Northern Stage continues its 25th anniversary year with a variety-packed season. The broad spectrum of productions includes premières, classics revisited, family shows, participatory work and much more.

Northern Stage is the biggest producing theatre in the North East and has been awarded an annual £1.6 million funding from ACE for the next three years. Even though, due to rising costs, it is a 25% decrease, it will still contribute greatly to the annual running costs of £2 million.

The yearlong programme "This is family" is the third in a trilogy of "This is…" exploring and celebrating what family means to us, how we connect and support each other in good times and bad.

Natalie Ibu, Artistic Director wishes the region to inform and transform Northern Stage into an essential part of North East life, involving and working with North East creative talent.

When Erica Whyman was appointed Artistic Director in 2006, she pioneered new modes of artistic development and established Northern Stage at the Edinburgh Festival and the NORTH programmes.

In 2013, Lorne Campbell took over, increasing the number of in-house productions and co-productions; he created a new fringe venue, Stage 3, and strengthened the theatre’s reputation as a leader in the industry.

Natalie Ibu was appointed in the middle of the pandemic, autumn 2020, and continues the work of pushing theatrical boundaries. Her comment, “people change the world, theatre can change people,” goes far to define her aims. She added “it’s about doing life together. And as a producing theatre company, a venue and a charity that collaborates on creative projects in our communities, that’s exactly what we’re here for.”

At the launch last night, we were treated to a round-up of the spring / summer season, with a few interviews with some of the artists and creatives involved in productions Northern Stage is creating in collaboration with a wide number of organisations, from Birmingham Rep to their very own Young Creatives company. Productions include I, Daniel Blake based on the acclaimed film directed by Ken Loach, Lord of the Flies, Brief Encounters and Wuthering Heights, all on Stage 1. Other nuggets, The Swearing Jar and Stars, an Afrofuturist Space Odyssey, are on Stage 2.

If dance is your thing, then explosive Gecko brings physical theatre Kin from March 1–4 and Surface Area Dance Theatre’s Bonewords comes to Northern Stage 2 on June 23.

Finally, the festive, family Christmas show, Cinderella, which sounds to be really spectacular.

So get your diaries out and visit the box office, and don’t forget, if you visit in person to enjoy a cup of coffee, a drink or some food at the café / bar.

(Written by Anna Ambelez and Dora Frankel)