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Northern Stage targets families

Published: 10 January 2019

In the first six months of 2019, Northern Stage will present more shows for children and young people than ever before.

There will be 13 productions in addition to the usual monthly The Storyteller in which Chris Bostock takes listeners aged 5 and above on a journey of discovery and dreaming, with lots of participation. The Storyteller resumes on 2 February at 10:30 and returns on the first Saturday of every month at the same time.

The ever-popular We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, based in the book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, comes to the theatre from 6 to 9 February (various times). The production is aimed at age 3+.

Running from 21 to 23 February at 10:45 and 1:30 and inspired by Hans Christian Andersen, What the Moon Saw, a dance and circus performance for age 3+, tells how, alone in the world and scared of the dark, young Jack opens his bedroom window to find a familiar friendly face, The Moon. Shining bright, The Moon teaches Jack how to be brave by taking him on an amazing adventure across the world, showing him all that he sees and teaching him all that he knows.

On 23 February at 2:15, Showstoppers present their Showstoppers Kids’ Show in which they will improvise musical shows based on the kids’ ideas. Recommended age 6+.

Twinkle Twinkle (16 March at 10:00, 11:30 and 1:30) is an interactive journey into melody and light created especially for very young audiences of 1 to 3 years.

Another hugely popular children’s book adapted for the stage, Dr Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat, arrives at Northern Stage on 27 March and stays until 31 (various times). Recommended ages 3+.

There’s Mischief and Mystery in Moomin Valley on 12 April at 11:00, 1:30 and 3:00 where "everyone is welcome, nature thrives and adventures are plentiful". Expect snow, surprises and plenty of Moomin mischief.

As part of its visit to Northern Stage, Northern Ball presents Puss in Boots, a special introduction to ballet for age 3+, at 12:30 and 2:30 on 18 April.

Where Do We Belong? is a new piece of theatre made by the Northern Stage Young Company, all from Newcastle and Gateshead which is a view of what global citizenship looks like through the lens of young Europeans finding their place in the world. It runs from 24 to 26 April.

On 29 and 30 April at 11:00 and 1:30, Frozen Light, specialists in making theatre for audiences with profound and multiple learning disabilities, presents The Isle of Brimsker: Where The Waves Meet The Rock. A lighthouse keeper lives alone on a desolate outcrop surrounded by stormy seas. Change is on the horizon but not in the form she expects. One day, a runaway lands on the shore and together they face the inevitable. Recommended for ages 13+.

From 7 to 11 May (various times), Pilot Theatre brings its production of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses to Stage 1. Aimed at young adults and told from the perspectives of two teenagers, Noughts & Crosses is a love story set in a volatile, racially segregated society and explores the themes of love, revolution and what it means to grow up in a divided world.

Kaleidoscope, created for babies aged 6 to 18 months and inspired by research into how a baby’s sense of sight develops, is on 18 May at 10:00, 11:15, 12:30 and 1:45.

Newcastle-based Kitchen Zoo returns to Northern Stage, where they presented The Three Bears at Christmas over the holiday period, to perform The Tin Foil Astronaut, about an astronaut who isn’t quite like others. Alba has been in training and she has even made her own rocket. But can she really power a rocket with crisps? What is past Pluto? Are there robots in space? A show for 3- to 7-year-olds.

Finally in There and Back Again – An Odyssey (22 June at 11:00 and 2:00) for ages 6+, CBeebies’ Patrick Lynch uses a pioneering mix of live cinema and theatre to take us on a ride across the magical world of ancient Greece.

Peter Lathan