In-house in spring at Northern Stage

Peter Lathan

Newcastle’s Northern Stage has announced two in-house productions for spring 2017, as well as a third play which has been developed at the theatre.

The in-house shows are co-productions with Greyscale: the company's director, Selma Dimitrijevic, has written new versions of Mary Shelley’s classic Dr Frankenstein and Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, which will feature the same 7-strong ensemble and play in rep.

Victoria Frankenstein is a brilliant, visionary young woman born into a world not ready for her. The industrial revolution is dawning and the British Empire circles the globe. It's an age of enlightenment, a time where old orders begin to crumble and everything seems possible—provided, of course, that you are an English-man.

Travelling to Ingolstadt in Bavaria to study medicine, her experiments lead her to the very brink of human knowledge: the secret of life itself.

Directed by Northern Stage’s Artistic Director Lorne Campbell, Dr Frankenstein runs from 3 to 11 March before touring.

Hedda Gabler: This is not a Love Story, which will be directed by Dimitrijevic, runs from 16 February to 8 March.

The play, Dimitrijevic believes, is often mistaken for a love story but is actually a funny, shocking and powerful exploration of the nature of identity, and the desperation and absurdity of trying to be something you’re not.

The ensemble consists of Polly Frame (The Odyssey, English Touring Theatre) who will play Dr Victoria Frankenstein, Victoria Elliott (Get Carter and The Season Ticket, Northern Stage) who will play Hedda Gabler, Ed Gaughan (The Birthday Party, Royal Exchange), Donald McBride (Get Carter, Northern Stage, and The Pitmen Painters Live Theatre), Libby Davison (The Bill, ITV), Scott Turnbull (Gods Are Fallen And All Safety Gone, Greyscale) and Rachel Denning (The Vote, Donmar Warehouse).

Both shows will be designed by Tom Piper MBE. Earlier this year, he worked with former Northern Stage Artistic Director Erica Whyman on A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and won critical acclaim for his Poppies: Weeping Window installation with artist Paul Cummins which opened at the Tower of London in 2014 before touring nationally. 

Produced by Curious Monkey, directed by Amy Golding and developed at Northern Stage is Leaving, a new play by Wet House playwright Paddy Campbell. Running from 23 February to 4 March, Leaving draws on Campbell’s own experience of working in a children’s home as well as taking inspiration from two real-life stories of people who have been through the care system.