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Preview: Peter Pan Goes Wrong at Newcastle Theatre Royal


Mischief Return To Cause Mayhem At Newcastle Theatre Royal

Peter Pan Goes Wrong

Newcastle Theatre Royal

Monday 12 – Saturday 17 February 2024


Mischief, the multi-award winning comedy team and firm favourites with Newcastle Theatre Royal audiences return to the region with the global phenomenon Peter Pan Goes Wrong.


Having delighted audiences in recent years with sell-out runs of The Play That Goes Wrong, Magic Goes Wrong, Mind Mangler – Member of the Tragic Circle and A Comedy About a Bank Robbery, Peter Pan Goes Wrong makes a popular return having played to packed out houses in 2015.

The production reunites returning Mischief cast members with some courageous new recruits. The full cast line-up includes: Jake Burgum (Trevor), Jack Michael Stacey (Chris), Matthew Howell (Robert), Jean-Luke Worrell (Francis), Ciara Morris (Sandra), Theo Toksvig-Stewart (Max), Clark Devlin (Dennis), Jamie Birkett (Annie), Gareth Tempest (Jonathan) and Rosemarie Akwafo (Lucy). With understudies: Romeo Mika, Clare Noy, Consuela Rolle and Phil Yarrow.

Co-penned by Mischief’s celebrated writing trio, Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, Peter Pan Goes Wrong is a highly physical comedy packed with finely-tuned farce and Buster Keaton inspired slapstick, delivered with split-second timing and ambitious daring. The play sees the ‘Cornley Drama Society’ back on stage battling technical hitches, flying mishaps and cast disputes as they attempt to present J.M. Barrie’s much-loved tale. But will they ever make it to Neverland?

Nominated for an Olivier Award for ‘Best New Comedy’ in 2016, Peter Pan Goes Wrong has enjoyed two West End runs, a season on Broadway, a tour of Australia and New Zealand and two UK tours. BBC One broadcast a one-hour version of the show on primetime television in December 2016, starring David Suchet as the guest narrator, watched by an audience of over six million worldwide.

Photo: Pamela Raith


Peter Pan Goes Wrong plays at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Mon 12 – Sat 17 Feb 2024. Tickets can be purchased at or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010.



News: Dear Evan Hansen casting search

 The first ever UK tour of Dear Evan Hansen collaborates with Tiktok to give the next generation of talent the chance to be found


The casting team of Dear Evan Hansen, in collaboration with TikTok, are searching for the next generation of talent to star in the first ever UK tour of the Olivier, Tony and Grammy award-winning Best Musical.


This opportunity is open for every role in the show, not just Evan himself. Applications from performers of all gender identities, with or without formal training, are welcome. Those interested are invited to upload a video on TikTok singing any number from the multi award-winning production with the hashtag #YouWillBeFound, before submitting their entry formally via


After the closing date, the casting team will review all submitted videos and invite anyone who they feel could be a part of the cast to participate in the formal audition process at a central London location.


Video applications are accepted for 2 weeks from today, Monday 29 January, with entries closing on Sunday 11 February. Entrants must be 18+ and based in the UK or Ireland.


For all information and to apply, visit:


Directed by Nottingham Playhouse’s Artistic Director Adam Penford, Dear Evan Hansen will open at the Nottingham Playhouse on 9 September 2024, ahead of a UK tour.

Director Adam Penford said: “Dear Evan Hansen is about celebrating what you bring to the world as a unique individual. It's very exciting to be collaborating with TikTok to provide a platform for those who love the musical as much as I do to sing these beautiful songs. We can't wait to see who is out there."

Ed Lindeman, Head of Entertainment TikTok UK & IE said: “Dear Evan Hansen is already a huge hit with the TikTok community, with thousands of people sharing creations using the much-loved soundtrack. We are delighted that the producers have recognised this and are now turning to TikTok to uncover up-and-coming talent for the touring show.

At TikTok, we’re committed to supporting theatre and the creative industries, TikTok is a platform where creativity is discovered, and emerging talent can really thrive; we can't wait to see who will be found!"

Packed with some of the biggest musical theatre songs of the last decade, Dear Evan Hansen has a score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Oscar-winning composers for The Greatest Showman) and a book by Steven Levenson. Its many awards include the Tony® Award for Best Musical, Olivier Award for Best New Musical and the Grammy® Award for Best Musical Theatre Album.

Today is going to be a good day. And here’s why…

Meet Evan: an anxious high school kid who wants nothing more than to fit in. The thing is, on his way to fitting in, he didn’t tell the whole truth. And now must give up on a life he never dreamt he’d have. As events spiral and the truth comes out, Evan faces a reckoning with himself and everyone around him.

Dear Evan Hansen is presented by ATG Productions and Nottingham Playhouse by arrangement with Music Theatre International. 


Dear Evan Hansen will be found on Sunderland Empire’s stage from Tuesday 19 – Saturday 23 November 2024. Tickets available online now from our affiliates ATG Tickets at *

*A £3.65 transaction fee applies to online bookings.


Preview: We’re Going On A Bear Hunt at Newcastle Theatre Royal




We’re Going On A Bear Hunt

Newcastle Theatre Royal

Friday 23 – Sunday 25 February 2024


Audiences can expect plenty of interaction and a few surprises along the way as they join the intrepid family of adventurers and their musical dog wading through the swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the thick oozy squelchy mud when

Full casting announced for UK and international tour includes; Benedict Hastings (Boy), Tim Hibberd (Dad) and Ben Hills (Dog/Musician) who are returning to the show and are joined by Neha Eapen (Girl) and Ross McKenna (Understudy/ASM).

Michael Rosen says of the live theatre show: ''This production of We're Going on a Bear Hunt takes everyone on the journey in a funny, exuberant and loving way. It's a show full of laughter, music, silliness and thrills that I promise will excite and delight all young children.”

Sally Cookson’s hugely inventive production set to Benji Bower’s lively musical score is a mischievous celebration of play, utilising everyday objects and materials to capture the imagination of audiences and propel them into the world of Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury’s much loved picture book.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is presented by Kenny Wax Family Entertainment and is created by the critically acclaimed production team including director Sally Cookson and composer Benji Bower, alongside designer Katie Sykes, lighting designer Tony Simpson, sound designer Jason Barnes and associate director and puppet designer Marc Parrett.

Music, laughter, rhymes, rhythms and repetitions together with puppetry, paint, water and mud make this fun-filled adventure the perfect theatrical outing for all young families.

Photos: Lesley Cook


We’re Going On A Bear Hunt plays Newcastle Theatre Royal from Friday 23 – Sunday 25 February 2024. Tickets can be purchased at or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010.


Preview: Disco Pigs at Newcastle Alphabetti

 “A furious, funny and violent dash through a friendship that may be too close to survive.”

Disco Pigs

Newcastle Alphabetti

Tuesday 20th February - Saturday 9th March 2024

Alphabetti Theatre will be premiering Enda Walsh’s outstanding theatre debut, Disco Pigs, February 20th until March 9th in the North East this Spring

The Irish cult-classic will be led by Award-Winning Artistic Director, Ali Pritchard, who promises a hectic, joyful and furious rendition of the two-hander with, of course, a banging playlist (think Fatboy Slim, the Cranberries and a Brimful of Asha). 

Director Ali Pritchard

Disco Pigs tells the story of two teenagers, Pig and Runt, inseparable since birth, with an appetite for drunkenness, recklessness, adventure and destruction. As the pair reach 17 years old, a sexual awakening threatens to break apart their private little corner of the world. 

Performing as Runt will be Amy McAllister, a formidable actor of both stage and screen. McAllister grew up in Tallaght, a working-class housing project on the outskirts of Dublin. She cites Enda Walsh as being her favourite playwright and her recital of Bedbound (2000) is what gained her a place to study at Guildhall. Since then, McAllister has gone on to land roles in shows like Call the Midwife (2012), A Discovery of Witches (2018) and Breeders (2020). Her theatre career spans from Soho Theatre to the Royal Court, and Newcastle’s very own Live Theatre. 

Amy McAllister

McAllister’s performance in Scorch (2016) gained them particular recognition as an “utterly mesmerising” performer (The Guardian, 2016). Outside of acting, McAllister is a talented poet, winning The Great Northern Slam: Champion of Champions 2022. 

Joining McAllister as Pig will be Sunderland’s Ben Gettins, one of the North East’s most exciting young artists. In 2022, Gettins wowed audiences and critics alike with his “utterly winning performance” (The Stage, 2022) in Sugar Baby by Alan Harris (Directed by Natasha Haws). He then went on to win the Peter Lathan Prize for his debut play, Wearmouth, at Customs House, which was regarded as, “powerful, poignant, funny – and absolutely brutal,” (Sunderland Echo, 2023). 

Ben Gettins

As one of the region’s most accessible theatres, Alphabetti will be offering the first week of Disco Pigs tickets as ‘Pay What You Feel’ price. This is a tradition at Alphabetti, believing great art should be for everyone, not just those that can afford it. After this, tickets are priced at £15 full price, £7 concession and a limited amount of ‘no questions asked’ tickets at £3. 


Box Office: Booking Essential. Tickets are Pay What You Feel until Feb 24th.

After Feb 9th, priced £3 (‘no questions’), £7.50 (con), £15 (GA)

Available via: 

Running Time: Approx. 50 mins

Age recommendation: 16+

Access shows:

Captioned: Wednesday 28th February 2024 7.30pm

Audio Described: Wednesday 6th March 2024 7.30pm

Relaxed: Saturday 24th February 1pm

Saturday 2nd March 1pm

Saturday 9th March 1pm


Preview: Fast Show at Tyne Theatre


The Fast Show reunite for 2024 UK tour to celebrate 30 year anniversary


Tickets on sale Fri 26 Jan at 10am from:  


30 years since the The Fast Show first burst onto our television screens, “the defining comedy sketch show of the Nineties” (The Independent) is back, live on tour and coming to the Tyne Theatre & Opera House on Tuesday 26th March 2024.

Charlie Higson and Paul Whitehouse are reuniting with Simon Day, John Thomson, Arabella Weir and Mark Williams for 13 shows across the UK throughout March this year. Tickets for ‘An Evening With The Fast Show’ go on sale on Friday 26 January at 10.00am from  

This celebratory live tour will be a huge treat for fans of the multi-award winning quick-fire TV sketch show and provide a real behind-the-scenes insight into some of their favourite characters and catchphrases as they come alive on stage once again.

The cast will chat together about how it all began, how they made the TV show, and created the characters and the fun they had doing it. This will be interspersed with performances of some of their best-loved sketches monologues and songs, with on-screen inserts and a moment to remember their former collaborator, the late, great Caroline Aherne.

Fans will be thrilled to see the return of many of their favourite characters, including: Ted & Ralph, Jesse, Swiss Toni, Does My Bum Look Big In This?, Dave Angel, Jazz Club, The Suit You Tailors, Ron Manager, The Mad Painter, Rowley Birkin, Bob Fleming, Competitive Dad, Professor Denzil Dexter, and The Girl Who Boys Can’t Hear.

Charlie Higson said: “Taking the Fast Show out on tour is very much like making love to a beautiful woman.”

Paul Whitehouse said: “I’m afraid I was very drunk.”

The Fast Show first aired on BBC2 on 27 September 1994 and became one of the nation’s best-loved comedy shows, having a huge influence on subsequent TV sketch shows. Join the team, 30 years on, for a unique evening of celebration this March. Oooooh, Suit You. No Offence! Niiiiiiiiiice! Brilliant!! Scorchio!!!


Tickets cost £37.50 - £34.50 plus fees and can be purchased from:


REVIEW: Life of Pi at Newcastle Theatre Royal

Life of Pi

Newcastle Theatre Royal

Until Saturday 27 January 2024

Lolita Chakrabarti’s stage adaption of Yann Martel’s best-selling novel Life of Pi has landed on Tyneside this week on its first UK tour. It is clear for all to see why it won 5 Olivier Awards including best play. The show is impressive and it is totally understandable why the audience members left saying "amazing" to their companions as they left. 

The publicity said "After a cargo ship sinks in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, there are five survivors stranded on a single lifeboat – a hyena, a zebra, an orang-utan, a sixteen year-old boy and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. Time is against them, nature is harsh, who will survive?"

The tale begins in a hospital. Piscine Molitor Patel is hiding under the bed as two visitors arrive: someone from the Canadian embassy and another from the insurance company assessing why their ship had sank. They want the lads story as he is the only survivor. My goodness - he delivers a story and a half.

Divesh Subaskaran is really captivating as Piscine - a name that is quickly shortened to Pi - he really has the theatre in rapt attention as he recalls how his family went from a zoo in India to a ship trying to escape during the troubles. Assisting him is a tight ensemble cast. It is the puppeteers and their ability to work as a team as they control a range of animals from a goat and a zebra through to the legendary Bengal tiger that Pi shares his lifeboat with. The puppetry works really well. 

But there is more to the show as the lighting, projections and moving boat also combine to bring the tale to life. The audience get to see the rocking boat and the interaction/ripples with the water around it. We were perched above the stage and could see the projections down on the stage itself.

The pace is fluid and even. The show runs at just over 2 hours, including interval, and this leaves no room for extra flannel. Add in Divesh's storytelling skills and I believe that the theatrical show was much more captivating than the movie - give me a large tiger puppet over cgi special effects any day.

Though the show is a tale about a young man surviving in the company of animals - this is no "Disney" tale. Nature takes its course: Richard Parker, the tiger, is quite happy to feast on the pet goat when the opportunity presents itself. This of course helps give the tale an edge.

Life of Pi is a stunning piece of theatre.

Review: Stephen Oliver

Photos by Johan Persson.


Life of Pi plays at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Tuesday 23 – Saturday 27 January 2024. Tickets can be purchased at or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010.

News: Join the Customs House Celeb-RAY-tion to mark Executive Director’s Retirement


Join the Customs House Celeb-RAY-tion to mark Executive Director’s Retirement


The Customs House is set to host an unforgettable event commemorating the remarkable 25-year tenure of Ray Spencer as Executive Director.

Celeb-Ray-tion will take place at the Customs House arts centre on March 23rd & 24th.

Ray, a visionary leader and a driving force behind The Customs House's success, has dedicated a quarter of a century to shaping the arts and cultural landscape of the region. His unwavering commitment to fostering creativity, community engagement, and artistic excellence has left an indelible mark on the institution and the lives of countless individuals.

While Ray will no longer head up the Mill Dam charity in South Shields, he will continue to write, direct and star in the annual Christmas pantomime. Ray plays the part of the much-loved Dame Bella Ballcock.

Ray said: “I will be stepping down as Executive Director of The Customs House Trust on 31st March 2024. In that time, we have had an exciting journey and that continues with this special fundraising event to celebrate my time at The Customs House with a host of people I’m not even aware of, because they have even kept it from me!

“I hope you come along and join in in this fundraising event to launch our 30th Anniversary year and you will be able to sit in our brand-new refurbished auditorium, thanks to generous funding from BIFFA.”

Celeb-Ray-tion promises to be a night of nostalgia, appreciation, and joy, bringing together esteemed guests, community members, and well-known performers to honour his extraordinary contributions to the arts.

The line-up for the event will be released in the coming week and will feature captivating performances, heartfelt tributes, and a journey through the highlights of Ray’s leadership.


Tickets are on sale to Friends of The Customs House on Wednesday 24th January and the general public on Friday 25th January.

Call the Box Office on 0191 454 1234 or visit





Preview: School For Scandal at Darlington Hippodrome

 Joseph Marcel heads cast of the School For Scandal at Darlington Hippodrome

The School For Scandal

Darlington Hippodrome

Tuesday 28 May to Saturday 1 June 2024


A new production of Richard B. Sheridan’s comedy of manners, The School For Scandal, is coming to Darlington Hippodrome in May

Stage, film and TV star Joseph Marcell will head the cast of Seán Aydon’s new production of The School For Scandal coming to Darlington Hippodrome in May as part of a major UK tour.

Joseph Marcell 

Marcell, who is probably best-known for his role as Geoffrey the Butler in the six seasons of the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, will play ‘Sir Peter Teazle’ in this fresh take on Richard B. Sheridan’s classic comedy of manners. 

Joseph Marcell was most recently seen in Chiwetel Ejiofor’s debut feature film, The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind. TV credits include Mammoth and I Hate You, both for the BBC and he is soon be seen in Candice Carty-William’s Queenie on Channel 4. His prolific stage credits include Hamlet at the Young Vic with Cush Jumbo, Kathy Burke’s Lady Windermere's Fan, extensive work with Shakespeare’s Globe including the titular role in Bill Buckhurst’s King Lear and Derek Walcott’s Omeros, as well as seasons at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The School For Scandal also features Garmon Rhys (Out There (ITV), Gangs Of London (Hbo/Sky Atlantic) And Tina: The Musical (West End)) as ‘Charles Surface’, Ayesha Griffiths (soon to be seen in Channel 4’s Queenie and Get Millie Black) as ‘Maria’, Emily-Jane McNeil (The Mousetrap and Brexshit, both West End) as ‘Lady Sneerwell’, Alex Phelps (As You Like It, Shakespeare’s Globe, When Darkness Falls, Park Theatre and UK tour) as ‘Joseph Surface’, Lydea Perkins (Private Lives, The Mill At Sonning, Sense & Sensibility, Theatre By The Lake) as ‘Lady Teazle’, Tony Timberlake (Little Shop of Horrors Storyhouse Chester, Maggie May, Leeds Playhouse, When Darkness Falls UK Tour) as ‘Sir Oliver’, and Guy Dennys (Tilted Wig’s Around the World in 80 Days and Lady Chatterley's Lover) as ‘Rowley’.

Sir Peter Teazle believes his young wife is sleeping with someone else. She isn’t.

But she’s starting to think if her husband believes it, she may as well give it a go. After all, if you’re going to cause a scandal, you might as well enjoy it…

Deliciously naughty and outrageously silly, this timeless comedy is a masterclass in social satire and the art of gossip.

The School For Scandal is one of the greatest comedies ever written, featuring an unforgettable cast of larger-than-life characters, each armed with a lacerating wit. Join us for a lightning-paced evening of romance, revenge and rollicking fun that promises to leave you entertained, enamoured – and perhaps even a little scandalised.

The School For Scandal is directed by Seán Aydon who recently adapted and directed the national tours of The Picture of Dorian Gray and Frankenstein. He was also assistant director on the world premiere of Tom Fletcher’s The Christmasaurus at the Hammersmith Apollo. 

The production is designed by Linbury Prize winner Sarah Beaton whose recent credits include The Merchant Of Venice (Sam Wanamaker / The Globe), Nineteen Gardens (Hampstead Theatre) & Wild East (Young Vic). She previously worked with Tilted Wig as designer of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

There is sound design/composition from Ed Lewis whose recent work includes The Box Of Delights (RSC), Killer Joe (West End) and Henry V (Donmar); lighting design from Peter Small whose work includes Kathy & Stella Solve a Murder! (Bristol Old Vic), King Stakh’s Wild Hunt (Barbican) and The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas (Dailes Theatre, Riga); and movement direction from Stephen Moynihan whose credits include Ted Lasso, House Of The Dragon and Tilted Wig’s Frankenstein.

The School For Scandal is produced by Tilted Wig Productions and Malvern Theatres In Association With Theatre By The Lake.



The School For Scandal runs at Darlington Hippodrome from Tuesday 28 May to Saturday 1 June. For more information or to book call the Box Office on 01325 405405 or visit