FEBRUARY 2009 - Theatre Royal

25 March 2011
Theatre Royal Newcastle has today announced its new autumn 2011 season –
set to make audiences smile with breathtaking dance, fresh new comedy and
drama, as well as epic musicals during the dark days of winter! What’s more, it
will be hosted in our brand spanking newly-restored auditorium, replete with
new seats, carpets, furnishings, and the full works. This is set to be the North
East’s most exciting new season and will be more than a little bit special.
Philip Bernays, Chief Executive of the Theatre Royal said: “Our autumn 2011 season
is going to be our most spectacular ever. Not only do we have some fantastic new
shows – including a much anticipated return from Northern Ballet with a Christmas
favourite ‘The Nutcracker’, as well as a brand new country music comedy starring
EastEnders’ Shaun Williamson and Steps’ Fay Tozer ‘Rhinestone Mondays’, but we
will present all this in our spectacular new auditorium. We are confident that you will
be simply amazed by the sheer beauty of it, and are looking forward to celebrating
again with you when we turn 175 next year!”
A must-not-miss for the new season, and the first show in our ‘new’ auditorium is one
of Alan Bennett’s biggest hits, the epic royal drama The Madness of George III (12 17 September). An international theatrical sensation on its premiere in 1991, the
show was later adapted into an award-winning film. This new production stars
Olivier-Award Winning David Haig, star of In the Thick of It and The Thin Blue Line in
the title role.
For musical lovers we have a big treat in store - the greatest musical of all time,
Andrew Lloyd Webber's critically acclaimed revival of the magical Broadway classic
The Sound of Music (20 September – 8 October) will be coming here for nearly
three weeks in September 2011 starring the British Public’s favourite Maria, Connie
Fisher* . Direct from a sell-out run at the London Palladium, it tells the unforgettable
story of a good-natured, flighty novitiate who is hired to care for the seven children of
the widowed Austrian captain Von Trapp, and their subsequent flight across the Alps
together. The unforgettable score includes some of the most memorable songs ever
performed on the musical stage including My Favorite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Climb Ev'ry
Mountain, The Lonely Goatherd, and of course the glorious title song The Sound of
Music. A lavish and unforgettable show. Connie Fisher won BBC 1’s How Do You
Solve a Problem Like Maria? and played the role at the London Palladium for 15
months, to critical acclaim.
On the 25 September one of the Theatre Royal’s favourite comic stars will be making
a welcome return to coincide with the publication of her new autobiography – An
Audience with Pam Ayres offers a night of new poems and stories (as well as some
old favourites) from the multi-million selling author, comic and broadcaster. Pam,
who’s career now spans more than 35 years, continues to be an audience favourite
across the globe.
Yeee- ha! For those who like their comedy drama to come with some musical fizz (as
well as a Stetson, pair of Levis and some high heeled boots!) – Rhinestone
Mondays (17 – 22 October) is the show to see. Peppered with the biggest country
hits of all time, including such chart-toppers as Stand By Your Man, Achy Breaky
Heart and Blue Bayou, it tells the hilarious tale of the Warbleswick ‘All Star Line
Dancing Club’ and the mayhem that ensues when romance, feuding and mutiny
collide on the dance floor. An irresistible night of fun, laughter, duelling banjos and
rhinestone cowboys!
From high-heeled boots we go to twinkling satin slippers and the return of a muchloved ballet company to the Theatre Royal – Northern Ballet are back with their
breathtakingly beautiful version of The Nutcracker (15 – 19 November). One of the
most magical Christmas tales of all time, it tells the story of Clara who is swept away
from the fireside by her Nutcracker prince one Christmas Eve, into a winter
wonderland of dancing snowflakes and the famous Sugar Plum Fairy. Performed to
Tchaikovsky’s enduring score, played live by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia.
The much loved Newcastle Musical Theatre Company is also back this autumn with
their glamorous new production of 42nd Street (31 October - 5 November) - the
timeless, inspiring story of smalltown girl Peggy Sawyer’s meteoric rise from the
anonymity of the chorus line to the spotlight of the Broadway star.
Tickets are also selling extremely fast (nearly 45,000 already sold) for the biggest
and best pantomime in the North East Sleeping Beauty (29 November 2011 – 21
January 2012), and an extra week has even been added to meet public demand. It
promises to be another magical show starring everyone’s favourite father-and-son
comedy duo Clive Webb and Danny Adams, and the best dressed dame in the UK
Chris Hayward. Be quick to avoid missing out!
For those who simply can’t wait until September to see what’s going on in the
auditorium, a special Restoration Tour and Picnic will be hosted at the Theatre on
Sunday 19 June, as part of the NewcastleGateshead EAT festival. It will feature an
exclusive tour with the architects and builders, followed by a ‘Builder’s Lunchbox’
picnic lunch created by Rococo Bakery.
The Theatre’s dynamic Learning Department has also planned a number of exciting
studio performances, workshops and exhibitions to take place over the summer
months during our restoration, including The Radio Revellers’ hilarious version of
The 39 and a Half Steps (24 - 26 May) and David Mamet’s Squirrels (15 – 17
The Sage Gateshead has kindly offered to host our Opera North Summer Season
while we are undergoing our restoration, and tickets for From The House of the
Dead (3 June), Fidelio (4 June) and Das Rheingold (26 June) are for sale from both
the Theatre Royal and Sage Gateshead Box Offices.
Tickets for all new shows in our autumn 2011 season go on public sale from
Thursday 31 March at 9.00am. Booking for Friends of the Theatre Royal opened on
Friday 25 March. For more information about becoming a Friend of the Theatre
Royal, please contact the Box Office. Tickets can be purchased from the Theatre
Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online at
www.theatreroyal.co.uk (Public booking only).
For additional information / images / interview requests, please contact Marianne
Quayle, Press & Communications Officer at the Theatre Royal on
0191 244 2518 or email marianne.quayle@theatreroyal.co.uk.
* Although the producers of The Sound of Music cannot guarantee the appearance of
any particular artist, Connie Fisher is expected to appear at all performances
excluding Mon 26 Sep & 3 Oct 7.30pm and Thu 22, 29 Sep & 6 Oct 2.30pm, subject
always to illness and holidays.
A full season listings document featuring all the shows in the autumn ‘11 season is
available upon request.
Press Nights
(please note – for reference only, invitations will be dispatched closer to the time)
The Madness of George III
Mon 12 Sep
The Sound of Music
Wed 21 Sep
Rhinestone Mondays
Mon 17 Oct
42nd Street
Mon 31 Oct
The Nutcracker
Tue 15 Nov
Sleeping Beauty
Thur 1 Dec