The first season at Laurels

Published: 2 September 2021
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Waxa Belta Helta Skelta
Gerry & Sewell

Following its opening production, Coast, and The BonBons Cabaret in August, Laurels, Whitley Bay’s new theatre in Whitley Road, has announced its first season which runs from September to April.

It opens with a solo show from Serena Ramsey, Waxa Belta Helta Skelta (14–24 September at 7:30), a surreal look at abandonment, cults and Mammy issues which combines live soundscapes, story-telling, dark humour and experimental electro-music to engulf the audience in the explosive world of one Geordie girl with a missing mam, but plenty of pasties.

The rest of the season consists of:

5–8 October 2021 at 7:00
The Psychedelic Fox: Mercury Retrograde
Charlotte Fox

Charlotte is living with Freddie, a Shaman. She has been told to take radical responsibility for her life, but let's face it, life is a lot more fun when you don't. A mashup of music, stand up, sketch and character comedy following her misadventures.

26–27 October at 8:00
Dracula: The Travesty
Devised and created by Stewart Howson, from the novel by Bram Stoker
Produced by Northumberland Theatre Company (NTC)

"Light, funny and daft" but with some genuinely scary moments. Gothic storytelling at its best: "imaginative, atmospheric and physically exciting—with audience participation."

8–11 December 2021 at 7:15
By Reece Connolly

A "very weird and pretty dark" comedy, decorated in plenty of fairy lights and tinsel which tells how, one snowy Christmas Eve, on the way back from the offie, under a flickering neon Newkie Brown star, Jo and Maz meet a man. Old-looking, sparkly eyes, red suit, and well-groomed facial hair. It could very well be Santa. It could also be the Devil himself. Or an eldritch warlord from outer space. The jury’s still out.

He cuts them a deal. A suitcase full of money—more than they’ve ever seen, and no matter how much they take out, it will always magically replenish—if they help deliver a very important little baby into the world that very night.

25 January–5 February 2022 at 7:30
By Phoebe Eclair Powell

A new version of Phoebe Eclair Powell's play, set in Whitley Bay, which looks at two lives veering dangerously close to collision, asking us what separates the man from the boy. Directed by Live Theatre's executive producer, Graeme Thompson.

5–6 March 2022 at 7:00
By Hannah Kumari

1997. Last year, England made it to the semi-finals of Euro 96, Gina G came third in Eurovision and 13-year-old Lizzie went to her first in-person football game: Coventry v Manchester City. Not the Man City of today, oil and superstars, but the old Man City: a bit rubbish, but with good fans. Lizzie fell in love with the beautiful game that day, and she’s been obsessed ever since. But then something happens to make her question her place in the stands. Eng-er-land is an energetic play about who’s really on your team.

29 March–10 April 2022 at 7:15
Gerry & Sewell
Based on Jonathan Tulloch's The Season Ticket, adapted by Jamie Eastlake.
Presented in association with Helena Doughty Productions.

Sewell and Gerry live in Gateshead. Theirs seems the perfect partnership. Sewell is physically strong, Gerry is small but crafty. Neither has attended school for a long time. Both are broke, and both love one thing: Newcastle United. Featuring puppetry, live music and a "purely belter" tale of epic proportions.