Fresh from winning the ‘Most Welcoming Theatre in the UK’ award last month, Newcastle Theatre Royal has announced a sizzling new season for Spring/Summer 2016, full of delights for all tastes and ages.
The season features musical film classic, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1 – 12 Jun ‘16) which will have audiences of all ages flying high with its mixture of madness, intrigue and exuberance, but this isn’t the only musical extravaganza instore…
A brand new musical TOM. A Story of Tom Jones, The Musical is set to make its North East debut 3-7 May. An inspirational show full of Tom’s greatest hits, it takes audiences back in time to the working men’s clubs of the ‘60s where the legend of Tom Jones was born: a Valleys boy with a heart-stopping voice. Welsh West End star Kit Orton appears in the title role.
In July, the producers of the sell-out smash hit Puttin’ on the Ritz return with the dazzling song and dance extravaganza That’s Entertainment (5-9 July) celebrating the biggest hits of the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s. The show includes sumptuous music by Lerner and Loewe, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter and features glorious costumes and an award-winning cast of singers and dancers.
Back again in August due to popular demand is the international multi-award winning musical, Chicago (1-13 August). Based on real life events back in the roaring 1920s this world-famous show tells the sordid tale of a nightclub singer, a double-murderess, a smooth-talking lawyer and a cell block of sin, and features one of the sexiest, sassiest scores ever written.
February 2017 brings soul-celebration The Commitments (6-11 Feb 2017) to the Theatre Royal, direct from a phenomenally successful, record breaking two year run in London’s West End. The musical has been adapted from the novel by Booker prize winning author Roddy Doyle himself and is directed by the award-winning Jamie Lloyd. Like the novel and the film, this tale of a talented group of working class Dubliners is full of heart and features over 20 soul classics performed live on stage including: Night Train, Try A Little Tenderness, River Deep, Mountain High, In The Midnight Hour and many more.
Another hit from the West End, this time for drama lovers, is The Father (18-23 April 2016), the winner of France’s highest theatrical honour – the 2014 Moliere Award -and the most acclaimed new play of the decade. It tells the tragic tale of eighty year old Andre who has Alzheimer’s disease and whose life is starting to spiral out of control. In Christopher Hampton’s crisp and witty translation it has dazzled audiences across the country and received an unprecedented ten five star reviews from major national critics. Tony Award nominee Kenneth Cranham reprises his indelible performance for this tour direct from the West Award.
A wonderfully uplifting family drama for May is the Olivier award-winning Goodnight Mister Tom (17-21 May) starring David Troughton (The Archers). A magical stage adaptation of Michelle Magorian’s heart-warming tale, set during the dangerous build up to the Second World War, the story follows young William Beech who is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside and forges a remarkable friendship with the elderly recluse, Tom Oakley. Winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and commended for the Carnegie Medal, Goodnight Mister Tom is now also a world-wide literary favourite and a BAFTA award-winning TV film.
From one country idyll to another, and the first ever stage adaptation of ITV’s popular Sunday evening 60s police drama, Heartbeat visits in late May (23 – 28 May).Heartbeat ran for 18 years from 1992 to 2010 with audiences regularly exceeding 10 million viewers and constantly being in the top five TV programmes across all channels. This new stage production features all the show’s favourite characters, video footage, an original script and even members of the original TV cast, and perfectly recreates the show live on stage.
June sees the return of an old favourite – the Olivier Award winning comedy adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic spy thriller, The 39 Steps (27 June – 2 July), this time on its 10th Anniversary Tour. Featuring only four actors playing a staggering 130 characters in 100 minutes, the show follows handsome hero Richard Hannay on his incredible adventures as he encounters dastardly murders, double-crossing secret agents, and, of course, devastatingly beautiful women! This wonderfully inventive and gripping comedy thriller is set to be as fast-paced and thrilling as ever.
Following its sell-out success at Live Theatre, Lee Hall’s hit play Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour (12-16 July) makes its Theatre Royal debut in the summer. Adapted from Alan Warner’s brilliant novel about six girls on the cusp of change, the play tells a tale of love, lust, pregnancy and death – which all spiral out of control in a single day. Warner’s blisteringly funny dialogue – a tribute to being young, lost and out of control, ends in fireworks (literally).
Comedy fans will delight in two hit shows arriving in the Summer – national trinket, author, TV and Radio star Julian Clary is bringing ‘The Joy of Mincing’ on Sunday 15 May, a celebration of 30 years as a camp comedian and Julian at his filthy best, live and unplugged. June then sees the return of those fabulous Grumpy Old Women(Sun 26 June) – back at the Theatre Royal after a critically acclaimed, total sell-out and extremely grumpy tour in spring 2015 and ready once again to knock some sense into the nation! Perrier Award-winning comedian, writer and original star of the show Jenny Eclair will be joined by fellow recruits Susie Blake (Handbagged,Coronation Street) and actress and singer Kate Robbins (Where The Heart Is).
A rare treat for North East audiences, one of the world’s most celebrated dance companies Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT2) will visit in the Spring (26-27 April). Featuring a corps of 18 young international dancers aged 18-23, the company offers a unique blend of breathtaking dance, awe-inspiring skill and unparalleled creativity and promises to thrill and entertain with its sheer exuberance and astonishing athleticism.
A perennial favourite with Theatre Royal audiences – Scottish Ballet follows hot on NDT2’s heels, bringing its World Premiere of Swan Lake from 11-14 May. Set to enchant a whole new generation with an imaginative re-telling of the timeless tale, this new production is choreographed by the award-winning British dance maker David Dawson – one of the most innovative choreographers in classical ballet today. This will be the company’s first tour of the ballet in over 20 years and is set to once again astonish with ethereal sets and costumes, and Tchaikovsky’s iconic score performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.
Another favourite, this time with our younger audiences, Peppa Pig is back in Newcastle in July with her brand new live stage show, Peppa Pig’s Surprise (27-28 July)! Peppa is playing outside with her friends on a sunny day, and Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig have got a surprise for her and George! A charming, colourful new show with new songs and new life size puppets, perfect for pre-schoolers.
He’s impossible to categorise, and equally impossible to forget, the multi-award winning acknowledged ‘master of psychological illusion’ Derren Brown is back in the summer with his most provocative show yet, Derren Brown: Miracle (20-25 June). Derren is one of the world’s most renowned live performers; a dark manipulator of magic and mind control, a miracle man of our modern times. This new show delivers an evening of mind-altering genius full of extraordinary and unbelievable events – showmanship at its very best.
And there are plenty of great shows to suit all tastes already onsale in our current season with family-favourite musicals Hairspray (19 – 30 Jan ‘16),
Guys & Dolls (22 Mar – 2 Apr), The Mikado (15 – 18 June) and Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s multi award-winning musical Mary Poppins (8 Sept – 29 Oct). Lovers of mystery and intrigue will revel in Stephen Daldry’s multi award-winning West End production of J.B. Priestley’s classic thriller, An Inspector Calls (9-13 Feb) and No.1 best-selling author Peter James’ critically acclaimed stage hit – The Perfect Murder (22-27 Feb).
For dance fans, Rambert (2-4 Feb), Stomp (15-20 Feb) and the return of Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty (5-16 April) will offer a feast for the senses, while drama enthusiasts can delight in Regent’s Park Theatre’s adaptation of William Goulding’s cut-throat tale of young society run wild Lord of the Flies (8-12 March 2016) and Alan Bennett’s Olivier-award winning comedy Single Spies (15-19 March). The Opera North Spring season features three hit productions: Mozart’s romantic Cosi Fan Tutte (2 & 4 March), Donizetti’s sunny L’Elisir D’amore (3 March) and Girodano’s tragic Andrea Chenier (5 March).
The Theatre Royal’s annual pantomime still reigns as the region’s favourite and with over 76,000 tickets already sold for the 15/16 extravaganza Dick Whittington (24 Nov ‘15 – 17 Jan ‘16) it’s set to break all records once again.
Tickets for all new shows in the Spring / Summer ‘16 season go on public sale on Friday 13 November. Tickets can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge) or book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk
Friends of the Theatre Royal can book new season shows on Monday 9 November, before the general public, and receive 20% off tickets, as well as discounts at our bars, exclusive ticket exchange and prices which never change. To become a Friend and book early, please contact the Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge) or sign up online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk
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