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From the Quayside to Cape Town via New York, we continue the birthday treats with a series of unique international play readings

From the Quayside to Cape Town via New York, Live Theatre continues its birthday treats with a series of unique international play readings.

After a hugely successful 50th season celebrating the theatre’s past, with talent from Lee Hall to Sting wowing local audiences, Live Theatre now turn their attentions to the wider world with a series of extremely special readings of key international plays and artists, bringing the local and global head to head in the intimate Quayside venue.

Legendary stage and screen actor Toby Jones (Detectorists; Marvellous)  returns to Live Theatre for a once in a lifetime reading of American playwright Wallace Shawn’s masterpiece The Fever. Largely considered one of the defining theatre pieces of the last half century, The Fever is a “ferocious and wryly funny” (Guardian) monologue famously delivered in a hotel room exploring power and privilege with an acerbic sense of humour. Performed by major actors around the world, The Fever has developed cult status that the multiple award-winning Jones will share on Live Theatre’s stage. One performance only (sold out) on Sunday 28 May at 4pm.  

Canadian writer Jennifer Tremblay’s one woman play The List is largely considered a perfect piece of dramatic writing. Written with the spareness of poetry yet with the tension of a crime drama, it tells the compelling story of a mother’s possible accountability in the death of her neighbour. Live are thrilled to welcome Jill Halfpenny (Eastenders, Coronation Street) to read this exceptional play on Wednesday 7 June at 7.30pm.

South African Athol Fugard is one of the most significant international playwrights in theatre history. With a huge body of work targeted at the apartheid regime and its devastating legacy, he remains one of the worlds most performed dramatic writers. His newest play The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek has never before been seen in the UK. Live Theatre is therefore hugely privileged to be able to share this onstage reading with Newcastle audiences. Described by the Hollywood Reporter as “an intimate theatrical gem” the play explores the subject of creativity in later life and how art can help define the life stories of those. This elegiac reading will be performed by Tyrone Huggins (Black Earth Rising; Black Men Walking), Jessica Johnson (Love It If We Beat Them; Educating Rita)  and rising local star Kema Kay (Shine; I, Daniel Blake) on Athol Fugard’s birthday Sunday 11 June at 4pm.

For further information on Live Theatre’s 50th Birthday season and to book tickets see

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


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