What's on in the North East

Published: 9 February 2020
Reporter: Peter Lathan

The Snow Queen (Scottish Ballet at Newcastle Theatre Royal) Credit: Andy Ross
The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel (Northern Stage)
The Political History of Smack and Crack (Live Theatre) Credit: The Other Richard
2 Clowns 1 Cup (Alphabetti)
The Croft (Darlington Hippodrome) Credit: James Findlay

From Wednesday to Saturday, Scottish Ballet brings The Snow Queen to Newcastle Theatre Royal.

The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff continues in Stage 2 at Northern Stage until 22 February. From Tuesday to Saturday the Told by an Idiot and Theatre Royal Plymouth production with Royal & Derngate Northampton and Unity Theatre Liverpool of The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel runs in Stage 1. In Stage 3 on Wednesday, Nathaniel Hall presents First Time, his autobiographical solo show about growing up HIV positive in a negative world. Finally on Friday and Saturday, also in Stage 3, Playing Up returns with Playing Up 12, short plays, each written, directed and performed by local, emerging talent.

At Live Theatre on Tuesday and Wednesday, Offstage Theatre & Most Wanted in association with Alastair Michael present Ed Edwards's Political History of Smack and Crack, an angry, funny love-song to a lost generation, chronicling the fallout for communities crushed by the heroin epidemic at the height of Thatcherism.

From Tuesday to Thursday, Ugly Bucket returns to Alphabetti with their 5-star Ed Fringe sell-out hit 2 Clowns 1 Cup. Two clowns embark on a wild journey of sex and self-discovery. From puberty to puppetry, condoms to clowning, music and masturbation, this is the sex education you always deserved, but never had.

On Tuesday at 6:00, Dance City presents its Theatre Season Launch Event, introducing the shows coming to the venue, along with some special guests, and included in the ticket price are free nibbles and drinks in the Social Space from 5:30.

The touring production of The Sound of Music comes to Sunderland Empire from Tuesday to Saturday.

Where There’s Muck There’s Bras, true stories of some of the North’s most amazing women by stand-up poet and Radio 4 regular Kate Fox, is at Arts Centre Washington on Thursday.

At the Queen’s Hall in Hexham on Tuesday, Gonzo Moose presents Once Upon a Time. Brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are about to publish the final volume of what will become the greatest ever collection of fairy tales. But on the eve of their greatest triumph, a shadowy figure from their past returns to collect an old debt. A show which features Mexican elves, a biscuit-eating badger and the world’s worst marriage guidance counsellor.

At 1:30 on Tuesday, Quantum Theatre brings its production of Macbeth to Billingham Forum.

Fault Lines, an interactive fashion show on the fracture between feminism and fabric in which the audience curates its own journey through a runway show of “people like you and people you’ll never know,” with a soundtrack selected by the audience, comes to ARC Stockton on Tuesday at 7:00. Full details—essential reading before booking—are on the ARC web site.

At Middlesbrough Theatre on Friday, Swansea City Opera presents Mozartissimo, an evening of Mozart Opera. Specially arranged for wind trio, soprano and baritone, this operatic journey includes arias and duets not only from Mozart’s famous works, such as The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute, but also from some of his lesser-known operas.

At Darlington Hippodrome from Tuesday to Saturday, The Original Theatre Company presents Gwen Taylor in The Croft, a thriller by Ali Milles, directed by Philip Franks. Then on Sunday, Vampires Rock arrives in Darlington.

Staying in Darlington, at The Hullabaloo from Thursday to Saturday (various times), Travelling Light and Bristol Old Vic present Igloo, a playful experience filled with warmth, sensation and gentle exploration, suitable for babes in arms and pre-schoolers aged 0–3 accompanied by their carers. It lasts for 30 minutes, plus 10 minutes stay and play.

In The Studio at Harrogate Theatre from Tuesday to Thursday, A Shadow Of Doubt is a “touching, sad and funny play” about a family struggling with grief after living with dementia. The creator of the play, Gill Mcvey, a professional actor, has been working with families living with dementia for six years and through this work has found that everyone has a story, everyone has an experience and everyone has an opinion on how much they could stand to suffer themselves. Then in the Theatre on Thursday, The Simon and Garfunkel Story returns and on Friday Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens are Eric and Ern, a homage to Morecambe and Wise.