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Live Theatre’s season until October 2019 announced and on sale

Live Theatre’s season until October 2019 announced and on sale

Live Theatre has announced its new season through to October 2019. Joe Douglas, Artistic Director, Live Theatre introduces the season by saying:

“This season is chock-full of new shows that don’t duck away from some seriously big topics.  We’re not shy bairns at Live Theatre…  some key ideas that echo across the season are Growing Up, Fighting Injustice and A Good Night Out.”

Growing up

The season launches with Turning Points, a weekend of performances over Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 April devised and performed by members of Live Youth Theatre celebrating the Youth Theatre’s 21st birthday.

Live Theatre’s brand new production Shine, an autobiographical story with live soundtrack and heartfelt words created by actor, rapper, singer, rising star and Live Theatre Associate artist Kema Sikazwe (who also performs as Kema Kay), will burst onto the stage from Thursday 2 to Saturday 11 May.

Ask Me Anything, a co-production by The Paper Birds and Live Theatre which celebrates Agony Aunt culture previews at Live Theatre for three nights from Thursday 11 to Saturday 13 July. Drawn from letters from young women this immersive theatrical experience will turn Live’s Theatre into a teenager’s bedroom, and the asks the audience to come in.

Following 15 year old Liam who signs up for his local synchronised swimming team, Drip from Tuesday 23 to Friday 26 April is a one-man musical, coming of age comedy from Tom Wells, the writer of Broken Biscuits.

Fighting Injustice

Live Theatre partners with National Theatre of Scotland and Dundee rep to present a new production of the legendary play The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil by John McGrath, which tells the story of exploitation of land and resources across 200 years of history through a rollicking ceilidh.  The play was a phenomenal success for Joe Douglas before he became Live Theatre’s Artistic Director. He returns to direct, bringing it to Live Theatre, the only English venue on the tour.

Land and power is further explored by Live Theatre and Northumbria University Joint Writer in Residence, Chinonyerem Odimba, who writes two plays in the new season. Princess & The Hustler having its North East Premiere from Tuesday 9 to Saturday 13 April. Set in Bristol in 1963 as Black British Civil Rights campaigners walk the streets, this is a drama about a family caught up in a pivotal moment of modern British History. Chinonyerem Odimba also writes Land: Beating the Bounds, a play exploring people’s relationship to the land in the 21st century. Written especially to be performed by a large ensemble cast of graduating students from Northumbria University Acting and Performance Course, the play can be seen from Wednesday 29 May to Saturday 1 June.

Shows fuelled by the righteous anger of the #metoo generation are Locker Room Talk on Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 April in which interviews with men across the country about women, are read by an all female cast.  It’s True, It’s True, It’s True, based on court transcript of an 1612 rape trial that gripped Renaissance Rome, was a sell-out at last years’ Edinburgh Festival fringe hit at last year, and comes to Live Theatre on Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 October.

#BeMoreMartyn: The Boy With The Deidre Tattoo from Thursday 6 to Saturday 8 June is a tribute to Martin Hett, an extra-ordinary young man who died in the Manchester Arena bombing, drawn from the words of 8 of his closest friends.

Read a Digital version of the brochure

A Good Night Out

This phrase was coined by John McGrath, writer of The Cheviot… in relation to popular, working class theatre and Live Theatre aims for every show to be A Good Night Out.  

Live Theatre’s sold-out show of 2018 Clear White Light, a gothic musical inspired Alan Hull’s time working at St. Nick’s psychiatric hospital in Gosforth, returns by popular demand from Thursday 19 September to Saturday 12 October. The play features many of the hit songs he wrote for Lindisfarne at that time, played live on stage by Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell of the band.

Other Events

Also within the programme DUPED, another Edinburgh Festival Fringe hit, comes to Live Theatre on Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 April. It looks at Democratic Unionist Party firebrand the Rev Ian Paisley and the party’s continued legacy and impact.

Former MP, diarist and political writer Chris Mullin launches his new post-Brexit thriller The Friends of Harry Perkins on Monday 15 April, followed by the chance to buy the novel, and a book signing.

Live Music comes from Jumpin’ Hot Club who present Hammell on Trial + Ruth Theodore on Saturday 4 May, and Irish Mythen + Mush on Thursday 27 June. Watch out for more gigs to be confirmed throughout the season.

Curious Festival returns to Live Theatre on Sunday 30 June with an evening of short performances on LGBTQ themes.

GemArts’ Mini-Mela returns to Live Garden with an afternoon of free activities celebrating South Asian culture on Sunday 21 July.

Don’t Miss at Live Theatre this spring

Written by Middlesbrough based former cab driver Ishy Din, Approaching Empty, from Wednesday 6 to Saturday 23 February, is compelling drama set in a North East taxi office, as two friends agree on a business deal.

SparkPlug from Thursday 14 to Saturday 16 March is the story of family race, identity and love as a white man becomes the adoptive father to a mixed race child.

Elevator Festival from Thursday 21 to Saturday 30 March features six new plays by rising talent selected by Live Theatre for their exceptional new ideas, alongside workshops and masterclasses.

The new season of shows April to October 2019 are now on sale. For more information and tickets call Live Theatre’s Box Office on (0191) 232 1232 or see

Find out more & buy tickets
  • Arts Council England
  • Community Foundation
  • European Regional Development Fund


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