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News: Northern Stage postpones autumn productions and reveals plans are underway to offer audiences a magical Christmas

Northern Stage postpones autumn productions and reveals plans are underway to offer audiences a magical Christmas

Following the latest government advice, Northern Stage will postpone its autumn season productions Red EllenThe Invisible Man and Gatsby, and Christmas shows The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and The Hey Diddle Diddle Christmas Spectacular from Kitchen Zoo. 

Northern Stage -  #MissingLiveTheatre
Photo: Kit Haigh
Executive Director Kate Denby said, “While the government has announced its first steps to bringing back live performances, there is still some way to go until we can put shows on in the theatre.  As a producing theatre, we need to consider how long it takes to make a show from scratch - from writing, through to casting, rehearsing, choreographing, creating the music, building sets and making costumes in our workshops - and that’s all before it even makes it onto the stage when our technical teams work their magic.  So we have made the difficult decision to postpone our autumn productions, but we remain absolutely committed to making these shows and look forward to continuing to work with our brilliant creative teams and freelancers to bring them to life.” 

Red Ellen is a remarkable new play from Caroline Bird telling the inspiring and epic story of Ellen Wilkinson, a Labour MP who, caught between revolutionary and parliamentary politics, fought with an unstoppable energy for a better world. A Northern Stage, Nottingham Playhouse & Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh production, Red Ellen will premiere in Newcastle in spring 2022 before touring and will be directed by Wils Wilson (Twelfth Night/Royal Lyceum). 

An electrifying new production adapted from H.G. Wells’ horror fiction classic, The Invisible Man will be directed by Anna Girvan (Our Country’s Good/Tobacco Factory Theatres) and adapted by Philip Correia (Hyem/Theatre 503). The Invisible Man is part of Northern Stage’s NORTH programme to support and develop new talent in the North East of England and will open in Newcastle in 2021 before touring.
Maria Aberg ([BLANK], The White Devil) directs a vivid new production of Gatsby, plunging us headfirst into a seductive and murky world of love, money and glamour.  A Bristol Old Vic, Northern Stage, English Touring Theatre, Royal & Derngate, Northampton, Oxford Playhouse, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre production, Gatsby will tour in autumn 2021.
Northern Stage -  #MissingLiveTheatre
Photo: Kit Haigh
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Kitchen Zoo’s new Christmas show for under 5s will both be postponed. However, that doesn’t mean that Christmas is cancelled. Northern Stage Associate Director Mark Calvert explains, “The creative teams behind Northern Stage’s two festive productions have joined forces to try to save Christmas. We are working on a brand new, feel-good festive show for everyone to enjoy this December – a magical theatre experience for the whole family that can be enjoyed in a safe and socially distanced way. It won't be the same as we're used to, and it may or may not take place at Northern Stage, but it will be something special. We've still got a lot of details to work out, and all of this is dependent on government guidance, but we will keep you posted with more details as soon as we can…”  The new show will be written by Laura Lindow (War of the Worlds/Northern Stage) and devised with Kitchen Zoo (The Three Bears at Christmas/Northern Stage) and the creative team behind The Snow Queen, A Christmas Carol, James and the Giant Peach and Alice in Wonderland.

Spring touring productions are also being rescheduled including HERE - a co-production with Curious Monkey written by Lindsay Rodden, and the premiere of Shandyland - originally developed through The Old Vic 12 scheme, written by Bruntwood Prize winning playwright Gareth Farr. 

Customer who have booked tickets for any of these shows do not need to do anything, the box office team will contact them directly. As a registered charity, there will also be an option for customers to donate the value of their tickets to Northern Stage which will help the theatre to continue its work in the community and work towards reopening.
Kate Denby said, "Donating the value of any purchased tickets will help to ensure we can continue to weather this difficult period and get up and running again. Thank you to everyone who has sent kind messages, made donations and continued to share the work we have been doing over the last few months; we are incredibly grateful to you, along with our brilliant staff, artists, audiences and community. Northern Stage remains resilient. We continue to find creative ways to support our community, and we look forward to sharing more of our work with you over the coming months."

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