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27/10/2021

News: ‘BBC New Comedy Awards’ Final to be held at Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre & Opera House

 

‘BBC New Comedy Awards’ Final to be held at Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre & Opera House

Wednesday 3rd November 2021


The Tyne Theatre and Opera House is delighted to announce that the BBC New Comedy Awards 2021 Final will be held and recorded at the Theatre on Wednesday 3rd November to be televised nationally later that week.

The annual BBC competition series is a nationwide hunt to find the best new stand-up comics. Since the prestigious awards first aired in 1995, they have helped launch the careers of many of the UK's best-loved comedians John Bishop, Sarah Millican, Peter Kay, Jason Manford, Russell Howard, Joe Lycett, John Oliver to name a few. The winner will receive £1,000, plus a paid commission to write and perform in a 30-minute audio pilot, mentored by a BBC comedy commissioner.

This year’s heats took place in Croydon, Wolverhampton, Halifax, Swansea, Dundee and Portrush, while the decision to hold the Final in the North East follows a BBC announcement, in September, that Newcastle would be named their first ever City of Comedy. The Final forms the centrepiece in a BBC Comedy Festival, which will be held annually in each nominated city.

The evening is hosted by a top award-winning comedian and judged by a panel of comedy experts, including newly appointed BBC Young Person’s Comedy Laurette, Mawaan Rizwan. The Final will be broadcast on BBC One on Friday 5th November.

The Tyne Theatre and Opera House, affectionately described by John Bishop as “a chocolate box” during his recent show at the Theatre, is known for attracting some of the biggest names in comedy. Sarah Millican (runner-up in 2005), Chris Ramsey, Romesh Ranganathan, Dylan Moran, Katherine Ryan, Ed Byrne, Jimmy Carr, Ben Elton and James Acaster are amongst those who have all taken the Tyne Theatre’s stage in recent years, making the venue the perfect place to launch the career of a future star.

Tickets for television events produced before a live studio audience are free and distributed in excess of venue capacity to compensate for "no shows". Seats are limited and tickets holders will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the capacity of the venue. Admission is not guaranteed for any ticket holder and the production reserve the right to refuse any person/s admission. 18:00 is an estimate for doors open, not the starting time.

Theatre Director Joanne Johnson says: “We couldn’t be more delighted to be hosting the BBC New Comedy Awards Final. As one of Newcastle’s leading venues for comedy, we know what a special place the Theatre is for audiences and comics alike. We’re grateful to have the chance to showcase our beautiful, independent Theatre on a national scale and can’t wait to demonstrate what a thriving city Newcastle is for comedy and entertainment.”

Free tickets will be available to book from 10am on Monday 25th October via the Tyne Theatre’s website: bit.ly/TTbbccomedy


Preview: The Nutcracker Re-Miced at Bishop Auckland Town Hall & Durham Gala

 Christmas show takes young audiences on festive Durham adventure


The Nutcracker Re-Miced 

Bishop Auckland Town Hall 

Tuesday 30 November - Sunday 5 December 2021

Durham Gala 

Tuesday 7 December - Friday 24 December 2021

Young audiences can help three mice save a little girl’s Christmas, as a children’s festive show takes to the stage in County Durham from next month.

Durham’s Gala Theatre and Bishop Auckland Town Hall will both be hosting a special production of The Nutcracker Re-Miced in the lead-up to Christmas.

Set in the clock tower of Durham Castle, three mice Spike, Cookie and Molly are preparing for Christmas when they become involved in a mysterious quest. With the help of an intriguing toy which has been left behind at Durham Station, the mice take part in a festive adventure to save Christmas for a young girl.

Written by Laura Turner, who has created more than 40 original plays and adaptations, and directed by North East director Jake Smith, the Christmas show will take children and their grown-ups on a fantastic festive journey filled with music and excitement.

The show will also star all North East actors, including Benjamin Storey, Rebecca Tebbett and Jessica Brady playing the three mice, and will have original music composed by David J Barton.

In a twist on the classic Nutcracker story and the Hickory Dickory Dock nursery rhyme, young audiences aged three and over can enjoy this sparkling new, music-filled production at two venues in the county.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “We are really excited to be showing this original Christmas production at not one, but two venues in the county. With a cast of fantastic actors, and written, composed, and directed by talented creators, The Nutcracker Re-Miced is a must-see event for children and their grown-ups full of live music and adventure.

“Set in Durham and featuring some of the city’s well-known locations, this show is very much a County Durham production created by local talent and demonstrates why the county is bidding for UK City of Culture 2025.”

The Nutcracker Re-Miced will be shown at Bishop Auckland Town Hall from 30 November to 5 December, before moving on to Gala from 7 December to 24 December.

At Gala, The Nutcracker Re-Miced will run alongside the theatre’s family Christmas panto Robin Hood, which will be on stage from 24 November to 9 January.

Tickets:

Tickets for The Nutcracker Re-Miced are priced at £8, or £7.50 for groups of ten or more, and family tickets are £30. British Sign Language performances will be held on 1 December at 1.30pm at Bishop Auckland Town Hall, and on 10 December at 1.30pm at Gala.

To book tickets for each venue, visit www.bishopaucklandtownhall.org.uk and

www.galadurham.co.uk

26/10/2021

Preview: Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor at Newcastle Theatre Royal

Stellar Cast Announced for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat


Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor 

Newcastle Theatre Royal 

Tuesday 24 May – Saturday 2 June 2022

Casting is announced for the sensational brand-new production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which is set to light up the stage at Newcastle Theatre Royal Tuesday 24 May – Saturday 2 June 2022 direct from two triumphant seasons at The London Palladium.


Linzi Hateley - Joseph’s original, Olivier Award-Nominated Narrator - will be sharing the stage once again with Jason Donovan who will reprise his role as Pharaoh and Jac Yarrow as he prepares to don the famous coat in the titular role on tour.

Linzi Hateley is an Olivier Award nominee and Theatre World Award winner who has starred on Broadway, in the West End, with the RSC, and at the National Theatre. She now returns to the role of the Narrator, having first starred in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 1991 opposite Jason Donovan and Phillip Schofield at the London Palladium – for which she received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. 

Jason Donovan will return in the role of Pharaoh. He was originally in the show when he made his defining stage performance as the title character of Joseph in the 1990s, in a sold-out 18-month run which produced a No.1 single and best-selling soundtrack album. Jason raised the roof of the London Palladium during the show’s 2019 and 2021 engagements as Pharaoh, who rocks ‘Song of the King’ in the musical.

Jac Yarrow caused a sensation when he made his professional stage debut playing Joseph, following in the footsteps of a line of stars who have previously played the title character. His portrayal of Joseph won him unanimous acclaim and an Olivier Award nomination, with his rendition of ‘Close Every Door To Me’ regularly stopping the show with standing ovations.

Producer Michael Harrison said: “After two sensational runs at The London Palladium, I am delighted to bring this joyous show to the Newcastle Theatre Royal next year as Joseph prepares to unite audiences and spread happiness across the UK. Our ‘dream team’ casting will enchant newcomers and longstanding fans alike; Jac Yarrow has wowed audiences and critics with his spectacular debut and attendees should be prepared for the roof to be raised when Jason Donovan steps on stage. Linzi Hateley is confirmed to return to her role as Narrator when we perform in Newcastle having delivered a delightful dose of nostalgia to audiences at special performances of Joseph at the London Palladium this summer. GO! GO! GO! JOSEPH!"

Audiences and critics were unanimous in their acclaim for the legendary musical - the first major collaboration by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber – when it returned to the London Palladium in 2019 and again in 2021.

Released as a concept album in 1969, the stage version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has become one of the world’s most beloved family musicals. The multi-award-winning show, which began life as a small-scale school concert, has been performed hundreds of thousands of times including multiple runs in the West End and on Broadway, international number one tours, and productions in over 80 countries as far afield as Austria and Zimbabwe and from Israel to Peru! The show features songs that have gone on to become pop and musical theatre standards, including Any Dream Will Do, Close Every Door To Me, Jacob and Sons, There’s One More Angel In Heaven and Go Go Go Joseph. 

Told entirely through song with the help of the Narrator, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat follows the story of Jacob’s favourite son Joseph and his eleven brothers. After being sold into hardship by the brothers, he ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the advances of Potiphar’s wife. While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled showman, the Pharaoh. As Joseph strives to resolve Egypt’s famine, he becomes Pharaoh’s right-hand man and eventually reunites with his family.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is directed by Laurence Connor. Laurence’s credits include the acclaimed London production of School of Rock and the Tony-Award nominated production on Broadway, the recent London productions of Miss Saigon and Chess, the international arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar and he is also the Co-Director of the new version of Les Misérables which has enjoyed worldwide success including Broadway, UK and US tours. He is the director of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre.

JoAnn M Hunter (who has 20 Broadway shows to her credit, including School of Rock and On A Clear Day You Can See Forever) is the show’s choreographer, set and costume design are by the award-winning Morgan Large with Ben Cracknell as Lighting Designer and Gareth Owen as Sound Designer.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is produced by Michael Harrison.

Photos from London Palladium production: Tristram Kenton

Tickets:

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat plays at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Tuesday 24 May – Saturday 4 June 2022. Tickets are priced from £20.00 and can be purchased at www.theatreroyal.co.uk or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010.


REVIEW: Waitress at Sunderland Empire.

 Waitress.

Sunderland Empire.

Until Saturday 30th October 2021


We had been looking forward to seeing Waitress after the reports from across the pond of its success on Broadway.  Critics had praised the entertaining score in the musical about life in an American roadside diner.  The show finally arrived at the Sunderland Empire this week and performed on the opening night to a packed house. We love checking out new musicals and so we're very excited to see what the fuss was about.

The programme carried little more than a cast and creatives list. There was no articles about the background to the show. I decided to do some digging about the story behind the musical.  It is based upon the 2007 film, also called Waitress, which was written by Adrienne Shelly. Before the movie was released, Shelly was murdered in her apartment and so she was unable to witness the success the movie had, taking $22 million from its $1.5 million budget.

In 2015 the musical adaptation opened in Cambridge, USA before going to Broadway in 2016. This adaptation has music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles. The book is by Jessie Nelson, who, as her biography in the programme notes, spent 10 years as a waitress herself. The show went on to transfer to the West End of London in 2019, and had two successful pre-pandemic years there.

So what's the show about? Tales about waitresses in roadside diners are nothing new. From sublime 1998 film Mystic Pizza through to the dreadful musical adaptation of Happy Days, this has been a well used genre of storytelling.  Thus it is no surprise that the tale has a familiar feel about it. Three generations of waitress are working in a roadside diner that specialises in making pies, each waitress trying to make ends meet.

Evie Hoskins appears as the youngest, playing Dawn , a waitress who is trying to find love between her hobbies of collecting turtles and historical reenactments. The last time we saw Evie Hoskins was in the brilliant production of Carrie the Musical at the Southwark Playhouse. Thus we knew she was very capable of singing after witnessing her brilliant range before.

The, possibly, eldest waitress is Becky, performed by Sandra Marvin, who many in the audience would have recognized from Emmerdale. She is the sassy streetwise waitress who performs her duties with attitude and this results in many light hearted moments in the production.
Then there is the middle waitress, indeed, the central character of the production, called Jenna. Lucie Jones, who was a finalist in The X Factor in 2009 and went on to represent the United Kingdom at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest has her fair share of musical numbers as Jenna, and indeed, was ever given plenty of opportunities to belt them out.

Jenna is married to Earl, who was performed on this particular performance by the very capable understudy Donal Brennan. The cover did a fine job of filling the shoes of the regular cast member. Jenna’s relationship with Earl appears somewhat abusive and it is no surprise when she announces that she plans to leave him. In making Earl’s character so controlling, the audience are quickly on the side of Jenna. 

As recognized in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, waitresses in US are heavily reliant upon tips. That's why they guard their sections very closely and put the charm on in order to raise their earning potential. Jenna's husband, Earl, feels that he can help himself to her earnings because he is the man of the house. He is very possessive over Jenna and this is, at times, worrying. Very early on in the show, Jenna realizes she is pregnant after a drunkard episode with her husband. She is not pleased and quickly resolves that she needs to leave Earl. Indeed, she tries to keep her pregnancy a secret from the kitchen staff member Cal (Christopher D Hunt). 

As someone who worked in a similar situation, I feel Waitress has an authentic feel about the dynamics of diner life.  You have the conflict between the kitchen and the floor staff. The floor staff are keen to maximize her tips, whereas the kitchen is keen to get the food out. In addition to the staff we have the happy customers and we also have the awkward types: the sort of person who wants their breakfast tomatoes on a separate plate and insists on having the water delivered first and the coffee arriving with the main course. One such individual is Joe, performed by Brookside's Michael Starke. Joe appears initially cantankerous. But Joe he tips well and is an observant chap who is won the first to recognize Jenna's issues.

The final piece in the Waitress jigsaw is the doctor  to whom Jenna goes to for advice and medical support. Doctor Pomatter (Busted's Matt J Willis) has an interesting bedside manner. He  is assisted by nurse Norma who quickly establishes what is going on. The role of Norma gives actor Scarlett Gabriel opportunities for almost comedy bordering on farce.

As I mentioned already, the workplace is a frequently visited trope. Workers trying to get on, making the most of their situation, trying to see humor in the customers and their fellow workmates. There is joy, in particular with Dawn's attempts at finding love.

As I have already outlined, there is the trouble in the idea that Jenna's relationship with her husband is somewhat abusive. But there is also redemption as she is trying to escape, rather than accept, such a relationship.  The production gives the Sunderland audience plenty of opportunities to laugh. There's regular moments of comedy and the cast are very good at their timing to ensure maximum effect.

On stage there is a band, under musical director Ellen Campbell, which adds to the visual impact of the production.

As somebody who likes tales of ordinary life, I was enjoying the show.  The one surprise, given the press comments that had from the Broadway production, were the songs themselves. A problem with many new musicals, and perhaps this has always been the case, is producing musicals with songs that are memorable. A brilliant production is one where you have an ear worm, a song that you sing in as you're leaving the theatre. The musicals with unremarkable songs tend to disappear from memory. Unfortunately, this production has very little in the way of memorable songs. They serve their purpose in delivering the exposition. They're also all very well sung and the live band to a brilliant job performing them. But there is very little about the music to recommend rushing out and buying the cast recording.  Having said that, in my opinion, I've got to say I did like seeing Oliver Copeland on his double bass under the streetlamp in centre stage for one the songs.  I also found Michael Starke's rendition of Take It From An Old Man as one of my personal highlights of the show. 

Lucy Jones, as you could imagine, is a very accomplished singer and is given plenty of opportunities to show off her range. Likewise Matt Jay-Willis has the opportunity to feature on a couple of occasions, which clearly went down well with the audience. 

So there you have it.  A tale which is in itself entertaining, but nothing that original. Songs which are very well performed by both musicians and singers are like. But they are not particularly memorable.  And yet somehow, putting the package together, it made for a very pleasant Monday evening's performance. The whole was better than the sum of the source material. 


Some critics may criticise it for being a bit too formulaic but, just like your average soap opera on television, stories about normal people doing normal stuff have been popular as long as storytelling itself.  In normal human lives, there are stories to be told.  Waitress is a decent attempt at pushing such a story across thanks to great performances by all involved and a bright colorful set and costumes. 


Review: Stephen Oliver. 

Photos: Johann Persson

 

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Tickets:

Waitress comes to Sunderland Empire from Mon 25 Oct - Sat 30 Oct 2021.

Tickets available in person at the Box Office on High Street West, or online from our affiliates ATG Tickets: https://tinyurl.com/WaitressSunderland

*Calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your standard network charge. Booking fees may apply to telephone and online bookings.


22/10/2021

REVIEW: Haddock & Chips at Gosforth Civic Theatre

Haddock & Chips by Janet Plater

Gosforth Civic Theatre

Until Saturday 23 October 2021

Touring the North East of England from Thursday 21 October to Saturday 13 November 2021.


One wonderful aspect about theatre is that it is able to tell our story. Whilst television is increasingly centered around London and Manchester, the experiences of life in the North East only gets presented on stage. Haddock & Chips is a wonderful comedy, centered around a chippy in Whitley Bay, that is touring the North East for the next few weeks.

Phillippa Wilson and Joe Caffrey appear as Brenda and Bob, who spend their day serving various hot food with chips. Despite the fact that the menu on the wall offers salad boxes, most customers want either cod or haddock. Bob has been working at the shop since his youth and now he directly runs the establishment, using his Ford Transit van to pick up the fish daily from North Shields. Brenda has been buying her fish suppers from the shop for years and now she serves the meals with an extra serving of inquisitive chat as you wait 5 minutes for the fish to fry. This could be "where are you from?" or as a caring neighbour, who acts as the region's second social services.

In this two hander play the cast have to, for example, disappear to get a bulb to change a light fitting and reappear as one of the customers or local police - and this works really well. In Phillippa Wilson and Joe Caffrey we have a pair of very experienced actors who know how to deliver an entertaining and engaging play. This play feels local, not just by what Janet Plater's fine script says, but how they say it. You have met each of the characters involved from the fairground operative through to the canny policeman. Despite the potential limitations of a small cast, Jake Murray's direction keeps the show flowing at a steady pace. 

As a regular reviewer you get to see lots of shows that are supposed to be comedies but they contain few laughs. Haddock & Chips rises to the top of the comedy crop as it finds comedy in both the things we say and they way we say it. Laughter from different sections of the audience was regular as someone recognized a particular phrase or action. Phillippa Wilson is able to throw "that look" as she speaks that makes you laugh and Joe Caffrey is able to create a physical performance that brings the situation to life. His performance as a drunk attempting to pick up a wooden fork was superb. Here's the thing that was unusual about the performance I saw in Gosforth, people spontaneously applauding after a short comedic physical routine in acknowledgement of the skills of these two great performers.

One nice touch was the sound of the fish going into the fryer. Chris Neville-Smith's sound design had me craving a portion after I left the show.

A theme of the show is that a local girl has come missing and it is all over "the Twitter and the Facebook". Whilst the story is the frequent conversation in the shop, as it would be, it doesn't develop into anything greater than it naturally would. That sense of the natural development of an external issue is also a real strength in the writing. Nothing feels that out of place - and I speak as someone who has had in impromptu dance in a middle of a shift in a shop one evening - it does happen!

Haddock & Chips is a largely upbeat, positive reflection of living an working in the North East. Yes the people here are friendly but they don't suffer fools. People can be positive about their lot but acknowledge it could be a hell of a lot better. Bad stuff happens around us as well as good stuff, but you just get on with it. The result is a play that was a very pleasant couple of hours with a talented team.

Review: Stephen Oliver

Photos: Matt Jamie 


Cast & Creatives:

CaroleW Productions presents

Haddock & Chips by Janet Plater

Performed by Phillippa Wilson & Joe Caffrey

Direction by Jake Murray

Design by Louis Price

Movement Direction by Lee Proud

Original Music by Birdie Jackson


Haddock & Chips 2021 Tour Dates:

October 2021

• Gosforth Civic Theatre - Thursday 21 to Friday 22 October, 7.30pm & Saturday 23 October, 1pm

• Alnwick Playhouse - Tuesday 26 October, 2pm & 7.30pm

• Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham - Thursday 28 October, 7.30pm

• Gala Durham - Friday 29 October, 7.30pm

• Frosterley Village Hall in Bishop Auckland - Saturday 30 October, 7.30pm*

• Middleton & Todridge Village Hall in Northumberland - Sunday 31 October, 7.30pm*

November 2021

• The Witham in Barnard Castle - Wednesday 3 November, 7.30pm

• Arts Centre Washington - Thursday 4 November, 7.30pm

• The Maltings in Berwick-upon-Tweed - Friday 5 November, 7.30pm

• Kentmere Institute in Kendal - Saturday 6 November, 7.30pm*

• Wetheral Community Village Hall in Carlisle - Sunday 7 November, 7pm*

• Ushaw Historic House, Chapels and Gardens near Durham - Tuesday 9 November, 7.30pm

• Saltburn Community Theatre - Wednesday 10 November, 7.30pm

• The Exchange in North Shields - Thursday 11 to Saturday 13 November, 7.30pm, Saturday 13 November 2.30pm

* These dates are part of the Highlights Rural Touring Scheme

Age suitability: 12+

Duration: Approx. 2 hours including interval

Tickets:

Haddock & Chips, which will tour the North East of England from Wednesday 20 October to Saturday 13 November 2021, has been made possible using public funding by Arts Council England.

Tickets for the tour range from £12-£14. For more details about tour dates and to book tickets visit www.carolewproductions.com.

21/10/2021

REVIEW: The Drifters Girl at Newcastle Theatre Royal

The Drifters Girl

Newcastle Theatre Royal

Until Saturday 23rd October 2021

 
The Drifter’s Girl has been premiered at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal over the last couple of weeks and guest reviewer Steve Colman took a break from presenting the region’s favourite breakfast show on Smooth Radio to see it.

When you see a new show like this there is the question you always ask; Where did they begin for this? Obviously the songs had been around for many years but does the dance or perfecting the vocals come first. Whichever way, they have perfected the whole show which melts together with brilliant fluidity. From the moment the opener "Hello Happiness" starts up until the finale of "You're more than a number" you are transported back to another time. Overall they are fun times but a visit to Tennessee in the 50's and early 60's was not a welcome one for the black skin at the hotels who didn't want to be a part of the Drifters rise to stardom. Also along the way we lose certain members of the group like Ben Nelson who wants a pay rise for all the hard work he is doing, doesn't get it, so he takes his song "Stand by me" and changes his name to Ben E King, has that one hit instead of the many hits that the band justifiably had. You don't mess with The Drifters Girl. She is their guide managing those who want to be managed and discarding them if they get it wrong.

There's a little trip to the UK to meet the two Rogers - Songwriters Greenaway and Cook which provides some amusement seeing the guys slipping into their upper end English accents whilst wearing their bowler hats and carrying their much needed brolleys. Well it is England.

Adam J Bernard plays the love interest and bands Manager superbly, Tarinn Callender, Matt Henry and Tosh Wanogho-Maud play various members of the Drifters and others. 

This is primarily a fun show but it has some historic social problems to share. Add the brilliance of Beverley Knight with the usual life and death emotional problems she and we can encounter, then mix in the superb quality of the group's members; this show is a hit !!! A big sound with 9 musicians on and off stage.


It's off to London after it finishes at Newcastle Theatre Royal Saturday and looking at ticket sales it could have stayed here for much longer,  we could have asked them to "Come on over to our place".

Review: Steve Colman

Tickets:

Tickets are available online from the theatre: https://www.theatreroyal.co.uk/whats-on/the-drifters-girl/

19/10/2021

Preview: Redcoat at Newcastle Live Theatre

 

Rule Number 1: You’re never fully dressed without a smile’

 

Redcoat

Newcastle Live Theatre

Wednesday 27th to Saturday 30th October 2021.

Meet Lewis. He’s a Redcoat. Living the dream and living it large in Bognor Regis. He likes to smile and show you a good time. But what happens when you’re having an ‘off day’? And you tell Barney the Dinosaur to piss off (in front of a load of kids)?

Redcoat the highly popular debut show, by theatre-maker and entertainer Lewis Jobson, returns to Live Theatre this October as part of their reopening season, Back to Live. This is an exciting collaboration between Newcastle based theatre company The Six Twenty and Lewis Jobson; presented in association with Live Theatre. Redcoat was the last show to be presented at Live Theatre before the pandemic closed the theatre and is returning with updated sparkle for 2021. Playing for a limited run from Wednesday 27 to Saturday 30 October 2021.

Written and performed by Lewis Jobson and directed and co-created by Melanie Rashbrooke, Redcoat is a fun, life-affirming and joy-filled show exploring happiness and our desire to entertain. Loosely inspired by Lewis’ experience as a Butlins Redcoat, this whirlwind of humour mixes storytelling, music and comedy. It’s a coming-of-adult story; about discovering the person you really want to be.

Expect classic holiday tunes, beach parties, dance routines, balloon modelling, karaoke sing-a-longs and that extra special bit of Redcoat sparkle.

First performed as a work-in-progress presentation, as part of Live Theatre’s Elevator Festival in March 2020, The Six Twenty brings you this glittery full length production as Redcoat returns for its larger than life premiere this October.

As writer and performer Lewis Jobson says: “We are back! We are extremely excited to be bringing Redcoat to Live Theatre for its Premiere. Live Theatre is like a second home to me so it's a great privilege to show the wonderful North East this pocket rocket of a show. Redcoat is about being happy, but a little bit about being sad. What it’s like (and how it feels) to never be fully dressed without a smile. It's about memories, it's about new friendships, it's about gagging over ‘The Slushy Guy’, it's about going out into the big bad world of children's entertainment and trying to not lose it in front of a load of kids (and their grown-up’s). And most importantly it's my story...and I can't wait to share it with you all.”

As director and co-creator Melanie Rashbrooke adds: “Redcoat Lewis sets out to make the world a little bit better through his love of entertaining and showing people a good time. Featuring Redcoat Lewis’s trademark charisma and cheeky exuberance this is the show we really need right now.”

Redcoat has been created with, and commissioned by, Live Theatre Associate Company The Six Twenty. Based in Newcastle, The Six Twenty make fun and social creative projects that bring people together for a great night out. Interim Executive Producer of LiveTheatre Graeme Thompson adds: “It’s great to welcome Lewis Jobson and The Six Twenty back with Redcoat. This show is an unashamedly upbeat injection of wonderfulness that will transport you back to heady summer holidays in Bognor Regis. It’s a flash dance down memory lane with the perfect mix of humour and sun blushed nostalgia. Lewis transports you back to some of the best, but horrendously awkward moments of your life. And always with a smile!”

Movement direction is by Alicia Meehan, lighting design by Drummond Orr and sound design by Craig Spence. Suitable for ages 14+ This project was made possible thanks to funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Tickets:

https://www.live.org.uk/whats-on/redcoat