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Preview: Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of) at Newcastle Theatre Royal


A Match Made In Heaven Returns


Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of)

Newcastle Theatre Royal

Thursday 19 – Saturday 28 September 2024

Newcastle Theatre Royal announces a new co-production with multiple Olivier and Tony Award winning producer David Pugh and Cunard that will see multi award-winning West End sensation Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) by Isobel McArthur after Jane Austen launch a new UK tour in the North East.

Let the ruthless matchmaking begin when Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of), a unique and audacious retelling of Jane Austen’s most iconic love story, written by Isobel McArthur - one of the most exciting new talents in theatre today and who has just received acclaim in Stratford at the RSC for her new production of Fair Maid of the West – co-produced by Newcastle Theatre Royal with David Pugh and Cunard and directed by Isobel McArthur opens at the Grey Street venue later this year before embarking upon a nationwide 35-date tour.

This will be the theatre’s first co-production for more than 10 years and will see the triumphant launch of the Oliver and Evening Standard Award-winning comedy Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of) by Isobel McArthur at Newcastle Theatre Royal, where it returns after its 2023 sold-out run that received five-star reviews and standing ovations.

Men, money and microphones will be fought over in this irreverent but affectionate adaptation where the stakes couldn’t be higher when it comes to romance.  The show features a string of pop classics including ‘Young Hearts Run Free’, ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’ and ‘You’re So Vain’. 

Auditions for the entire cast including Elizabeth Bennett, Mr Darcy and Charles Bingley will held by David and Isobel at Newcastle Theatre Royal on 5 & 6 March. This will be one of the only castings for a large scale commercial theatre tour taking place outside of London this year, giving local North East talent the opportunity to audition in front of a West End producer and writer on their doorstep. The tour will take them to leading venues the length and breadth of the country including Northampton Royal & Derngate, Chelmsford Theatre, Wolverhampton Grand, Nottingham Theatre Royal, Shrewsbury Theatre Severn and the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford.

Marianne Locatori, chief executive of Newcastle Theatre Royal said: “As one of the flagship cultural venues in the region, we are thrilled to announce our first co-production in over a decade.   We’re delighted to be collaborating with critically acclaimed West End producer David Pugh on launching this fresh, funny and witty comedy drama.

“David was one of the theatre producers who, during the pandemic, took the risk to keep making and presenting theatre to support the sector during the most difficult times.  His tenacity and vision supported this fantastic show at that point and I’m delighted Newcastle Theatre Royal can partner with him to bring it to audiences across the UK.”

She added: “This is a particularly exciting collaboration for the Theatre and the cultural sector in the region; David’s productions of Art, Brief Encounter and Calendar Girls have proved firm favourites with our audiences. His recent West End run of Shirley Valentine starring Sheridan Smith garnered fabulous reviews from audiences and critics alike and Oliver and Evening Award winner Isobel McArthur is one of the most vibrant and exhilarating writing talents in the industry.

“I’m particularly pleased that this co-production will also support talent development and creative opportunities in the North East, with auditions and casting taking place at the Theatre supporting our ongoing ambition to firmly position Newcastle Theatre Royal at the forefront of cultural creativity and talent development in the region.”

David Pugh said: “Newcastle is my favourite city for the people, its audiences but perhaps not its football team (I support Port Vale). Now I’m delighted to be co-producing a new ‘Geordie’ production of my Olivier Award winning comedy sensation Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) that has five women in it and will celebrate the incredible talent that the North East has to offer and to bring it around the UK and Ireland in this new tour.” 

Isobel McArthur said: “I’ve had some of the most memorable theatre experiences of my life in the North East. Like all the places dearest to my heart, it has such a rich tradition of comedy, theatrical innovation and art that punches up.

“I perceive a generosity amongst the creative community here – one which our adaptation of Austen’s iconic novel really embodies. We want to empower the overlooked and undervalued, throw our arms open to the widest audience possible - and really make people laugh at prices that everyone can afford.

“I can’t wait to meet more Newcastle talent as part of this co-production. Opening the tour at the Theatre Royal will be electric. Whenever I’ve performed to Newcastle audiences, I’ve left the stage feeling better about the human race.”


Photos: Matt Crockett



Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of) plays at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Thursday 19 – Saturday 28 September 2024. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 0191 232 7010.

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