Northern Stage – Spring 2011 Season


Northern Stage (formerly Newcastle Playhouse) would like to shout from the snowy rooftops about its spring 2011 season.

If people are looking to make a New Year’s resolution of experiencing more internationally recognised and entertaining theatre, they should look no further than Northern Stage. Then pitch a tent in the foyer and, tell their friends, family and work colleagues not to expect them back until around… May!

Across Northern Stage’s three stages audiences can expect a hint of Chekhov, a Twisted Tale or two from Roald Dahl, a sprinkling of international dance (first UK tour by acclaimed Danish Dance Theatre), an actor from the Hollywood blockbuster Harry Potter films and even a Mission to Mars.

As ever the programme is accompanied by a selection of interactive and participation events that are aimed at people of all ages.

“A new year signifies new energy and vision,” said Erica Whyman, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Northern Stage (formerly Newcastle Playhouse).

Erica continues: “Given the kind of changes we are all facing this year, the Northern Stage team have been gloriously undaunted in seeking out and bringing to Newcastle the hottest and most thrilling experiences from the worlds of theatre, dance, comedy and storytelling for our audiences to enjoy.

“The programme is brought to life and kept fresh by the balance of classic tales and new approaches – continuing our mission to provide a contemporary stage for innovative minds.”

Here are some spring 2011 highlights (not in order of performance). This isn’t the full spring season and further announcements will be made in January:


Roald Dahl’s Twisted Tales 
16–26 March / Stage 1 / recommended 14+
Northern Stage, Lyric Hammersmith and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse present 
the best loved author’s renowned short stories for adults. Adapted by The League of Gentlemen’s Jeremy Dyson and directed by the exciting young talent Polly Findlay.  

Exposing the twisted imagination and black humour of Roald Dahl, Dyson brings a wonderfully dark and dangerous world to the stage; created from some of his most macabre stories including William and Mary and The Landlady. In Roald Dahl’s Twisted Tales nothing is quite as it seems; sweet old landladies have suspicious hobbies, widows seek sweet revenge and gambling requires more than just money. Expect the unexpected…starring Selina Griffiths (Benidorm and Drop the Dead Donkey).

On The Harmful Effects of Tobacco / Can Cause Death 
by Forward Theatre Project
16–17 February / Stage 2 / … David Bradley [Argus Filch – the caretaker of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films] plays both husband and wife in this one man double-bill of Chekhov and New Writing. Funny, disarming and beautifully acted.

Mission to Mars 
By Clare Duffy, Jon Spooner and Chris Thorpe
Unlimited Theatre and Polka Theatre in association with Curve Leicester
24–26 February / Stage 2 / Recommended 7+
…it’s 2035, and we’re ready to send the first humans to Mars.  Unlimited return to Northern Stage following hits Tangle and The Moon The Moon.

The Summer House 
Devised by Will Adamsdale, Neil Haigh, Matthew Steer and John Wright (founder member of Trestle and Told By An Idiot)
Presented by Fuel
31 March–2 April / Stage 2 / recommended 14+ / …a comedy thriller about men, myths and the weather.

And The Horse You Rode In On
Told by an Idiot and Drum Theatre Plymouth production
19 –21 April / Stage 2 / recommended 12+ /  …examining extreme acts of violence, this sinister comedy of ineptitude is a funny and disturbing look at the lengths people will go for their beliefs and how powerless we are to stop them.

26 & 27 May / Stage 3 
Performed and directed by InterACT – The Northern Regions Theatre Training Ensemble managed by Northumberland Theatre Company / …4 new plays by 4 talented new writers projecting the absurdity of life, love, truth and hope.


Danish Dance Theatre 
25–26 February / Stage 1
Dance Triple bill – Enigma / CaDance / Kridt (Chalk) 
…combining the classical lines of ballet with the power of modern dance.

Phoenix Dance Theatre: Reflected
Works by Ben Duke and Raquel Meseguer, Philip Taylor, Sharon Watson and Richard Wherlock  
19–20 May / Stage 1
‘What It Is’ is a sultry, playful take on love and sexuality set to a mesmerising Amy Winehouse soundtrack.  Audience favourite ‘Pave Up Paradise’ is a tongue-in-cheek retelling of Adam and Eve. The show also features two new dance works; the sensual and vibrant ‘Switch’ and ‘Melt’, an innovative blend of aerial dance and contemporary choreography.

Underneath the Floorboards 
balletLORENT and Northern Stage co-production (recommended for under 5s) 
25–26 January / Stage 3 / Newcastle-based choreographer Liv Lorent premieres her new work for children under 5.   Have you ever wondered what’s underneath the floorboards? Dance, original song, music and curious creatures can all be found there.

And everything in between: (storytelling / spoken word / new writing)

The Crick Crack Club 
Stage 2 / performance storytelling 
Fairytales for Grownups: The Grateful & the Dead by Ben Haggarty (2 Feb)
Metamorphoses by Daniel Morden & Hugh Lupton (4 May)

Sometimes I Laugh Like My Sister
Written by Rebecca Peyton and Martin M. Bartelt / Directed by Martin M. Bartelt
12–13 April / Stage 3 / recommend 12+
Since her big sister, BBC journalist Kate Peyton, was murdered in Somalia, Rebecca has had rather a strange time. Crafting a moving and often comic tapestry of private moments from a public tragedy, she welcomes us to her world in a passionately political, sharply comical and painfully personal account of life after Kate.

First in 3 
10 February & 24 May / Stage 3 / …showcasing the best in new writing, comedy, theatre, dance and music

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