NEWS: NEW SEASON THEATRE – NEWCASTLE | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Kicking off Theatre Royal’s new year programme is the thrilling National Theatre adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time (Tuesday 27th January until Saturday 7th February), winner of seven 2013 Olivier Awards the tale of fifteen-year-old Christopher and his extraordinary brain is brought to vivid life. One for all the family.

Those with a taste for musicals will enjoy the irrepressible imagination of Phineas T Barnum (pictured below), America’s greatest showman (Tuesday 17th until Saturday 28th February), or if that’s a little too serious for you, there’s always Shrek The Musical from Wednesday 11th until Sunday 29th March.

Ballet fans will enjoy Scottish Ballet’s Nutcracker (Wednesday 11th until Saturday 14th February) and opera fans are also well catered for, with a double bill of Gianni Schicchi/La Vida Breve (Tuesday 3rd March), the sweeping drama of La Traviata (Wednesday 4th and Friday 6th March) and the effervescent comedy of The Marriage of Figaro (Thursday 5th and Saturday 7th March).

Back on the drama side, Harper Lee’s stunning novel To Kill A Mockingbird comes to Newcastle direct from the West End from Monday 20th until Saturday 25th April. The tale of racial injustice in small town America promises to enchant and provoke discussion.

2. BARNUM - Brian Conley as 'PT Barnum' and company.  Photo by Johan Persson__1418310986_128.65.101.141

Newcastle’s centre for dance, Dance City, welcomes a host of talent in the first half of the year, beginning with Renaud Wiser’s double bill of fast paced choreography on Saturday 7th February. One is a solo work about illusion and deceit, while Who Killed Bambi? looks at individuals verses society.

Dynamic company Motionhouse bring their new production, Broken, to the region on Thursday 12th and Friday 13th February, examining our precarious relationship with the earth, it promises to be a highly athletic and powerful show. If it’s visually beautiful and heart-wrenching performances you’re after, Aakash Odedra’s Murmur and Inked performances on Saturday 28th February will enchant; while Dreaming In Code from 2Faced Dance (Friday 13th and Saturday 14th March) features innovative dance and theatrics from an all-male company.

Modern day fairytale Park offers a sharp and funny take on modern life on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th March; Scottish Dance Theatre’s double bill featuring Jo Stromgren’s Nordic fairytale Winter, Again and Slovakian Anton Lachky’s surreal Dreamers heads to Newcastle on Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th April; while Rosie Kay’s 5 Soldiers provides a visceral and intimate view of the training that prepares soldiers for the physicality of war (Thursday 14th and Saturday 16th May).

What Falls Apart by Torben Betts - Image__1418819641_128.65.101.141

Always relied upon to offer up work by new writers as well as big names, Live Theatre kick off their season with a newly reinvigorated Live Lab programme packed full of opportunities for budding writers, comedians, theatre makers and audiences to get involved. 10 Minutes To… returns on Sunday 25th January, as five playwrights are tasked with creating five ten minute plays responding to the theme of Take Off; on Thursday 29th January Live Theatre and The Empty Space’s Scratch Night gives audiences the chance to check out new work-in-progress performances and on Friday 30th January there’s an official launch event for Live Lab featuring some of the UK’s most exciting new voices in music, comedy, spoken word and theatre.

Elsewhere in the programme, young people can enjoy some short and imaginative theatre in Overload (Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th March), following the success of the multi-award winning show Wet House, Paddy Campbell’s back with his new play Day Of The Flymo (Wednesday 8th until Saturday 11th April), based on his own first-hand experiences of his time working in a children’s home; while making his Live Theatre debut, playwright Torben Betts premiere’s What Falls Apart (pictured above, Wednesday 22nd April until Saturday 16th May), where an ex-Labour minister parachuted into a safe North East constituency tries to win hearts and minds as well as an election.



Northern Stage’s first half of the year is packed with quality productions. Kicking things off on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th February is theatrical experiment The Still, in which improvised performances are produced from unusual collaborations; Jack Bennett asks some burning questions in Too Much Too Young (Tuesday 10th & Wednesday 11th February); celebrating writing by 16-25 year olds, Young People’s First In 3 takes place on Wednesday 18th February; while comedy’s elder statesman and all-round arty mischief maker Mark Thomas (main image above) heads to the theatre for his new show, Cuckooed, on Friday 20th February.

The touring production of Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong packs an emotional punch from Monday 23rd until Saturday 28th February; and unusual drama is also on offer from Ross Sutherland’s Standby For Tape Back-Up show on Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th March, as he attempts to tell his grandfather’s life story using found footage from video tapes. On a lighter note the Lyrical Dance Company present their Pop Music Cabaret on Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th February, fusing comedy, music and dance; and Unfolding Theatre bring their glass orchestra Lands Of Glass back to the theatre from Thursday 26th until Saturday 28th February.

A radical version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth (pictured above) heads to Northern Stage from Tuesday 10th until Saturday 14th March, fusing innovative sound and music to create a playful, kaleidoscopic and horrific production; while Confirmation, on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th March, aims to have an honourable dialogue with political extremism. April kicks off with The Great Northern Slam, described as performance poetry meets X Factor (Wednesday 8th April); while in May, Where The Bear Sleeps (Wednesday 13th May) merges myth, epic and fairytale in the dark, snow-swathed, Finnish far-North.


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