Northern Stage’s Family Christmas Show Announced
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Newcastle Northern Stage
Saturday 3 December 2022 - Saturday 7 January, 2023
Set in the streets of Newcastle but not quite as we know it, a spectacular stage adaptation of family favourite The Sorcerer’s Apprentice returns to cast its magic this Christmas at Northern Stage. With all the festive fun, songs and action from last year's production, this year’s show features new scenes, new music, new performers, new puppets, and even more magic and mischief.
Director Maria Crocker trained on Northern Stage’s first NORTH programme in 2013 and was runner up for the Sir Peter Hall directing award in 2019. Her credits include associate director on the Tony Award-winning Hadestown for the National Theatre and Local Hero for The Royal Lyceum. Maria says, “It's such a gift to bring a production back to life. It’s a director's dream to conjure up new ways of making a family show even more spectacular and magical; and that's exactly what we'll be doing. The whole team has been working hard all year to make sure that audiences, old and new, are in for a real treat at Northern Stage this Christmas. This is a story to remind us that nobody is a nobody, and as we face a difficult winter, I hope we can spread that message as far and wide as possible.”
Writer Laura Lindow (The Snow Queen/Northern Stage, Key Change/Open Clasp) adds, “Christmas is a chance to make dreams come true right in front of us. To tell stories that can really enchant. To create characters who can really live. Adventures that can really play out. It’s an honour and a privilege to play a part in so many peoples’ Christmases and hopefully offer even more festive sparkle to take away.”
Beth Crame from Newcastle returns to play Hatty Rabbit, a young girl who starts out thinking she’s not destined for anything great, but soon finds she couldn’t have been more wrong as she embarks on a magical adventure through the streets of Newcastle on her quest to become the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Beth said, “I grew up in the North East and went to Newcastle College to study Musical Theatre so it really is a dream come true to perform at Northern Stage in a show set in my home town! Hatty can find the positive in every situation, even if things aren’t going her way, which I think is a magical power of hers.”
Beth is joined by Nick Figgis (War Horse/West End) who played Scrooge in Northern Stage’s 2019 production of A Christmas Carol; Jessica Johnson - most recently seen starring in the 40th anniversary tour of Educating Rita, Jess first appeared at Northern Stage in 2007 while studying at Newcastle College in a Christmas show directed by Erica Whyman; Heather Dutton (Treasure Island/National Theatre, Primetime/Royal Court); Alice Blundell (The Winter’s Tale/Royal Shakespeare Company, The Wizard of Oz/Northern Stage); Matthew Nicholson (The Gunpowder Plot/Three Inch Fools); Talia Nyathi - a South African born Zimbabwean native who trained at Manchester School of Theatre where she won a Laurence Olivier Bursary and was nominated to be a Spotlight Prize finalist in 2020; and Maya Torres and Jordan Larkin completing the ensemble.The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is designed by Amanda Mascarenhas (Run It Back/Talawa Theatre Company, Cuttin’ It/Royal Exchange Theatre). Original music is by Composer and Musical Director Katie Doherty who has created music for the Royal Shakespeare Company, five family Christmas productions for Northern Stage and the award-winning musical Beyond the End of the Road for November Club. Lighting design is by Jai Morjaria (Wuthering Heights/National Theatre & Bristol Old Vic), sound design by Matthew Tuckey (Wolf!/Kitchen Zoo, Repeat Signal/November Club), movement direction by Gavin Coward - a performer, member and collaborator with balletLORENT, and Resident Assistant Director on the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme is Bex Bowsher. And Georgia Hill will design and make the puppets, with puppetry direction by Alison McGowan.
Magic is a key part of the production, so Dr Will Houstoun has been enlisted as illusion designer and director. As well as numerous theatre credits with the Royal Shakespeare Company, West End shows, Northern Ballet and the Royal Opera House, he has worked on film and TV shows including Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, award-winning BBC drama series Wolf Hall starring Mark Rylance, and Chiwetel Ejiofor’s The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind for Netflix. He says, “I can’t wait to be back at Northern Stage using magic to help share astonishing moments in magical stories. And The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is full of magic, so I can’t imagine any illusionist who wouldn’t want to try and bring some of that to life on stage!”
Photos: Pamela Raith Photography
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice runs from 3 December - 7 January and is recommended for ages 5+. Tickets start from £10, and there will be BSL, captioned, relaxed and audio described performances. Book online at www.northernstage.co.uk or call the box office on 0191 230 5151.