What's on in the North East

Published: 6 May 2019
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Swan Lake (Theatre Royal, Newcastle)
Noughts and Crosses (Northern Stage) Credit: Robert Day
Hair the Musical (Sunderland Empire) Credit: Johan Persson
Pricks (Hexham Library)

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake returns to the Theatre Royal in Newcastle from Tuesday until 18 May.

Pilot Theatre's production of Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, adapted by Sabrina Mahfouz, comes to Northern Stage (Stage 1) from Tuesday to Saturday. Sephy is a Cross and Callum is a Nought. Between Noughts and Crosses there are racial and social divides. This is a romance that will lead them into terrible danger. Then on Friday in Stage 3, Playing Up 10 is an evening of new writing, comedy and drama featuring the best up-and-coming acting talent from the North East.

At Live Theatre Shine, written and performed by Kema Sikazwe and directed by Graeme Thompson, continues until Saturday.

From Friday to Sunday (various times), Freckle Productions and Rose Theatre Kingston present Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's Zog at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House. Large in size and keen in nature, Zog is so eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon’s school, where dragons learn all the things that dragons need to know.

ODDMANOUT and The Worriers, in partnership with Alphabetti, present Floorboards, a new play by Steve Byron, at Alphabetti Theatre from Tuesday until 18 May 2019 (excluding Sundays and Mondays), which tells the story of James, a kind soul who offered a spare room to Nellist, an old schoolfriend, for a few days. That was two years ago and Nellist is still there...

On Thursday at Dance City, Seeta Patel reimagines the infamous ballet The Rite of Spring in the classical Indian dance style Bharatanatyam. Stravinsky’s avant-garde score and Nijinski's choreography stunned Parisian audiences when they debuted in 1913 and have been hugely influential ever since.

The Desert Queen will be at the Literary and Philosophical Society in Newcastle on Thursday (7:30) and Friday (2:30 and 7:30).

The fiftieth anniversary production of Hair the Musical comes to Sunderland Empire from Tuesday to Saturday.

On Friday at Hexham Library, Jade Byrne presents Pricks, her story of living with Type 1 Diabetes.

Durham’s Gala Theatre presents its co-production with York Theatre Royal, John Godber’s Teechers, from Monday to Saturday.

Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, a play for small children, comes to Billingham Forum on Tuesday at 4:30 and Wednesday at 10:00, 1:00 and 4:30.

On Saturday at 11:30 and 2:30 at ARC Stockton, Fidget Theatre presents Bird's Nest Billy, a play for 3- to 7-year-olds. Billy is a little boy with a big brother called Bo. They both have big hair. Bird’s nest hair! One day, when his big brother is at school and Billy has no-one to play with, a magical bird chirps out of his big, curly, bird’s nest hair. The bird grants him three wishes...

On Thursday, Swansea City Opera returns to Middlesbrough Theatre with Mozart's Così fan tutte. On Friday, Thomas Moore presents The Hound of the Baskervilles, with two actors playing every role in a fast-paced farce, and finally on Saturday at 11:30, Immersion Theatre presents a new, larger-than-life musical adaptation of The Amazing Adventures of Pinocchio.

In 2016, Volvo launched its ‘Human Made’ advertising campaign. New adverts focused on individual human lives, on explorers, families and factory workers. Theatre company YESYESNONO loved them so much they decided to make some adverts of their own and this is what they made: [insert slogan here] is a show about desire, about the things we want and the things we’ll do to get them. And they are bringing this show to Hartlepool Town Hall on Friday.

On Thursday at Darlington Hippodrome, audiences are invited to step into a murder mystery and immerse themselves in a story with many twists and turns that will take them behind the scenes in the Edwardian Hippodrome. In Murder in the Wings, Tall Tales Mysteries invite you to turn detective, identify the culprit and solve the crime. And the ticket price includes a posh pie and peas supper and dessert.

On Tuesday at The Hullabaloo in Darlington, the world's first cycling theatre company, The HandleBards, an all-female company who pedal from venue to venue with all the set, props and costume necessary to perform environmentally sustainable Shakespeare across the globe, comes for a bicycle-powered production of Shakespeare's The Tempest. In usual HandleBards style, expect "riotous amounts of energy, a fair old whack of chaos and a great deal of laughter".

There are two Jabberwocky Market productions in Darlington this week: Noisy Holiday and Now Is the Time to Say Nothing. Noisy Holiday by Kid Carpet and the Noisy Animals is a children’s show which is at Middleton Hall Retirement Village in Middleton St George on Friday and Saturday at 11:00 and 2:00. It contains a mix of live music, theatre, comedy, puppetry and animation. It is "a ridiculous and funny story about going on your holidays, providing silliness and mischief for the whole family".

Now Is the Time to Say Nothing runs from Thursday to Saturday (various times) at the Quaker Meeting House in Darlington. It is an interactive sound and video installation exploring the role of screens in observing global conflicts, a provocation against armchair passivity for 14 people at a time. Using video and immersive sound, it follows the real story of Syrian artist Reem Karssli as she captures her daily experience of the Syrian conflict on camera.

It's Showtime at The Big Top is at the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond on Saturday at 1:00 and 6:00.

The Desert Queen is at The Forum in Northallerton on Wednesday.

On Wednesday in The Studio at Harrogate Theatre, Same Same Different by Naomi Sumner Chan is a new verbatim play about adoption, identity and belonging, inspired by the playwright's own experiences as a trans-racial adoptee, adopted from Hong Kong into a white British family. Then on Thursday in the Main House, actor and writer Neil Gore presents an Edwardian magic show using magic lantern and projected animation, with political conjuring tricks and live music and song, based on the classic novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

Menopause the Musical comes to The Royal Hall, Harrogate on Friday.