at Sun Records in Memphis, the studios of legendary record producer Sam Phillips, for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions of all time.

Million Dollar Quartet brings that legendary night to life, with its extraordinary story of broken promises, secrets, and the once-in-a-lifetime celebration of four acclaimed recording artists. This poignant musical features a score of more than 24 legendary rock hits including Blue Suede Shoes, Fever, That’s All Right, Sixteen Tones, Great Balls of Fire, Walk the Line, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, Who Do You Love?, Matchbox, Folsom Prison Blues and Hound Dog.

The stage production is written by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, directed by Olivier nominated Ian Talbot OBE, and includes designs by David Farley, lighting by David Howe and sound by Ben Harrison. The UK tour is produced by Mark Goucher and Laurence Myers.

The actor, adventurer and former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan tells Matthew Amer about starring in the rock ‘n’ roll musical and his own pop star ambitions.

Hi Peter. Thanks for talking to us. What’s the story of Million Dollar Quartet?
Well, on 4 December 1956, Sam Phillips, who ran Sun Records, got Elvis, who was by then a big superstar, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and a very young Jerry Lee Lewis together for a day. He recorded a session with them. His real motivation behind it was to try and get Johnny Cash to sign a new contract because, like with football, people get tempted elsewhere, especially when they get successful. The music business is still notorious for that kind of behaviour.

It’s the most famous recording session in history! At the end of the show there’s a picture of them sitting round the piano that pops up; it’s absolutely iconic.

That is the story that runs alongside what most people think they’re coming for, which is a fantastic rock ‘n’ roll romp. What they get is much more, and they go away having learned something new.

You previously played producer Sam Phillips in 2017. What made you want to return to the role and how much research did you do into him?
I was delighted to be asked! It’s a brilliant show and a number one tour. I also think Sam is a rather great part to play, because I’m so into music. Some fantastic performers have played the role too – Jason Donovan, Bill Ward, Martin Kemp.

I did a lot of research. Sam fascinated me. He was originally a DJ, but he knew all about the wiring side of things and that’s how he found a way to create his sound with the technology as it existed.

That was one of his talents. He was a clever man, a very clever man, but he also did the job of the plugger. He’d drive round from radio station to radio station hawking his records. When he got air play, that’s how his artists got heard. He was a true grafter. That’s what makes him so cross when somebody leaves.

The music in the show is timeless, with songs including Hound Dog, I Walk The Line and Great Balls of Fire, but is the story of rock ‘n’ roll still as relevant?
I know years and years have passed, but life’s really very similar; it’s often the music that responds to, and makes people respond to, society. If there’s an equivalent, it’s a bit like grime with Stormzy now. If you listen to Stormzy, what you’ll hear is real political commentary, rudeness, anti-establishment sentiment. Really that’s what rock ‘n’ roll was doing then.

Did you ever want to be a rock ‘n’ roll star yourself?
I’ve always been musical. I’ve always written songs, mainly for things like kids shows and pantomimes, but I’ve always composed. But I suppose my one single, Cold As Ice, in 1982 doesn’t really count as being a pop star, although I did sing it live to Elton John on Blue Peter. That’s my “I could have been a pop star” moment. I’m obviously a method actor, as I’m building my own sound studio in the garden! I’ve got three daughters and all of them are making a career out of being singers, so it will give everyone somewhere to rehearse.

Aside from your acting, it’s Blue Peter you’re probably best known for. How was it being part of that show?
It was obviously a really exciting thing to do. At that point in my career, after 10 years as an actor, I felt like looking outward a bit, rather than inward. Obviously doing something like Blue Peter, you know your career is going to go in a different direction, but now I do wish I’d done a bit more Shakespeare and a bit more classical stuff.

I was only 26 when I got that job and it was quite hard. I had a fragmentary education; a gypsy theatrical child going from pillar to post. I never took any exams of any kind. Suddenly you’re surrounded by people with firsts from Oxford or Cambridge who are desperate to get up the BBC ladder. You slowly start to realise you’re not as clever as you think you are. And because of my strange childhood I’ve never been good with organisations, bureaucracy and hierarchy. I’m very much a get out there and do it yourself kind of person.

I think that’s how you’ve always come across. Is there, in fact, anything you can’t do?
I suppose I do always try and keep life interesting! If I’m absolutely honest, I’m a frustrated sculptor.

Are you excited about being out on tour?
I am, although I was also excited to see there were two London dates and a few commutable ones too! My Mrs promised to visit me on some others so we could go walking during the day too! It helps that I’m a great traveller and I’ve got my own holiday company, The Natural Adventure Company. That all grew from making travel documentaries when I took the kids around the world.

What can audiences expect from a trip to see Million Dollar Quartet?
They’ll have a great night because of the fantastic music at the heart of it – there’s not a night I’ve done where people aren’t up on their feet having a great time as the songs and the artists are iconic - but they get a whole lot more than a rock ‘n’ roll concert, they get a brilliant story too.

Are you looking forward to appearing in Sunderland?
My father came from Redcar and used to run beach shows, so I’ve got a lot of relations and history up there. I’m really looking forward to going up to Sunderland and touring the North East.

Don't miss your chance to be a fly on the wall of fame and history, and join in the celebration of this red-hot rock 'n' roll band for one unforgettable night!



Preview: School of Rock at Newcastle Theatre Royal


Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Smash Hit West End & Broadway Musical School Of Rock Is Coming To Newcastle!

School of Rock
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Monday 24 - Saturday 29 April 2021


School of Rock - The Musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash hit, award-winning West End show is set to rock out Newcastle Theatre Royal during May 2021 with tickets going on sale next week.

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.

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.

Friends of the Theatre Royal can book from Mon 16 Mar with general on sale at 10am on Fri 20 Mar 2020.

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:
School of Rock is at Newcastle Theatre Royal Monday 24 - Saturday 29 April 2021 playing evenings at 7.30pm and matinees on Thursday at 2pm and Saturday at 2.30pm.  Tickets from £20.00 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.