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Preview: Sarah Millican at Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre and Opera House


Sarah Millican to return to Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre and Opera House with brand new show Bobby Dazzler

 Friday 11th, Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th June 2021


Tickets on sale Friday 27th November 2020 at 10am: #Ad


The Tyne Theatre and Opera House are thrilled to announce the return of Sarah Millican with her brand-new stand-up show for 2021; Bobby Dazzler - coming to the theatre for three nights on Friday 11th, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th June 2021.

In this, her sixth international tour, you’ll learn about what happens when your mouth seals shut, how to throw poo over a wall, trying to lose weight but only losing the tip of your finger, a surprisingly funny smear test, and how truly awful a floatation tank can actually be. Sarah has spent the last year writing jokes and can’t wait to get back on the road and make you laugh. 

Sarah Millican is a local legend and household name across the North East, having performed at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House numerous times – more recently in 2018 with her show Control Enthusiast, in which she performed 11 sell-out shows at the venue throughout the year. Her live show Home Bird was also recorded on the Tyne Theatre stage.

Theatre Director, Joanne Johnson has said Sarah Millican has been a good friend of the theatre for many years, and it’s always such an honour to have her perform on our stage. Our audiences love her, demonstrated by how quickly her shows sell out – we expect these new dates to be no different. After a difficult year, this is one show we’re really looking forward to - guaranteed to be full of feel-good laughs.’

Tickets for Sarah Millican:
Bobby Dazzler go on sale Friday 27th November 2020 at 10am from our affiliates Eventim UK:

As an independent venue, the Tyne Theatre and Opera House relies entirely on ticket sales and donations to survive and keep the theatre’s 150+ year heritage alive. In addition to buying tickets for upcoming shows, you can also support the theatre directly by visiting their #SaveOurTheatres Crowdfunder campaign, looking to raise £30,000 to help secure its future after a dramatic loss of income as the result of Covid-19 restrictions.  

Tickets: #Ad


Preview: Love From at Newcastle Alphabetti Theatre


Love and magic are being sucked out of our world. Can you help us, find out how and why and save Christmas?

Love From

Newcastle Alphabetti Theatre

Tuesday 8th – Thursday 24th December 2020


A brand new festive, family friendly, Covid-19 safe, immersive performance for one household/support bubble at a time.


Alphabetti Theatre and Woven Nest present a new Christmas show for one household/ support bubble at a time. Created by Alphabetti’s Artistic Director, Ali Pritchard, this will be a mesmerising show created exclusively for these unfamiliar times.


Despite the global pandemic production partners Woven Nest have been running workshops outside, online and anyway they can with West Rainton Primary School, Springfield Lodge Care Home, Carr Hill Community Primary School, St Mark's Court Care Home, Hotspur Primary School & Wordsworth House Care Home to devise details and colour that writer Ali Pritchard has weaved into a script.


With a villain who only eats raw turnips and rat stew – subsequently needing to douse themselves in sickly-sweet tropical perfume to her invisible gargoyle subordinates; this is a production that will transport the audience into physical and metaphorical other worlds!


When:                            8th – 24th December 2020

(excluding 13th, 14th & 20th)

Running length:            Approx. 50 mins

Time Slots from:           15:50 until 19:00 (Schooldays)

& 11:00 until 19:00 (Saturdays/school holidays)

Age Recommendation:          Suitable for all the family

Tickets: £30 per household/bubble (groups of max 5) from or 0191 261 9125 


Please note:      

·        All tickets must be pre-booked due to Covid-19 – no walkups available.

·        All audience members will need to bring a face covering to be worn throughout the performance (whilst inside) to keep our staff safe

·        All audience members will need to bring a pair of headphones to be worn at certain parts throughout the performance.

·        All audience members should wear suitable clothing for winter weather, as some parts of the performance will take place outside. If you forget any of these things, Alphabetti will have masks to purchase, headphones and snuggle packs to hire.

·        Due to the military precision required for this production to keep all staff and audience safe - there is a strict no late comers policy.

Preview: 5 Plays Of Christmas - online from Newcastle's Live Theatre

5 Plays Of Christmas, a spirited selection box of online short plays from the coolest new writing talent from Newcastle's Live Theatre


Live Theatre, Newcastle is counting down the days to the online release of their alternative festive offering, 5 Plays of Christmas. This virtual theatre boxset features five new stories from the coolest writers.  Live Theatre’s gift for theatre lovers, 5 Plays of Christmas is the perfect present to share and enjoy from the comfort of home and a great way to celebrate a yuletide like no other. 


5 Plays of Christmas is the latest project in Live Theatre’s exciting Live Wired season. The ambition had been to stage 5 Plays of Christmas in front of a live audience, but once again the Covid-19 restrictions have derailed the best laid plans. Therefore, as with the successful and critically acclaimed 10 Minutes To… season, all five plays will be developed, rehearsed, performed and filmed behind closed doors and then shared free across digital platforms in mid-December.  


Live Theatre is continuing to invest in the creative sector and the five writers chosen to submit scripts for 5 Plays of Christmas all recently presented work as part of 10 Minutes To…Call Home. This cracking festive feast includes: 


The End Of Term Show by Olu Alakija, My Door by Mandi Chivasa, Those Yet To Come by Ellen McNally, Skulls In Cullercoats by Benjamin Storey and The Whale Washed Up On Christmas Eve by Sarah Tarbit.  


Martin Maxwell is reliving the time he killed Christmas. A missed bus has consequences for the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future. Danny is in an elf costume while Joe just got arrested and Agnes sits in a quiet living room, sun on her face and the cold at her door. Meanwhile on a beach in Newbiggen, a giant whale is washed ashore.  


Graeme Thompson, Creative Producer at Live Theatre said: “It’s wonderful to be able to bring five brand new plays to audiences this year. At Live Theatre we like to put our own special take on festive theatre and this year is going to be no different with new stories from five talented writers. These 5 Plays of Christmas promise to take you on a journey which I know you are going to enjoy. 


Live Theatre’s Creative Opportunities programme and 5 Plays of Christmas is supported by John Ellerman Foundation. 5 Plays of Christmas, a sprinkling of Christmas magic, will be free to view online from mid-December. More information about the five plays and their creative teams will be online soon at  



Preview: A Christmas Story at The Charles Young Centre, South Shields

 Walton-Gunn Productions present

A Christmas Story by Wayne Miller

The Charles Young Centre, South Shields

Saturday & Sunday 12th & 13th December 2020


For the past eleven years, Wayne Miller was the creator and star of the phenomenally popular children’s under 7’s pantomime ‘Santa’s Naughty Elf’ at The Customs House Theatre in South Shields.


A show that featured some top North East talent and a show that entertained thousands each Christmas. More than fifty performances during the festive season, a successful sell out run for the South Shields theatre. Something that quickly became a family tradition for many North East audience members.


This Christmas, the creator of ‘Santa’s Naughty Elf’, ‘The Peter Plank Panto’s’ and ‘Wendy The Witch’ is bringing a brand new festive family fun pantomime, perfect for the under 7’s.


A Christmas Story - tells the wonderfully funny tale of how ‘Santa’s Elves’ first became the workshop elves in the North Pole, that we all know and love. It promises to be a mini panto that will be filled with Slapstick Silliness, Musical Mayhem and the most joyous Family Festive Fun.


The production went on sale just a week ago, selling two hundred tickets in 24 hours. A ticket rush that has led to the first two shows to be sold out within the first week on sale. The shows writer Wayne says “That first twenty four hours was incredible, tickets were just flying out. It was great to see how much the people of the North East love pantomime. It’s such a Christmas tradition for so many!”


With that amount of ticket sales in such a short space of time, the shows production company Walton-Gunn Productions knew extra shows would have to be considered, to keep up with demand. “With the ticket sales going the way they did, we had to discuss adding extra shows. We wanted to offer people something special this Christmas after a tough year. So, we wanted to make sure as many people as possible have the chance to enjoy it.” added producer Stacy Walton


A Christmas Story promises to be the show to see this festive season. Something to be enjoyed by all you big kids as well as your little ones.



Two extra shows have now been added for A Christmas story, Sat 12th @ 10:30am & Sunday 13th @ 4:15pm

December 12th & 13th @ The Charles Young Centre, South Shields

All Tickets £6 from

News: Live Theatre seeks new Executive Director & Artistic Director

Newcastle's Live Theatre seeks new Executive Director & Artistic Director who will work together as joint CEOs.  


Live Theatre… has supported generation after generation of new writers, actors and theatre artists.” Lee Hall, Playwright 


Live Theatre, Newcastle, one of the UK’s great new writing theatres, is looking to recruit two new posts of Executive Director and Artistic Director who will work together as joint CEOs. The new leadership structure will see two posts, replacing that of outgoing Chief Executive Jim Beirne who announced he was stepping down back in February 2020 and Artistic Director Joe Douglas who leaves Live Theatre this November.  


Covid-19 put the brakes on the recruitment process for Jim Beirne’s replacement and Jim delayed his departure to steer the company through the challenge of the pandemic. It is now time to proceed with a phased recruitment that will see the appointment of an Executive Director in December 2020 and then the recruitment of the new Artistic Director from January 2021. 


The new Executive Director will be an experienced arts leader who will maintain Live Theatre’s key stakeholder relationships and develop new partnerships, be commercially ‘savvy’ and oversee the property portfolio and finances. The new Artistic Director will be a creative professional with a significant track record of creating exciting work in a variety of settings, wanting to engage with new approaches to making work and engaging communities.  


The new Executive and Artistic Directors will lead highly creative and talented colleagues, respectively the Creative Team and Operations Teams and will have developed leadership skills to work with a wide array of key stakeholders and be supported by a diverse, engaged and very experienced Board of Trustees. Live Theatre recently received £430,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund to support the organisation through to March 2021, and one of the first tasks for our new leadership team will be to steer the next National Portfolio Organisation submission to Arts Council England.  


Lucy Winskell OBE, Chair of the Board, Live Theatre said: “Live Theatre has always been innovative, entrepreneurial and bold and an ambassador for the cultural sector regionally and nationally, with the new partnership of Executive Director and Artistic Director it will continue to be so. In addition to the creative programme and our outreach into diverse communities, we have built our reputation for breaking new ground by creating a model for long term sustainability.  We will all do everything we can to support the Executive and Artistic Directors and to create the conditions for success.” 


Photo: 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 following an eight-week run of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour at London’s National Theatre, and the production was also presented by international festivals in Melbourne, New England and Galway. The Red Lion by Patrick Marber, directed by Max Roberts, starring Stephen Tompkinson, was staged at the Duke of York Theatre in London’s West End and 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, directed by Joe Douglas 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 its two main strands are Live Tales and Live’s Youth Theatre. 


Throughout lockdown the creative team at Live Theatre have continued to develop their artistic, creative and learning programmes and have introduced Live Wired a new and innovative way to bring their work and shows including the recent critically acclaimed 10 Minutes To … Call Home to audiences through digital platforms. 


Those who feel they have what it takes to join this fantastic team, and the vision and drive to take Live Theatre forward, are welcome to apply for one of these exciting and challenging roles. 


The deadline for the role of Executive Director is 10am on Monday 30 November 2020. The deadline for the role of Artistic Director is 10 am on Monday 18 January 2021. For more information see 

Preview: Sleeping Beauty at Billingham Forum

Panto in Billingham is here for 2020, 

Oh yes it is!

Sleeping Beauty

Billingham Forum

Saturday 19th December 2020 - Monday 3rd January 2021


Join the cast at Billingham’s Forum Theatre for our social distanced panto of Sleeping Beauty that promises to keep you awake with lots of laughs that you would usually get from a Billingham Pantomime.


Returning is Forum Theatre favourite Ben Ryan-Davies (Hollyoaks &

Waterloo road) as Prince George. The Hilarious and hashtag cracking

Liam Mellor (Muddles -Snow White 2019) as the lovable fool Chester

and Warren Donnelly (Shameless) as Dad King Charles. Taking the

title role is Ionica Adriana ( BBC’s All together Now) as Princess

Beauty and trying to stop her is Uk’s Premier Dame Robert Squire

swapping the usual dame aprons for evil wings and wands.


Theatre Manager Derek Cooper said ”I’m delighted we are able to

be bring a pantomime to the Forum & Teesside this Christmas

Season. Pantomime is part of our customers Christmas tradition and

I’m glad we are able to keep that tradition for them and spread some

Christmas cheer when it’s needed the most.”


Liam Mellor, The Pantomime’s Writer, Director and Comic said. “I’m

so thankful to the team at the Forum, my cast, crew and the rest of

the creative team for working so hard to make this show happen. We

are very lucky to be able to perform this year and that’s due to

everyone’s hard work. This show will feel a little different this year,

But I promise it will have everything that our audiences have come to

love about Forum Theatre Pantomimes.”


This new production of Sleeping Beauty will be full of comedy

routines, audience-safe participation and all the magic that you

would expect from the panto of your dreams! So, don’t be caught

snoozing and grab your tickets while you can as there isn’t as many

seats as usual for the specially written show to keep festive fun in

the North East this Christmas.


Running Time: Approx 1 Hour 15 Minutes (no interval)



All seats are £17 – Details:

Box office: 01642 552 663


Preview: The Emperor’s New Clothes from Northern Stage

Cast and creative team announced for Northern Stage's Winter Family Show 

The Emperor’s New Clothes


Saturday 12th – Thursday 31st December 2020

This December, Northern Stage and Kitchen Zoo are teaming up to make a brand-new adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic folktale, The Emperor’s New Clothes. The creative teams behind a string of successful Christmas productions including The Snow QueenWOLF! and James and the Giant Peach will create a new festive show for audiences to experience at home from 12-31 December. 

Adapted by Laura Lindow and directed by Mark CalvertThe Emperor’s New Clothes is devised by Bob Nicholson and Hannah Goudie-Hunter and designed by Alison Ashton, with choreography by Martin Hylton and original music by Jeremy Bradfield. The show will be filmed by award-winning North East filmmakers Meerkat Films, and performed by Bob NicholsonHannah Goudie-HunterJeremy Bradfield and Simmie Kaur.

Director Mark Calvert said, “It's been an extraordinary year for all of us and to make something at the end of this extraordinary year is an absolute privilege. The team have been working hard over the last two months to create something that we hope will give our audiences some much needed Christmas cheer and end the year on some magic, and more importantly, some laughs.

The Emperor's New Clothes has to be the biggest con ever pulled in the history of story-telling. Two inept chancers - think Laurel and Hardy or the wet bandits from the classic Christmas film Home Alone - manage to convince an Emperor to go out in their 'all together', exposing them in more ways than one. We feel it's a story so packed full of ridiculous moments, that to call it farce would be too tame. 

“We wanted to tell this story in front of a live audience, and up until the new lockdown was announced that was always the plan. But this added obstacle has also brought other possibilities, and we're really excited about producing the first digital theatre offer for Northern Stage. We're going to be working with the excellent Meerkat Films to film a live theatre show with a touch of Enola Holmes and Chewing Gum thrown in.

Finally, this is my very last Christmas show for Northern Stage so I want to thank everyone who has been to see our productions. It's been a total honour to tell you stories over the last five years, from The Wizard of Oz to James and the Giant Peach, from A Christmas Carol to last year’s Snow Queen - I hope over the years I've given you some end of year joy and some great family story telling.

Kitchen Zoo create playful, energetic and joyful theatre for young audiences and have made two sell out Christmas shows for under 5s at Northern Stage, The Three Bears at Christmas (2018) and WOLF! (2019). Bob and Hannah from Kitchen Zoo said, “We’re over the moon to be joining festive forces with Mark Calvert and Laura Lindow this year to devise a fantastically fun family show. And we’re thrilled to be co-producing Northern Stage's first digital Christmas show.

Simmie Kaur is returning to her native North East to make her professional debut after training at Drama Studio London. She said, "The first bit of theatre I ever saw was at Northern Stage, and now I have the honour to perform on that stage. I’m so excited to be back in my hometown doing what I love most!” 

Cast & creatives

Director Mark Calvert 

Writer Laura Lindow 

Devisers Mark Calvert, Laura Lindow, Bob Nicholson and Hannah Goudie-Hunter

Designer Alison Ashton 

Composer and Musical Director Jeremy Bradfield 

Movement Director Martin Hylton

Cast Bob Nicholson, Hannah Goudie-Hunter, Jeremy Bradfield, Simmie Kaur

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, with a 20% discount for bookings made by Monday 23 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.