As ever—with the exception of the best visiting production—this listing covers only theatre produced (or co-produced) in the North East. It’s intended to be an indicator of the quality of the work being produced by theatres, companies and individuals in the region, an indicator, if you like, of the health of North East theatre.

I have to make the usual caveats. First, of course, it only includes productions which I have seen. My colleagues Helen Brown and Peter Mortimer also reviewed in the region during the year but I cannot include what they saw because I can only judge by their reviews as I didn’t see the shows myself.

Then there’s the perennial Teesside problem. I am nowhere near as able as I once was to make the journey down to the Tees and points south so, sadly, there’s little mention in this listing.

I should also add that this year has been a little “iffy” in terms of my health. Nothing serious, just some leg and back problems, for which I have been receiving treatment and which are now well on the mend, but it did mean that I had to cancel a few shows I was due to review. These were all shows from out of the area. As far as home-grown shows were concerned, the press officers were very understanding and helpful in allowing me to rearrange dates and times so I could review them. Grateful thanks to them for that.

But enough waffle! On to the nitty-gritty.