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Preview: Stratagem With Alan Partridge at Utilita Arena Newcastle



Stratagem With Alan Partridge

Utilita Arena Newcastle

Wednesday 4th May 2022

Tickets now on sale:  


Love him or loathe him, we all love Alan Partridge. 

Over a multi-decade broadcasting career, this wonderful and surprisingly well-read man has brought delight to millions of ordinary people the nation over.

Which is why, with the country riven with discord, beset with disease, and niggled by bickering, Alan is touring the country with a message of hope, a new way of thinking.

Welcome to Stratagem With Alan Partridge, a live stage show that promises to inform, educate and entertain in approximately equal measure

Wearing a head-mic favoured by TED talkers, market hawkers, TV evangelists, backing singers and carnival barkers, Alan will perform a stage show that combines all of these roles and more. It’s a manifesto for the way we can move forward, a roadmap to a better tomorrow, an ABC for the way to be.

Devised, written, produced, choreographed, performed and funded by Alan Partridge, Stratagem will see Alan - in person but with heavy security - not just treading the boards but pounding them, atop stages graced by such luminaries as Michael Ball, Jack Whitehall and Welsh rockers the Stereophonics.

So join Alan, live on stage, (though patrons are asked not to join Alan live on stage) as he brings Stratagem to a city or selected good-sized town near you.

Stratagem With Alan Partridge. Join him.

Tickets are on sale and are available online from our affiliate Ticketmaster . Please note venue facility and booking fees will apply.


News: Hippodrome’s Youth Dancers Flying The Flag For The North East


Hippodrome’s Youth Dancers Flying The Flag For The North East


Members of Darlington Hippodrome’s Youth Dance company have been selected to represent the North East region as part of an online national showcase at the U.Dance National Youth Dance Festival 2021.

Photo: Ian Paine

Darlington Hippodrome’s 14+ Contemporary Dance group has been selected as one of two regional finalists to represent the North East in the U.Dance National Youth Dance Festival for 2021. Presented by One Dance UK, the U.Dance National Youth Dance Festival invites youth dance groups selected from U.Dance Regional Platforms to experience a summer celebration of dance.  Having reached the regional finals at Dance City for several years, Darlington Hippodrome’s Youth Dance Company are thrilled to be selected to represent their region at the national final for the first time.


Due to the Covid pandemic the competition has had a different format in 2021, with the whole festival taking place online and groups being invited to submit a film of their chosen dance. Darlington Hippodrome engaged with Dave Allinson, a local film-maker to work alongside group leader and choreographer Debbie Harbin from The D Project Dance Company to create a dance piece called Textured Reality.


The piece was inspired by discussions with the dancers about their experiences through the first lockdown. Working face to face where possible and online where necessary, the piece evolved over time and focuses on the different layers of reality the group had to face during periods of isolation.


Lyndsey Middleton, Darlington Hippodrome’s Audience Development and Participation Officer said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been chosen to represent the region at this exciting national event. Whilst lookdown has been a challenge for our young people, we were keen for them to still have access to the best possible dance opportunities, as well as being able to come together - albeit online - and explore what living through this period has meant to them and how it has impacted their mental health and wellbeing. The dance film that the young people have created and choreographed, led by their Dance leader Debbie is a heartfelt representation of their feelings and emotions expressed through dance, and we couldn’t be prouder of their achievements.”


Councillor Andy Keir said “This is great news not just for the talented young dancers involved but for Darlington and the wider region. This is a great opportunity to showcase the talent, drive and determination of the young people of Darlington highlighting an important issue in such a creative way.”


The national showcases will be held online from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 July. As well as the film being broadcast nationally, the festival will include online workshops with leading dance professionals and inspiring dance careers information for young people to take part in.



Casting: Casting Call for Teesside Production


Casting Call for Teesside Production


A new musical is currently under development, featuring some of the brightest musical talents the North East has to offer, and with a name like ‘Steel and Iron’, there is no need to guess the subject matter of its literary location.

NETG Steel and Iron - Preview link

Producer and co-writer Katie (Victoria) Gibson, from Twenty Seven Productions has enlisted an A Class creative team, featuring the likes of chart topping Alistair Griffin, writer John Hoggarth, home grown family group Cattle and Cane, with support from local authorities and additional writing from Paul Smith of Maximo Park. Gibson is excited and keen to ask the question, “What happens to a place that is defined by its heritage and industry, when those are taken away from it?”

This project was first conceived by Twenty Seven in 2016 and since then, they have developed amazing anthems and a strong identity moving forward.

Twenty Seven now look to complete their casting for Steel and Iron, and wish to audition suitable candidates on June 2nd at ARC in Stockton.

Anyone who fits the brief should email by May 29th with their performance CV, preferred time (AM or PM) and confirm they are available for rehearsals from (approximately) July 12th, and performances until August 15th.

This is a paid role. Should performers wish to bring their own instruments, please feel free to do so, but we will have a drum kit and other percussive instruments on the day.

Both ARC and Twenty Seven operate under Government Guideline with regards to COVID 19, so the space will be clean for each auditionee and all of our panel.

Preview: The Cher Show at Sunderland Empire




Arlene Phillips to direct & Oti Mabuse to choreograph

The Cher Show

which comes to the Sunderland Empire in April


The Cher Show

Sunderland Empire
Tuesday 26 - Saturday 30 April 2022


“All of us invent ourselves. Some of us just have more imagination than others.”  CHER


A brand new production of The Cher Show will open next year, with book by Tony and Olivier Award-winning Rick Elice (Jersey Boys, The Addams Family, Peter and the Starcatcher), direction by Arlene Phillips (Saturday Night Fever, Starlight Express, Grease), choreography by Oti Mabuse (two-time Strictly Come Dancing champion) and costume design by Gabriella Slade (Six, In The Heights, Spice World 2019 Tour).  The tour will open at Leicester’s Curve on 15 April 2022 and will continue through to 1 April 2023, visiting Sunderland from 26th April 2022 for one week.

Arlene Phillips said of directing The Cher Show, “I have been a fan of Cher since I first heard I Got You Babe in the mid-sixties and cannot wait to direct her musical. I love stories about strong inspirational legends like Cher and I am proud to be joined in the creative team by two women who have already made a huge impact in their careers: Oti Mabuse as choreographer of the many different genres in the show and Gabriella Slade for the iconic costume designs. This exciting show will be a non-stop journey of Cher’s rollercoaster life, bringing to the audience Cher’s iconic songs, glorious dance numbers, unique costumes and her epic drama. All they need to do is come along and Believe.”

Oti Mabuse said, “I cannot WAIT for audiences to see what we’re doing with The Cher Show. Cher’s music covers so many styles, genres and rhythms, which makes it so exciting to choreograph. Every song in the show is a hit and we are going full out with exciting routines and movement. It’s going to be a party! Cher has been such an inspiration to so many people and this musical is going to be a celebration of everything people love about her.” 

Gabriella Slade added, “Cher is quite literally a style icon. Her fashion moments pushed the boundaries of the time and continue to do so. I’m so excited to be taking huge influence and inspiration from these looks as I embark on creating the costume design for this new production of The Cher Show.”

From a young child with big dreams, the shy daughter of an Armenian American truck driver, to the dizzying heights of global stardom, The Cher Show tells the incredible story of Cher’s meteoric rise to fame.  Cher takes the audience by the hand and introduces them to the influential people in her life, from her mother and Sonny Bono, to fashion designer and costumier Bob Mackie.  It shows how she battled the men who underestimated her, fought the conventions and, above all, was a trailblazer for independence. 

The musical is packed with 35 of her biggest hits, including ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’, ‘I Got You Babe’, ‘Strong Enough’, ‘The Shoop Shoop Song’ and ‘Believe’. 

With over 100 million record sales, an Academy Award®, an Emmy®, a Grammy®, three Golden Globes® and an award from The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Cher has influenced popular culture more than most.  Her on-screen career started in 1971 with her weekly television show that attracted 30 million viewers a week, and went on to include starring roles in iconic films from Moonstruck, for which she won the Oscar for Best Actress, to Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!, which prompted the New York Magazine to realise “every single movie—no matter how flawless—would be infinitely better if it included Cher.”  Her ‘Farewell Tour’ became the highest grossing music tour in history – in true Cher fashion, she followed up her ‘Farewell Tour’ with two further sell-out, worldwide arena tours.  She is the only artist in history to have a number one hit in the Billboard chart for six consecutive decades; an achievement that caused Vogue to deem her “eternally relevant and the ruler of outrĂ© reinvention”.  She became known as the Queen of Reinvention. 

In the 1990s, she established The Cher Charitable Foundation to support causes around the world.  She has been a long-time donor and supporter of Habitat for Humanity, The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and Keep A Child Alive, an organisation that helps to combat the AIDs epidemic.  Most recently, she co-founded Free the Wild to help rescue Kaavan the Asian elephant from Islamabad zoo.

Written by Tony Award-winning Rick Elice, The Cher Show made its debut on Broadway in 2018 in a production that earned two Tony Awards and delighted fans from around the world.  This new production will be the European premiere.

The Cher Show UK & Ireland Tour will have lighting design by Ben Cracknell and sound design by Dan Samson.  Music producer will be Gary Hickeson.


On The Web:


Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @TheCherShowUK



Tickets are now available online from our affiliates ATG Tickets:

Preview: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Whitley Bay Playhouse




Playhouse Whitley Bay confirms Linda Lusardi to star in Christmas Panto


Christmas Pantomime: Blue Genie Entertainment presents

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Whitley Bay Playhouse

Saturday 4th December 2021 to Sunday 2nd January 2022


Playhouse Whitley Bay isset to reopen its doors as lockdown restrictions end. The good news is that the Christmas panto returns to Whitley Bay Christmas 2021. One of Britain’s most famous models Linda Lusardi will star as The Wicked Queen in Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs

Mirror Mirror On the Wall, Whitley Bay’s Christmas Pantomime is the greatest of them all! Having missed out last Christmas due to lockdown restrictions, The Playhouse Whitley Bay welcomes you back for a fairy tale adventure when the highly-acclaimed Christmas pantomime returns with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Linda shot to fame in the early 80’s as one of Britain’s best loved models. Her career has spanned nearly 30 years and includes TV, film, and stage.

Also Joining Linda on stage will be her model daughter Lucy Kane who plays Snow White, a talented singer who blew judges away on The Voice in 2017. Playhouse legend Steve Walls returns as Muddles, providing silliness aplenty. What’s more, Daniel Mawston, the North East’s favourite Dame, is back as Patsy the Cook dishing up platefuls of comedy goodness.

Will fair Snow White escape the clutches of the Wicked Queen with the help of the Magnificent Seven? Join us for the biggest panto of 2021 to find out. Expect spectacular scenery, a grand sing-a-long and enough buffoonery to last you a lifetime.

Producer Gary Telfer commented:I’m Thrilled to be bringing Panto back to North Tyneside after a year away. This year is going to be our biggest and best Pantomime season ever. We have so many great surprises in store, and I can’t wait to entertain the people of North Tyneside again. Linda is going to be a fabulous Wicked Queen and having Steve Walls back for his eleventh year at the playhouse is fantastic news for the fans of the show. We can’t wait to get started.


Tickets are now on sale online from our affiliate Ticketmaster UK:


News: Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre and Opera House announces its return to rep theatre


Grade I Victorian Venue Brings Back Rep Theatre after more than 30 years


Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre and Opera House announces its return to rep theatre, 34 years after the last company moved out of the venue.

The launch of Tyne Theatre Rep comes weeks after the venue was unsuccessful in its application for funding from the 2nd round of the Culture Recovery Fund. The news was a huge blow for the venue leaving them wondering what the coming months would bring as they tentatively work on their plans to reopen later this month.

Waiting In The Wings - 
West End Cast

The company is a collaboration between the Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Tyne Audio and West End Prep. Their mission is to become a regional company with a national reputation, cementing its place as a professional production house.

Theatre Director, Joanne Johnson says “We are really excited about this collaborative effort which gives the Theatre the opportunity to once again produce a range of live events from and for a community of theatre professionals and theatre lovers across the North East and beyond. Despite the difficulties of the last year, we are looking forward to embarking on this new chapter for our historic theatre and we encourage people to stay tuned to see what Tyne Theatre Rep has planned for the future.”

Despite its infancy, Tyne Theatre Rep is already producing a series of highly acclaimed musical theatre concerts, Waiting in the Wings, bringing together West End stars to perform classics from stage and screen. It’s third instalment on the 18th June will welcome the return of a socially distanced audience as well as continuing to be live streamed, taking the step into hybrid events, making theatre accessible to all.

West End Prep Founder and newly appointed Creative Director of Tyne Theatre Rep Mark Hedges said “The experience and thrill of live theatre has the power to change lives. It certainly changed mine. I am thrilled that our exciting new theatre company performing out of the glorious Tyne Theatre and Opera House will create work for likeminded Creatives, Designers and Actors. Making theatre has always been a passion of mine and now I get to do it in a city which I love and in a building which deserves to be filled with enthralling, exciting and thought-provoking entertainment”. Mark brings a wealth of experience to his new role having previous worked on a number of West End shows including as Resident Director of The Phantom of the Opera and as Children’s Director for the UK tours of Les Miserables, Mary Poppins and Oliver.

Going forward, the company plans to produce a variety of plays, workshops, concerts, and musical productions. Plans also include taking shows produced in house on tour to other regional theatres across the country.

Unlike traditional repertory companies, Tyne Theatre Rep will not be creating a resident company to perform in its shows and future roles will be cast via casting calls. A database of production and technical staff will also be created and used to staff future productions.

Jonathan Mellor, Director of Tyne Audio shared, “During the pandemic, Tyne Audio has worked extensively with the Tyne Theatre and Opera House providing online shows and bringing the theatre direct to people’s homes. By continuing to keep the theatre alive and active, we have worked together to produce various shows including comedians, bands, and musical theatre. Tyne Theatre Rep will continue this work, creating a Northern theatre community within the walls of the beautiful Victorian venue. We are looking forward to building upon this work, producing professional theatre and providing opportunities within the North East.” 

Tyne Theatre Rep will be unveiling future productions over the coming months.


On The Web:


News: The Customs House Adds Charity Show To Help Local Family Battling Cancer


The Customs House Adds Charity Show To Help Local Family Battling Cancer


The House Is Yours: For Willow and Everly

South Shields Customs House

Tuesday 18th May 2021


The Customs House has announced that they will be presenting a very special charity variety show.

On Tuesday 18th May, The House Is Yours: For Willow and Everly, will see profits going to help Willow (9) and Everly (5), whose mother Rachelle is battling terminal cancer. 

Her husband Keir, originally from South Shields worked at The Customs House for more than a decade and has been touched that former colleagues were keen to raise money for the girls.

Rachelle, Kier and their family
Keir commented: "I joined The Customs House as a naive 15-year-old way back in 2000 and spent 12 years brilliant years there making friends and memories for life. To this day it has a special place in my affections and it gave me the experiences that shaped me as a person.

"With everything that the venue has gone through owing to Coronavirus for Ray to reach out and make this incredibly kind gesture to my family is incredibly thoughtful and humbling.

 "As a family we are going through a gut-wrenching journey that sadly, at some point, will result in two beautiful children losing their wonderful, amazing mother and I my wife.

"However, the warmth, love and kindness that has been extended to us by friends, family, colleagues and now former employers has been nothing short of overwhelming.

"On behalf of the four of us, I want to thank Ray, his team and everyone who attends the show for their generosity. It's moments like this where you realise that you may leave somewhere but you never leave the family"

Rachelle and Kier on their wedding day
Rachelle married Keir in April 2019. They received the harrowing diagnosis of cervical cancer in November 2020. Rachelle (33) has heroically fought the disease every step of the way, helped and supported by Keir, but despite audacious efforts from radiotherapy, chemotherapy and brachytherapy, the family have now been informed that the cancer has sadly spread to Rachelle’s lungs.

Rachelle is currently receiving palliative care from Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, her family around her, fully intent on making her remaining time, which, if chemotherapy begins to work, could be as much as 17 months, but could be as little as nine months, filled with as much joy and love as possible.

Following the family revealing the dire situation they are facing to friends and neighbours, they have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support they have received. With Rachelle’s blessing, a GoFundMe page has been set up to raise funds to support their beautiful young girls after the passing of their dear mother, ensuring that they will not miss out on anything. The addition of the variety show at The Customs House; The House is Yours: For Willow and Everly, intends to significantly boost the funds raised for two very special little girls.

Customs House Executive Director Ray Spencer said, “The Customs House team, in particular those involved in the show, were really shocked to hear the dreadful news and prognosis for Rachelle and desperately sad for Keir and his family. We hope by doing the show we demonstrate to the Waugh family that they are not alone. We hope the community will buy a ticket and help support the girls’ future needs in this the most difficult of times”.

To donate to the go fund me page go to: 



The House Is Yours: For Willow and Everly takes place on Tuesday 18th May at The Customs House with tickets priced at £12. They are available online at or from the box office on: 0191 454 1234.


Preview: Come Back Home at Darlington Hippodrome

Live Theatre Is On Its Way Back Home

Come Back Home

Darlington Hippodrome

Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th June 2021

A local north east theatre company will herald the return of live theatre with a specially devised, socially distanced ‘Come Back Home’ musical theatre concert at Darlington Hippodrome in June.

Following one of the most difficult periods for theatres worldwide there are glimmers of hope for a return to normality just around the corner.

Having been just five weeks away from opening night of a show back in March 2020, Darlington Operatic Society are now poised to be the first to bring live theatre back to Darlington Hippodrome with a specially conceived concert they are calling their Come Back Home show.

Audiences are promised over two hours of musical theatre hit after hit with a fusion of live performance and video projection following all the social distancing guidelines for performance currently in place. The show will feature songs from the likes of Les Miserables, Cabaret, Dear Evan Hansen, The Book of Mormon, Six, The Bodyguard and many, many more.

Spokesman Julian Cound said “We have been working on this production since September of 2020 – we originally hoped we could present it in December last year but the third lockdown put a halt to that. We are in a great position to be one of the first companies to bring the thrill and joy of live theatre to Darlington audiences in a safe atmosphere.”

Julian continued “Come Back Home will run for just six performances from Thursday 24 to Sunday 27 June to a socially distanced auditorium. Almost a quarter of the tickets have already been snapped up and we have only been on sale for a couple of weeks so it would be advisable to book early. We are so grateful to Creative Darlington and Darlington For Culture for their financial assistance with this production.”


Come Back Home runs at Darlington Hippodrome from Thursday 24 to Sunday 27 June with matinee performances on the Saturday and Sunday.

To book call the Darlington Hippodrome Box Office on 01325 405405 or book online at


Preview: Jack And The Beanstalk at Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House



FEE… FI… FO… FUM… Theatre’s Back For Everyone!


Britain’s Got Talent Winner George Sampson takes the lead role in Jack and the Beanstalk at Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre & Opera House this coming Half Term

Jack And The Beanstalk

Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House

Saturday 29th May – Sunday 6th June 2021



At the end of May, during the school half-term, the Tyne Theatre & Opera House will be presenting their socially distanced family pantomime ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. The production will be the first show of 2021 with an audience at the venue and stars Britain’s Got Talent winning dancer George Sampson as the panto’s all action hero ‘Jack’ and the Westgate Road theatre is looking likely to sell out their entire run for the half-term week. 


Performing alongside George Sampson in Jack and the Beanstalk, which runs from Saturday 29th May – Sunday 6th June 2021, are some of the North East’s favourite panto talent including the return of Tyne Theatre funny-man Charlie Richmond as Simple Simon, Karen The Mam’s Lewis Denny as Dame Trott, stand-up comedian and actor Micky Cochrane as the Giant’s henchman Fleshcreep and Gateshead’s Robyn McEnaney as Jack’s sweetheart Jill.

Guy Pascall, Director, said: “It’s nice to be sharing some good news after the past year we’ve all had and our Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime is going to be a real treat for Newcastle families over the half-term school holidays. I can’t wait to see the audience’s reaction to watching Britain’s Got Talent street-dancer George Sampson re-creating his world-famous winning dance routine to “Singin’ in the Rain” for this panto”.

Producer Jezz Weatherall added: “The production is a specially designed 75 minute, socially distanced, rib-tickling family pantomime, with a reduced capacity and no interval to minimise crowding. We only have a very limited number of tickets for this show, so if you want to join in the fun and laughter at the Tyne Theatre & Opera House I would advise booking early to avoid missing out”.


Tickets are on sale and are available from the theatre box office and online from our affiliates Eventim UK:



News: 10 new Northern Stage commissions coming to North East neighbourhoods in June

 10 new Northern Stage commissions coming to North East neighbourhoods in June

As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, Northern Stage is inviting people to get Out on the Toon this summer, starting with a series of free outdoor events to reconnect artists and audiences in their local neighbourhoods throughout June.

Artistic Director Natalie Ibu says, “At Northern Stage, we’re nothing without independent artists and makers so they’re at the heart of our programme as we go Out on the Toon to meet audiences where they are as many of us step out of our bubbles back into public life. The region offers the most exciting stage in the North East – a diverse range of places and spaces from the many green parks in Newcastle and Gateshead to the residential suburbs of Sunderland and North Tyneside, from rural County Durham and Northumberland to the beautiful beaches in South Shields - and our Neighbourhood artist commissions take their inspiration from those very spaces. We want audiences to know they can rely on Northern Stage to bring them stories, no matter what.


Following an open call, 10 North East theatre makers have been selected to create work in 9 of the region’s 12 local authorities, breathing new life into the places and spaces that have been the backdrop to their lockdown, celebrating the diversity of our region and bringing communities together.

Mam Tackles the Climate Crisis

In Consett, County Durham, Tracy Gillman will write and direct Mam Tackles the Climate Crisis - a site-specific show performed by Jackie Lye (Wet House/Live Theatre). Mam shares stories with passersby about her frustrated attempts to recycle everything, including her relationship with her daughter.


Tubtime Unplugged - Rachel Stockdale

In North Tyneside, Rachel Stockdale performs an intimate piece of theatre created in response to her favourite pastime of FaceTiming in the bath. Directed by Jake Smith (The Hound of the Baskervilles/Northern Stage), Tub Time: Unplugged is an ode to the nation’s favourite lockdown pastimes and a look to the future.

The Weebles aka Conversation Piece by Juan Munoz in South Shields

In South Shields, director Mark Maughan will work with award-winning playwright Lee Mattinson to create talking points around Juan Munoz’s Conversation Piece at Littlehaven Beach - 22 sculptures locally known as ‘The Weebles’. After a year inside our own houses and heads, audiences will be invited to eavesdrop into conversations about what we’ve missed most and what we want to change post-pandemic.

What's That Dance - Megan and Jenny
Photo: Ellen Dixon

In the residential streets of Heaton in Newcastle, Whats That Dance co-creators Megan Brown and Jenny Chrisp will lead a dance performance for local women of all ages to take part in to highlight inequality and celebrate the strength and resilience women have shown throughout the pandemic.

In Sunderland, Theatre Space NE will create a collection of short stories and films based on the lived experiences of local residents during the pandemic. Expressing moments of sadness, humour and hope, Thanks for the Chat will capture the mood of the city just before the first national lockdown, helping people to reconnect with their community as restrictions ease. 

Georgina Lance - Photo: Mark Slater

In Newcastle, Georgina Lance will perform Black Femme Priority, exploring how movement can be used for healing and liberation inspired by her own experience during lockdown and the Black Lives Matter protests.

Hannah and Bob from Kitchen Zoo in The Emperor's New Clothes
Photo: Pamela Raith

In Gateshead, Kitchen Zoo will create Story Trails - an audio adventure for 3-7 year olds and their grown-ups that takes audiences for a stroll through some well-known stories and reimagines the local landscape.

Chewin' on a Brick by Scott Turnbull. Photo: Chris Bishop

In Stockton, award-winning actor Scott Turnbull will perform Chewin’ on a Brick - a series of semi-autobiographical short stories, handmade animations and loving anecdotes about growing up in Stockton on Tees, in the style of a guided tour with moments of magic realism and dark humour.

Bordello Collective 'Verto'

By the River Tyne in Hexham, the Tees in Middlesbrough and the Wear in Durham, Teesside-based Queer arts group Bordello Collective weave together spoken word, live music and song in Verto - immersive theatrical performances along three different North East riverside walkways reminding us to reconnect with ourselves and the world around us.

Bill Quay Farm story trail - owl puppet by Georgia Hill

Children aged 3-5 years and their grown-ups will help Orville the anxious owl take his first flight on a family story trail around Bill Quay Farm in Gateshead, written by children's playwright Danielle Slade, performed by Charlotte Ryder with puppets by Georgia Hill.


Independent producer Michael Barrass, who led the artist call out and selection process for the Neighbourhood programme, said, “We were bowled over by the response to the open call - there were so many brilliant ideas it was difficult to whittle it down to just 10. We were really impressed by the range and the quality of the applications and we’re excited to see what these North East theatre makers create for audiences to experience in their local neighbourhoods this summer right across the region.” 


Northern Stage’s 2021 season, This Is Us, is a response to the world we live in, making culture more accessible to more people through a programme of work that reflects diverse stories and communities. The rest of the programme will be announced shortly, including the first show Natalie Ibu will direct for Northern Stage when the theatre reopens in the autumn.


Northern Stage’s free digital programme is still available to watch online and will also be screening at venues around the region in May, including Newcastle City Library and selected library branches across the city, anti-food waste cafe, The Magic Hat Cafe, and Wallsend community charity, Kid’s Kabin, with more venues to be confirmed.


For more details, including where and when to see Neighbourhood events for free throughout June as part of Northern Stage’s Out on the Toon programme, visit