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Live Theatre's March to June Season now on sale

Highlights of Live Theatre's March to June 2018 programme include new plays by rising talent showcased in Elevator Festival, a major new production of My Romantic History by D.C. Jackson directed by Live Theatre’s Artistic Director Max Roberts, visiting theatre from leading national companies, alongside music, and comedy festival Jesterval.

New plays from writers and companies selected by Live Theatre for their exceptional new ideas are showcased in Elevator Festival, which returns for its third edition between Saturday 10 and Saturday 17 March.  Writers and companies selected by Live Theatre for their exceptional new ideas, and as ones to watch as the new generation of theatre-makers, present work developed with the support of a Live Theatre Bursary. Short plays Rat Boy written by Christina Dawson and Lee Mattinson is based on the true story of Byker’s one man crime wave, Spoon Theory by Rebekah Bowsher looks at how one incident can change the course of your life and Work-in-progress show for volatile times Nuclear Future by Gameshow, are all being shown in front of an audience for the very first time. Paper. Scissors. Stone by Katie Bonna which explores who controls our behaviour, previews at London’s Vault Festival, before being shown at Live Theatre. Extracts of plays in development by leading theatre-makers can be seen in Elevator Scratch Night, whilst talks and workshops give insights into making new work including a Director's Masterclass with incoming Artistic Director, Joe Douglas.

Two evenings of plays and comedy created and performed by members of Live’s Youth Theatre on the theme of Masters of Our Own Making will be performed over the weekend of Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 March. (rescheduled from Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 March due to the snow)

My Romantic History written by D.C. Jackson is a hilarious look at love, life and romantic entanglement of twenty-somethings Tom and Amy. This major new production of a Fringe First winning play has been specially adapted for the North East and is directed by Live Theatre’s Artistic Director Max Roberts. Premiering at Live Theatre between Thursday 19 April and Saturday 12 May it star actors Brian Lonsdale, who was in Live Theatre's original, tour, National Theatre and Broadway productions of The Pitmen Painters, Amy McAllister who was in Harriet Martineau Dreams of Dancing and A Northern Odyssey and Bryony Corrigan, making her first appearance at Live Theatre.

Max Roberts, Artistic Director said

“D. C. Jackson’s My Romantic History is a superb contemporary theatrical take on the genre of ‘romantic comedy’.  First produced in Scotland and set in and around Glasgow My Romantic History has proved phenomenally successful internationally and has been produced in Australia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Serbia, Slovenia and Sweden and the US. Productions have also taken place in France, China and Japan. A testimony to its universality and broad appeal. Daniel has edited and updated his script and allowed me to specifically relocate it here and now in the North East. Working on the script has been joyful and uplifting.”

“We’ve recruited a superb cast of incredibly versatile and charismatic actors Brian Lonsdale, Amy McAllister and Bryony Corrigan, who are all blessed with brilliant comic timing -  a pre-requisite for a play packed with laugh out loud moments, a fast moving and compelling narrative that ultimately reveals a touching and heart felt humanity that I believe will universally resonate with our audiences young, old and in between.  Our aim is to provide a really cracking night out in the theatre that makes us laugh but at the same time touches our hearts and reflects upon the all too fragile and complex nature of love and our desire to seek relationships.”

Live Theatre welcomes award-winning shows on tour from leading national companies. Half Breed, from Soho Theatre, written and performed by Natasha Marshall is her semi-autobiographical dark comedy about finding your voice is at Live Theatre on Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 May. TV’s hit of summer 2016, the original multi-award winning sell-out stage show of Fleabag, also from Soho Theatre, returns to Live Theatre’s stage from Tuesday 22 to Saturday 26 May as she stumbles through a maze of social anxiety, disastrous job interviews and meaningless sex. Gypsy Queen, on Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 May is an unconventional love story between two fighters who discover the greatest challenge lies outside the ring. Live Theatre’s 10 Minutes to.. Break the Mould on Sunday 3 June is an evening of short plays from new voices rehearsed and performed over one weekend.

Rattle Snake a sharp, moving and unflinching new play based on the real-life stories of women who have faced and survived coercive control in domestic abuse, returns after its success last year in a co-production between Live Theatre and Open Clasp. Rattle Snake premieres at Soho Theatre, London before touring nationally and comes to Live Theatre between Tuesday 5 and Saturday 9 June.

Catrina McHugh, writer, said:

Rattle Snake was created by Open Clasp to train frontline police officers in County Durham in better responding to sexual and domestic abuse, coinciding with the change in UK law in 2015 making coercive control in relationships a crime. Officers sat in bullet proof vests, daring us to make an impact and we did.  During its premier in 2017, an audience member said they had never felt such a visceral response to a show before, a collective intake of breath, unable to turn away or to predict what was next. This play matters because we find ourselves in 2018, living in a world where some still feel a sense of entitlement to take away another person’s liberty, to control, threaten and annihilate. Live Theatre and Open Clasp will now take this show to audiences across the UK, with change at its heart.”

Students from Northumbria University present fresh new ideas for the stage in work in development their Scratch Night on Thursday 28 June. Presented as part of the partnership between Live Theatre and Northumbria University they will bring their final performances back to Live Theatre’s main stage in September.

Live Theatre welcomes Jesterval, the North East’s Premier Comedy Festival between Monday 16 and Sunday 29 July with its vibrant and electric programme announced in the Spring.

Live Tales, Live Theatre’s story writing workshops will launch at The Fire Station in Sunderland from April 2018 offering FREE creative writing KS2 classes on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10am in Sunderland in addition to the three sessions offered at 10am and 1pm on Thursdays and 10am on Friday mornings at its base in Newcastle behind Live Theatre.

For more information about Live Theatre’s March to June 2018 season or to book tickets visit or contact Live Theatre’s box office on (0191) 232 1232.



  • Arts Council England
  • Community Foundation
  • European Regional Development Fund


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