Coming to Alphabetti

Published: 29 August 2019
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Alphabetti, Newcastle’s fringe theatre, has announced its September / November programme. The theatre highlights are:

Three Shorts

(3–7 September at 7:30) A triple bill of short plays by Elijah Young, Sam Neale and Allison Davies presented as part of the Just Write artist development scheme. Directed by Karen Traynor, Natasha Haws and Stan Hodgson. An Alphabetti production. (Pay What You Feel.)


(6 September at 6:00) A scratch performance of a work-in-progress by William Steele and Chloe Flockart. What is the dragon in your life? What is the thing which has power over you? How would you fight it if you could... and what would you do if you won?

In the upstairs rehearsal room which is not wheelchair accessible. (Free but booking required.)


(10–14 September at 7:30) Written and performed by Josh Coates. A security robot named Steve appears to have drowned itself. This viral event catches the eye of Josh. An obsession is born. But what happens when a fanatic loses trust with what they obsessively adore? (PWYF.)

The Art of Cuddling and Other Things

(17–21 September at 7:30) Using circus, dance, theatre and musical composition, CIRC Motif produces a performance in which poetic imagery and circus skills provoke audiences to look into themselves and each other. (PWYF.)

Write Faster

(21 September at 9:30) In this regular Alphabetti event, three writers write a brand-new play in front of the audience while it's also being performed. The writers hand lines, stage directions and anything else they fancy to the actors for them to act out. What will unfurl: an epic modern day classic or one for the wastepaper basket? Who knows? (PWYF.)

Bost-Uni Plues

(24–26 September at 7:30) Presented by Ugly Bucket Theatre. University is the best three years of your life. So, what happens next? Join three clowns as they leave the comfort of student life behind and enter the real world. A world full of expectation and proper jobs.

Rat Race

(28 September at 7:30) Presented by The Suggestibles' School of Improv. Two teams fall over themselves and each other to entertain you in a relentless battle of games, sketches and songs. Over-18s only. (£7, £5 concessions.)

Cabaret of Curiosities

(1–3 October at 7:30) Presented by Tatwood Puppets. Join the one-eyed magician Count Ocular and friends for a gothic, vaudeville experience in the bizarre world of the Cabaret of Curiosities. For ages 14+. (PWYF.)

Let Us Make It Up To You

(4 October at 7:30) Open Heart Theatre presents its regular night of improvised comedy. 16+. (£8, £6 concessions.)


(8–12 October at 7:30) Camisado Club’s new show, a colourful, glitter-splattered cocktail of high art and low morals. Reframed and reclaimed, this is Bluebeard. Ella just needs a chance, a shot, a platform and maybe tonight is the night. A party, a chance meeting, doors, choices. Ella was bored... and then suddenly she wasn't. Ages 16+. (PWYF.)

Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F*cked

(8–12 October at 9:30) One-night stands are awkward. One-night stands with animals are more awkward. And when you're as desperate to please as Bobby, things get awkward as f*ck. He's just a guy with too much love to give and a burning desire to give it to consensual adult mammals. This one-man tragicomedy by Rob Hayes tackles mental health, focusing on how toxic masculinity can undermine loving and healthy social connections, while also illustrating the absurdity of society’s treatment of animals. Ages 16+. (PWYF from 8 to 10, £9 / £7 on 11 and 12.)


(15–18 October at 7:30) By Elijah Young. A Customs House and Alphabetti Theatre production, originally performed at the Customs House. Isolation follows six students over the course of one day as they find themselves shut away from the rest of the school. The bell has rung, books are out, names have been carved into the desks, auditions for the school play have begun, and a year seven has just been hit in the face with a shoe. But today is different. It marks the one year anniversary of an event that shook the school, students and teachers alike. (PWYF.)

Living in Limbo

(17–18 October at 9:30) Abu-Zayd DeGale, a refugee from Sudan, works as a nightclub doorman in Newcastle to support his family. Now he’s had enough of verbal abuse, racism and the threat of violence at his workplace and in this performance he uses storytelling, spoken-word and song to map his life in Sudan and his journey to Newcastle, demystifying the myths around refugees and confronting his own demons along the way. (PWYF.)

New Wave Festival

(19–20 October at 11:00, 3:00 and 7:00 each day) A festival of shows and workshops from "some of the most exciting new performers the North East has to offer". Alphabetti has invited six young companies (aged 16–25) to take over the building for a weekend. (PWYF.)

Shakespeare’s Speakeasy

(23 October at 7:30) A Shakespeare play produced in a day in a truly rough and ready Elizabethan fashion. (PWYF.)

4 1 Night Only

(25 October at 7:30) In an evening of improvised 'dramedy', members of The Suggestibles, together with a new ensemble from the School of Improv for one night only, present two impro comedy formats, two new dramatic plays, taking inspiration from the audience to "boldly go where no one has gone before". And promise to never go again! Ages 18+. (£7, £5 concessions.)

Best in the World

(29 October to 9 November—not Sun and Mon) Presented by Unfolding Theatre in association with LittleMighty. There is a world that can transport us from the ordinary to the extraordinary, where we are one perfect throw away from greatness, a place where we can all be champions. That world is darts. Through this noble sport, Alex Elliott asks the unfathomable question: “what does it mean to be best in the world?” (PWYF.)

Write Something Showcase

(12 November at 7:30) A regular Alphabetti event: 15 new plays in an evening of rehearsed readings from plays developed over the Write Something workshops of the previous five weeks. (PWYF.)

The True Historie of Mr William Shakespeare

(14–16 November) Presented by Blowfish Theatre (Boris the Musical and Trump the Musical). Director Kyle Williams will stop at nothing to stage his biography of Shakespeare and shake off Blowfish Theatre’s reputation for low-brow popular musicals. Nothing will stand in his way. Not a company of thankless plebs, not the stupidity of his audience and definitely not his own incompetence. (PWYF on 14, then £9, £8 concessions.)


(19–23 November at 7:30) Written and performed by Tom Machell and directed and developed by Derek Anderson. Ticker follows twenty-something Spencer, a Geordie millennial who is deeply in love with the inestimable Gabi. But Spencer’s life is torn apart by Gabi’s untimely—and unexplained—death. How can he even begin to cope with finding himself suddenly a prime suspect and a chief mourner? (PWYF.)

Rat Race

(22 November at 9:00) The Suggestibles’ School of Improv’s monthly performance. Ages 18+. (£7, £5 concessions.)

A Haunted Existence

(26–30 November at 7:30) Presented by Tom Marshman. In the early 1950s, 17-year-old Geoffrey Patrick Williamson was on the Exeter-to-Bristol train when he got into a conversation with another man—also travelling in his train compartment—who accused Geoffrey of making 'improper approaches'. The other man was a railway officer in plain clothes. Geoffrey was arrested at the next stop. When questioned, he revealed the names of men he had had sex with, so beginning a domino effect of arrests, prison sentences, aversion therapy and suicide. Ages 16+. (£8, £6 concessions.)