Northern Stage will open its doors to live audiences on 27 November when it presents The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a new play by Laura Lindow, which was to have been the Stage 1 Christmas show in 2020. It’s the story of Harrietta Rabbit who was just a normal girl from a normal family (well, as normal as families get) until a job offer arrives for her in the form of a letter slid underneath the door on a cold winter’s night. She is to become the Sorcerer’s Apprentice…
Then from 19 February to 5 March 2022, the theatre will present Red Ellen by Caroline Bird, which was due to be performed in September 2020. This is the story of Ellen Wilkinson, MP for Jarrow, who was one of the driving forces behind the Jarrow Crusade and the author of The Town That Was Murdered.
Although not mentioning any specific productions, Live Theatre has released its own “roadmap” out of closure.
In April, Live will begin three months of capital projects aimed at improving the physical space and accessibility. Then in August, there will be outdoor productions in Live Garden, and from September there will be an autumn / winter season (TBA).
Alphabetti will be one of the first to admit audiences to its space by mounting two productions aimed at one household / support bubble of up to six people, each with its own time slot and arranged so that the different groups will not meet. The performances will also be streamed at 7:30 each evening.
Listen In (4–15 May; not Sundays or Mondays) is an immersive audio experience consisting of three plays by Kay Greyson, Richard Boggie and Lauren Pattison. Each is performed in a separate space.
Aware (25 May–5 June) consists of three films from Hijinx, Lawnmower Independent Theatre Company and About Face TC.
From 15 to 26 June, there’s a new play by Steve Byron, Sucking Eggs, a partnership between Alphabetti and Newcastle University. This production will be socially distanced in accordance with the rules in force at the time.
Then, from 6 to 17 July, Pause, a partnership between Alphabetti, Mark Calvert and Paula Penman, written by Laura Lindow with music by Jeremy Bradfield, is a love story about film and how we use it to make day-to-day blockbusting escapes. This, too, will be socially distanced.
Finally, from 27 July to 7 August, Alphabetti hosts the Newcastle Fringe Festival, which will include:
Good Grief by Ugly Bucket
Following the death of a friend, Ugly Bucket turned to clowning, music and physical comedy to create a show that explores grief in a way you would never expect (nor forget). Good Grief uses comedy to spark honest conversations, create unity and share memories.
Me & My Doll by Paperback Theatre (in co-production with The Old Joint Stock Theatre)
A "touching and hilarious" exploration of the challenges, joys and pitfalls of allowing yourself to be vulnerable—a romantic comedy with a twist.
39 Horses by Izaak Gledhill in partnership with Alphabetti Theatre
Buckle up as Izaak invites four audience members into his taxi (no drinks allowed) for an immersive, lip syncing comedic journey like none you have ever taken before… or maybe you have?
The Oedipus Album by Pecho Mam
Pecho Mama makes unconventional, music-driven theatre performance. This is a performance of its latest album—it's going to be a kaleidoscopic sonic and visual adventure: 7 cameras, green screen, studio quality audio.
Waxa Belta Helta Skelta by Serena Ramsey
A surreal look at abandonment, cults and Mammy issues. Combining live soundscapes and experimental electro-music, this absurd true story engulfs audiences in the world of one Geordie girl with a missing mum, but plenty of pasties. It will apparently "leave you laughing, crying and craving a sausage roll."
600 People by Third Angel
Somewhere between stand-up and an astrophysics lecture, this is a simple show about huge ideas, exploring the stories we tell in order to understand our place in the cosmos, that question if we’re alone in our galaxy, that ask what it means to be human.
There will also be workshops with Lyn Gardner, David Byrne, Mark Makin and Culture Against Racism, plus performances by physical theatre company Spies Like Us and chart-topping contemporary theatre company In Bed With My Brother.
Newcastle Theatre Royal resumes its programme with The Addams Family, followed from 1 to 5 June by a children’s show (4 to 8 May: various times).
During the rest of the season, there will be four musicals (Six from 12 to 17 June, Bedknobs and Broomsticks from 14 to 21 August, The Drifters Girl from 9 to 23 October, and Everybody’s Talking about Jamie from 25 to 30 October) accompanied by two thrillers: Looking Good Dead (19 to 24 July) and And Then There Were None (9 to 13 November). The season culminates with the panto Humpty Dumpty starring Danny Adams and Clive Web with Steve Heyward (23 November to 9 January).
On 9 April, the Tyne Theatre and Opera House will live-stream Waiting in the Wings, live performance from London West End performers with full casting to be announced soon.
The first live performances (socially distanced) will be Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, written & directed by Guy Unsworth, based on the TV series by Raymond Allen, starring Joe Pasquale, Sarah Earnshaw and Susie Blake, running from 18 to 22 May 2021. This is followed from 29 May to 6 June by Jack and the Beanstalk, a socially distanced pantomime, starring Tyne Theatre regular Charlie Richmond as Simple Simon. This was originally planned for Christmas 2020.
One-night stands of various kinds follow until, on 21 and 22 September at 10:00 and 1:00, children's show In the Night Garden Live comes to the theatre after two postponements since 2020. Then The Russian State Ballet returns with The Nutcracker on 17 October, with Dirty Dancing (26 and 27 October), the adult Halloween panto The Little Mermaid (21 October), Happy Idiot in association with Worthing Theatres and Museum presenting Not: Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a parody of Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D H Lawrence (8 November), Shit-faced Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (24 November), all lead up to Enchanted Entertainment's annual panto Sleeping Beauty (3 December 2021 to 3 January 2022).
The programme at Gosforth Civic Theatre announced so far focuses entirely on music one-night stands.