NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
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"We step out of our solar system, into the universe, seeking only peace and friendship..." So says the message from the human race on the Voyager spacecraft. But is there, y'know, anyone out there? Alex really wanted to know so he went to speak to an astrophysicist to find out. This is what he learned: Stellar Wobble. Light Clocks. The Mirror Test. The Distance Ladder. And murderous dolphins.
Inspired by Stefan Zweig's novella The Royal Game. On board a decadent cruise liner in the late 1930s, the world's greatest chess champion is challenged to a match by a mysterious newcomer. As the strange opponent begins to play, the secrets of his dark past bubble to the surface and it becomes clear that the game is not the only thing he's at risk of losing.
With a live jazz percussive score and their signature blend of ramshackle and cinematic performance, Rhum and Clay Theatre Company tell a story of madness, identity and finding a home in 64 black and white squares. Additional devising from Charlotte Dubery, Sacha Plaige and Jess Mabel Jones
Through a fascinating process of impro-animation characters, actors and events are constructed before your eyes from brooms, newspapers and junk.
Part of the Suspense Festival;
Is this a man's world? Would it be nothing without a woman, or a girl? A double bill of one man plays by Luke Barnes and Ishy Din, with a live soundtrack scratched by award-winning DJ Mariam Rezaei. Beats North explores the soundtrack to our lives through the eyes and ears of two young northern men who are still trying to figure it out. Al's family want him to be a Bollywood convert, but he craves Motown and the spotlight for him and his guitar. Jack gets lost in the power of Bonnie Tyler and his own imagination, much to his dad's frustration. Come join the party and request a song for your own soundtrack.
Set in Liverpool, the play tells the tale of two brothers separated at birth who meet again by chance. Despite growing up in completely different circumstances, the pair strike up a close friendship. However, when their plans are destined to cross again in adulthood it will result in unforeseen tragic circumstances. This play version in both humorous and heart-breaking at the same time, and was first performed in November 1981 before being adapted into a full-blown musical.
From a war-torn African state to conflict in a British Detention Centre, The Bogus Woman follows the journey of a young African poet and journalist, seeking asylum. Researched with asylum seekers at Campsfield and Tinsley House Detention Centres, this urgent and explosive production is a gut-wrenching testimony to the abuse of human rights in Britain. The winner of a Fringe First Award in Edinburgh 2000.
Canterbury Tales is a bawdy classic written 700 years ago, it centres on a group of pilgrims who entertain one another with stories as they ride to Canterbury Cathedral. But despite the apparently holy purpose of their journey these travellers reveal themselves as sinners rather than saints. The pilgrims contrasting and colourful backgrounds offer many different stories, from the serious and moral to the farcical and bawdy, proving that like Shakespeare after him, Chaucer was ‘not for an age but for all time .
That sad feeling you get after your taken your last bite of chocolate. The last day of the holidays. That idea on Sunday night you could just do with one more day without work... You can never quite get enough of a good thing can you? Well neither can The Story Project. Building on their sold out run of short plays at the Arcola Theatre in January this year, The Story Project are even more hungry to introduce you to their brilliant generation of writers, actors and directors. The most talented artists will take inspiration from an element they discovered when writing for The Story Project, and then, in one room in one week, they come up with four polished, perfect and parasitically addictive half hour plays for you to peruse at your pleasure.
19th August 1978. Cinema Rex fire, Iran. 422 dead. The year of Superman, Saturday Night Fever and an act of terror that sparked a revolution. Who will remember the dead? Shahrzad, feral cat and teller of tales, pleads with Death for one more life. To have another saucer of milk. To tell the stories of the dead. For eternity. Paris, Baga, Peshawar, Aleppo, New York, London, Abadan... What matters now is that the names are not forgotten.
Dark And Lovely is a performance from inside the Tumbleweave; a home for hair built from abandoned weaves and extensions. In the Tumbleweave, Selina Thompson discusses afro hair: its politics, its connotations, its history and what it tells us about being Black, British and Female in the UK today. Using recorded conversation, music and written text Selina sets out to transform the Tumbleweave, which is admittedly ?a little bit gross', into something beautiful and to reveal just what our hair does, and more importantly, doesn't tell us, about what it is to be Black.
What would you do if everyone in the world hated you? Would you run? Would you fight? Or would you try to make them laugh? Donald Robertson has no mates and he isn't funny. But with guidance from his new mentor Gary, he hopes that this is all about to change
Having survived Eton, young George Orwell disappears into the underworld of 1920s Paris in search for something to write about, while a modern-day journalist goes undercover on a London council estate at the turn of the millennium.
'I've got a story for you. Involves blue films, a killing, bent cops, drugs and a friend of a couple of people you've been trying to wrap the fish and chips in for a long time now. The man who was killed was called Carter.' Jack Carter has been away, away in the big bad city down south. He's made himself a name as a man not to be crossed. He's found himself a place in world of violence, betrayal and terrible retribution. All that is coming to an end though, it's time to fight or fly, and Jack is flying off to a new life far-far away before his bosses figure out he's been a very naughty boy. Before he goes though, there's a loose end that needs tidying up. Jack's brother Frank is dead and the story of how it happened doesn't add up. So now Jack has to avenge a brother he was never going to speak to again in a Newcastle he was never going back to. The problem is, when you gaze into the past, the past gazes right back into you.
Told against the backdrop and music of the 60s, this dark and stylish new production tells the story of anti-hero Jack Carter's pursuit of revenge in and around an economically depressed Newcastle, rife with unemployment, misogyny, crime and scarcely repressed violence. This new adaptation of Ted Lewis's revenge thriller novel is adapted by Northumberland based writer Torben Betts. Lewis' noir classic was elevated to iconic status by Mike Hodge's 1971 film starring Michael Caine in the lead role.
The monarch - Liz. Her most powerful subject - Maggie. Handbags, hairspray and sensible shoes. One believed there was no such thing as society. The other had vowed to serve it. Handbagged opens the clasp on the antipathy between two giants of the twentieth century. Based on the critically-acclaimed short play from Women, Power & Politics (Tricycle, 2010)
10 NOVEMBER - 14 NOVEMBER
THEATRE ROYAL, NORWICH
7 OCTOBER - 10 OCTOBER
BELGRADE THEATRE, COVENTRY
2 NOVEMBER - 7 NOVEMBER
KING'S THEATRE, EDINBURGH
26 OCTOBER - 31 OCTOBER
THEATRE ROYAL, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
19 OCTOBER - 24 OCTOBER
THEATRE ROYAL CONCERT HALL, NOTTINGHAM
28 SEPTEMBER - 3 OCTOBER
THE PLAYHOUSE, OXFORD
21 SEPTEMBER - 26 SEPTEMBER
THEATRE ROYAL, BATH
15 SEPTEMBER - 19 SEPTEMBER
THE LOWRY, SALFORD
9 SEPTEMBER - 12 SEPTEMBER
MARLOWE THEATRE, CANTERBURY
23 NOVEMBER - 28 NOVEMBER
RICHMOND THEATRE, OUTER LONDON
16 NOVEMBER - 21 NOVEMBER
EVERYMAN THEATRE, CHELTENHAM
A man with ice where his heart should be, hurt more times than he'd care to count, with a list of enemies longer than a giraffe's neck; whisky soaked, wise-cracking Private Investigator Sam Shadow is the most hardboiled of them all and he doesn't care who knows it. Then the beautiful Scarlett Crawford sashays into his office and knocks him out of the park. She brings him what seems like the routine case of a missing sister. But there are no ordinary cases in this town, and this is no ordinary dame. Like a greyhound chasing a fake rabbit, Shadow's investigation leads him into an underworld of double crosses, car chases, gangsters and Police Chiefs. This is a case with more twists than a Chinese burn, and who knows what's around the next corner?
When Inspector Goole calls unexpectedly on the prosperous Birling family investigating the suicide of a poor young local woman his startling revelations shatter the very foundation of their lives. As the Inspector asks insinuating questions it becomes clear that they all bear guilt for the destruction of the woman they have variously exploited for cheap labour, cheap sex and worse - And then the plot thickens. Written at the end of the second World War and set before the first, An Inspector Calls is a brilliantly compelling and haunting thriller.
She was doing okay. She had a good job, a great relationship, a nice little flat with cheap wine in the fridge and expensive cushions on the sofa. She was being everything to everyone and juggling all the things that keep a person afloat, head above water, swimming not sinking. But there was always one too many balls in the air and too many people to please. Something had to drop. Last night she sipped a glass of water and it seeped out through her skin. Into Thin Air explores the increasing pressure on everyone to succeed at everything. It looks at when ambition moves from a positive motivator to become the weight of expectation and an inability to live in and enjoy the present, as we are too fixated with what's next.
Using tight ensemble performance and magical-realism, Precious Cargo presents a slick, intelligent exploration of how we cope in an increasingly pressurised world.
Bold and irreverent storytelling explores the complex character of this colourful Stewart king - a poet, a lover, a law-maker but also the product of a harsh political system. James I of Scotland was captured when he was only 13 and became King of Scots in an English prison. 18 years later he's finally delivered back home with a ransom on his head and a new English bride. He's returning to a poor nation, the royal coffers are empty and his nobles are a pack of wolves ready to tear him apart at the first sign of weakness. But James has his own ideas about how to be a king and, after 18 years, he finally has the chance to realise them. James is determined to bring the rule of law to a land riven by warring families, but that struggle will force him to make terrible choices if he is to save himself, his Queen and the crown.
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In the second of Rona Munro's dynastical trilogy, innocent games merge with murderous intent in a violent royal playground of shifting realities and paranoia. An eight year old boy is crowned King of Scots. Soon James II is the prize in a vicious game between the country's most powerful families, for whoever has the person of the boy king, controls the state. Seen through a child's eyes, the Scottish court is a world of monsters with sharp teeth and long knives. Growing up alone, abandoned by his mother and separated from his sisters, James II is little better than a puppet. There is only one relationship he can trust, his growing friendship with another lonely boy, William, the future Earl of Douglas. The two boys cling together as they try to survive the murder and mayhem that surrounds them. But the independence and power of young adulthood brings James into an even more threatening world. He has to fight the feuding nobles who still want to control him, he has to make brutal choices about the people he loves best, he has to struggle to keep his tenuous grip on the security of the crown and on his sanity....while the nightmares and demons of his childhood rise up again with new and murderous intent.
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Like James III himself, the final instalment of Rona Munro's extraordinary trilogy is colourful, brash and unpredictable. It turns its eye on the women of the royal court, both lowly and high born, who prove to be its beating heart. Queen Margaret, married to James III is played by Sofie Grabol, most known to audiences as Sarah Lund in the Danish TV series, The Killing. James III of Scotland. A man who's irresistible, charismatic, a man of fashion and culture. A man with big dreams ...and no budget to realise any of them. Obsessed with grandiose schemes that his nation can ill-afford and his restless nobles will no longer tolerate, James is loved and loathed in dangerously unstable proportions. But Scotland's future will be decided by the woman who loves him best of all, his resourceful and resilient wife, Queen Margaret of Denmark. As dreams battle brutal realities and the nation thunders dangerously close to regicide and civil war, her true love and clear vision offer the only protection that can save a fragile monarchy and rescue a struggling people. But the cost for Margaret herself may be too high.
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The Queen is dead: after a lifetime of waiting, the prince ascends the throne. A future of power. But how to rule? This controversial piece of writing looks at the modern state of the monarchy and the unwritten rules of democracy. Mike Bartlett examines the people underneath the crown and looks into the consciousness of Britain's most famous family.
Kwaidan is a cinematic and atmospheric piece inspired by Japanese ghost stories and horror movies which combines life-sized puppets, humanettes, acting and video projections.
Part of the Suspense Festival;
Following a plane crash on an uninhabited island, the story follows the actions of a group of adolescent schoolboys as they battle against the elements for survival and supremacy. The island becomes a dark and dangerous place, where dreams turn to nightmares. A stunning tale of bullying, power, identity and violence.
On a midsummer's night Hermia and her lover Lysander flee from Athens and Demetrius - the man Hermia's father favours as a son-in-law. Demetrius follows, pursued by Helena who loves him in spite of being spurned in favour of Hermia. On the same night Bottom and his friends leave Athens to find somewhere quiet to rehearse their play which is to be performed at the wedding feast of Duke Theseus. Drawn into the woods they enter a world of magic, mystery and wonder.
In 2016, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Castle Players and The People's Theatre take you on a very special Midsummer adventure with a unique production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The nation's favourite Shakespeare play is performed as never before; magically intertwining professional and amateur actors, deep in an enchanted wood on Midsummer's night. During its tour of the UK, catch the show in Newcastle where local amateur groups the Castle Players and The People's Theatre will perform with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Victor Smiley and his wife Joan have been married for a long time. But Victor secretly loathes Joan and is getting attention elsewhere. And Joan is bored stiff by Victor, whose irritating ways are driving her mad. The marriage has reached a crisis point and Victor decides there is only one way to get Joan out of his life forever... but he's about to get a nasty surprise.
Back by popular demand The Faction revive their hugely popular series of solo plays from some of the most daring names in world literature with some new titles to explore . This mini series celebrates new adaptations from exciting emerging writers including Gareth Jandrell, Emily Juniper and Will Gore and The Faction's bold, inventive aesthetic with the intimacy and immediacy of live solo performance.
Or by its full first quarto title of The Tragedy of King Richard the Third, containing his trecherous plots against his brother Clarence: the pittiful murder of his innocent nephews: his tyrannical usurpation: with the whole course of his detested life and most deserved death. Of course, nowadays Richard is seen as much maligned but the image of the hunchback reciting "Now is the winter of our discontent" will remain with us for a long time. Essentially the plot sees Richard assuming the throne after Edward IV and disposing of all those with greater right. He is finally killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field after having pronounced that other great line "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!" (shouldn't that be "An horse!"?).
We want more. We do. And why shouldn't we have it? We've worked hard, educated, cultured and motivated ourselves. We're hungry. Our greatest leaps of understanding have always been born from the desire for more. In 2013, Engineer Theatre Collective began a dialogue with the latest generation of aspiring financiers. Whilst they hold little power today, these young professionals will be running our banks, trading our stocks and managing our pensions tomorrow. Engaging with these bright new minds and some of our greatest classical and contemporary thinkers, RUN is an honest and visceral exploration of what drives our natural desire for more.
Sacre Bleu is a solo performance piece confronting anxiety through poetry & storytelling. An uplifting performance about panic attacks based on personal experience and shared stories. It's a bubble bath, a protest, a slice of toast, a balloon. There'll be punk music, popcorn and some clumsily explained analysis of neural pathways. Let's make something happen, even if it is just in this room right now. We like to think of it as being a bit like a riot organised by your Nan. Winner of the 2015 Title Pending award for New Theatre.
Andy Dufresne is convicted of murdering his wife and her lover and sent to the notorious Shawshank Prison to serve two life sentences. Stripped of his life, family and freedom, Andy is forced to endure a spirit-crushing routine. But with his quiet strength and inner courage there is one thing that Andy never loses - and that is hope.
In 1934 a young German refugee flees to Paris and discovers the genius of photography. She reinvents herself as Gerda Taro, becoming one of the pioneering women to photograph the front line. In this startling and visually rich production Idle Motion expose one of the most remarkable untold stories of our age. Today we live in a world where our lives can feel like they are defined by our collective Kodak moments. With the compulsion to capture it all we are flooded by a myriad of images. And yet within the 2.5 billion photographs taken every day, there will only be a precious few that we will continue to hold on to.
For three weeks in the run-up to the General Election, we're taking a look at the options on offer, and the context in which the decision is to be made. How were we persuaded that austerity was necessary? Why are poor people under attack - and who represents them? Who is Generation Anger, and what are they going to do with their rage? With bespoke events and discussions, cabarets and cutting-edge theatre, CPT lays on for you one heck of a political party.
Prospero, Duke of Milan, his dukedom usurped by his brother Antonio, is put to sea with his daughter Miranda and some magical books smuggled in by his loyal councillor Gonzalo. The sea casts them up on an island where Prospero, exercising his magical powers, makes a home for himself and Miranda. One day a great storm, which Prospero has conjured, breaks up a passing ship and delivers to him the members of his usurping court. Treacherous brother, fellow conspirators and old friend alike come under Prospero's spell. Shakespeare's last play.
Entangle yourself deep within the dingy town of Lagging Gallows in the company of two narrators whose bandaged faces act as screens for eye-popping, innovative projection. Join the mayhem and feast on a meaty slice of bonkers and blood thirsty poetry. Created and performed by two members of critically acclaimed, multi award winners Kill The Beast (The Boy Who Kicked Pigs, He Had Hairy Hands), The Terrible Tale of the Twiddly Widdlies promises to lure you down a dark and dangerous garden path to wrack and ruin.
Set in 1940s England and the secretive worlds of the cold huts of 'Station X' at Bletchley Park, this stunning piece of visual theatre uses inventive staging and multimedia projection to explore the stories and lives of the remarkable men and women whose quiet work changed the course of our history.
Welcome to Night Vale the wildly popular serial podcast that brings it's dedicate listeners stories from the strange desert town of Night Vale. Delivering rich and nuanced drama in the form of a community radio show hosted by Cecil Palmer. Welcome to Night Vale has grown to be one of the most popular podcasts in the world while remaining fiercely independent, entirely listener supported, and ad-free.
If you could send a mixtape to outer space, on behalf of planet Earth, what would be on it? Right now, there's a golden record hurtling through space. It's about you and me. You, me and the world. You, me and the universe. It's a mixtape of humanity, a collection of songs, sounds and pictures from Earth, a valentine from the human race to whoever or whatever finds it. A science-fact love story. Two ordinary people do an extra-ordinary thing. Two ordinary people look out into the universe and find the most human thing: love.