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

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The wilds of Northumberland offer some canny treats for theatre-lovers this year, with several of the local stages presenting up and coming local talent alongside touring productions.

Alnwick Playhouse continues with its Theatre Onscreen series, presenting a variety of screenings from National Theatre and the RSC including Robert Louis’ Stevenson’s Treasure Island (Saturday 7th and Wednesday 18th February); Love Labour’s Lost (Wednesday 11th February) and Love Labour’s Won (Wednesday 11th March); Meera Syal’s Behind The Beautiful Forevers (Thursday 12th March and Friday 10th April); new Tom Stoppard play The Hard Problem (Thursday 16th and Thursday 30th April); Ralph Fiennes in Man & Superman (main image above, Thursday 14th and Saturday 30th May) and Shakespeare’s uncompromising tragedy The Merchant Of Venice (Wednesday 22nd July).

There’s live action to be had too, as a troupe of travelling players from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre head to Alnwick to present Romeo & Juliet from Tuesday 31st March until Thursday 2nd April.


Blyth’s Phoenix Theatre host a handful of worthy productions including Weekend Breaks by John Godber. A comedy of culture clashes, aspiring film writer Martin Dawson tries to patch up his marriage and his disapproving parents after an extra marital fling (Wednesday 25th until Saturday 28th February); there’s an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray on Sunday 3rd May courtesy of European Arts Company; and if you like your music with a pinch of cheese, an amateur production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard visits from Monday 29th June until Saturday 4th July.

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Supplementing their strong musical programme, Queen’s Hall Arts Centre in Hexham have a range of theatre and comedy to suit most tastes. Younger audiences will enjoy Queen’s Hall Young Theatre and Tyne Valley Youth Theatre’s performances inspired by David Almond’s Heaven Eyes, entitled Pieces of Heaven, on Saturday 7th February. Comedy fans will delight in Reduced Shakespeare Company’s Complete History of Comedy (abridged) on Thursday 5th February. An alternative look at Shakespeare’s Macbeth (pictured above) is on offer from Wednesday 25th until Friday 27th February, thanks to Tara Arts’ production where three outrageous drag queens cook up an explosive brew of treachery, ambition and passion, setting an Asian family off on a path of bloody self-descruction; while on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th April, Opera North present Swanhunter, an operatic adventure for all the family. If dance is more your thing, London Contemporary Dance present EDge, a versatile, feisty dance company who perform dramatically different routines by renowned and up and coming choreographers.



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