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Sound design by ADAM P MCCREADY

There's always something to celebrate!

Making an appearance at family get-togethers is the only time Ellis can muster the strength to visit home.  The awkward small talk with his younger cousin, the underlying tension with his dad, avoiding conversation with his intolerable soon-to-be step mam and slighting comments from his passive aggressive grandma are a few of the things he prepares himself for.  When it begins to become tradition at these occasions for true feelings to be unearthed, is it time for Ellis to cut ties?

Many things change over the years but something that will always remain is the small function room and the same old cold buffet.

A delicious North East family saga, laced with dry humour and a good dose of interpersonal tension.

Buy more, save more!

If you want to buy tickets for more than one of our 50th birthday highlight productions:

  • The Cold Buffet
  • Three Acts Of Love

you will automatically qualify for a discount (applies to full priced tickets only).

Buy tickets to both of these productions and save 10%

Discount will automatically apply when tickets are added to your basket.


 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2  'this play is fresh, warm and full of substance... a drama that feels both deeply Northern and wholly universal, this play is a theatrical feast, fit for the celebration of Live Theatre’s 50th anniversary.'

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 'The action was plenty, the storylines were vast and the relationships were magnanimous of the car crash proportions....what more could you want? Elijah Young certainly knows how to bring Northern drama to the stage.'

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 'an interesting and entertaining way to present a fairly familiar subject, namely family conflict. The themes explored will, I suspect, strike a chord with many members of the audience.'

'Appetising new play...Every performance is excellent, adding to a series of spectacles and encounters that will make you squirm and laugh in turn and sometimes at the same time...thoroughly recommended.'

'There’s something that we can all relate to in one form or another...This buffet served up a mix of generational divide, being on the outside and acceptance...I cannot recommend it more highly.'

'This play is festooned with tasty comical and dry moments which takes the audience on a wonderful journey through several years of McCarthy drama but when the powerful elements of the narrative hit then you really know about them.  The Cold Buffet is a triumph of skilled observation of multi generations of people, or story telling and it is a play with a great deal of heart – and quiche.'
Preview Review - IN NEWCASTLE

Audience Feedback

Cast and Creative Team

Portrait photograph of Nick Blakeley looking to camera

Nick Blakeley - Ellis

Nick is originally from the North East and trained at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He is an associate artist with Encounter and has recently been developing his own work during residencies with Camden People’s Theatre and artsdepot.
Theatre credits include: 'The Good Person of Szechwan' (Crucible/ETT/Lyric Hammersmith), 'The White Card' (Northern Stage), 'The Claim' (Shoreditch Town Hall); 'Twelfth Night' (Orange Tree Theatre); 'I Heart Catherine Pistachio' (Soho Theatre/Yard Theatre); 'Brideshead Revisited' (York Theatre Royal/UK Tour); 'Hapgood' (Hampstead Theatre); 'Comment Is Free' (Old Vic Theatre); 'The Last of the De Mullins' (Jermyn St Theatre); 'Hard Feelings' (Finborough Theatre); 'The Sunshine Boys' (Savoy Theatre); '13, A Woman Killed With Kindness' (National Theatre); and '24 Hour Plays' (The Old Vic).
TV credits include: ‘Father Brown’ (BBC); 'Belgravia' (ITV); 'Summer of Rockets' (BBC); 'Theresa Vs Boris: How May Became PM' (BBC); 'Beyond Reasonable Doubt' (CNN); Doctors (BBC); and 'The Old Bailey' (BBC).
Film includes: ‘One Life’ (See-Saw Films); 'Northern Comfort' (Netop Films); 'Goodbye Christopher Robin' (Fox Searchlight) and 'Eyes and Prize' (Independent'Film).

Portrait photograph of Jane Holman looking to camera

Jane Holman - Evelyn

Theatre credits include: 'Lush Life', 'Oh What a Lovely War', 'Twelve Tales of Tyneside', 'Cabaret', 'Lenya' and 'In Blackberry Time' (all for Live Theatre); 'Tyne' (Live Theatre/Theatre Royal Newcastle); 'Looking for Buddy' (Bolton Octagon/Live Theatre Customs House); 'Close the Coalhouse Door' (Northern Stage); 'Beyond The End of the Road' (November Club and tour); 'My Granny is a Pirate' (New Writing North); 'Maggie’s End' and 'Beamish Boy' (Gala Theatre Durham); 'Sleeping Beauty' and 'Dick Whittington' (Tyne Theatre); 'Get Santa' (Northern Stage); 'The Revengers' and 'Cuddy’s Miles' (Customs House South Shields).
Television credits include: 'Vera', 'Inspector George Gently', 'Undercover', and 'The Dumping Ground' and feature films, 'School for Seduction', 'Harrigan’s Nick' and 'Billy Elliot'.
Jane was singer, songwriter, and guitarist for rock band JAZAWAKI and she has been musical director and arranger for a number of theatre and television productions. Jane is the singer/songwriter with the Questionnaires.

Portrait photograph of Amara Karan looking to camera

Amara Karan - Ayeesha

Theatre credits include: 'Bloody Difficult Women' (Wind of Change/Cahoots Theatre Company); 'Much Ado About Nothin'g, 'The Taming of The Shrew', 'The Merchant of Venice', 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' (RSC).
Film credits include: 'House of Spoils' (Amazon Studios); 'T.I.M'. (Arthro Film); 'The Death and Life of John F. Donovan' (Entertainment One); 'Those Four Walls' (Malaika Films); 'The Upside' (The Weinstein Company); 'A Fantastic Fear of Everything' (Indomina Productions); 'Jadoo' (Jadoo Films Ltd); 'Jayden' (New Talent Productions/Malaika Entertainment); 'All In Good Time' (Studio Canal); 'Rafta Rafta' (Optimum); 'The Task' (After Dark Productions); 'St Trinian’s' (Ealing Studios); 'The Darjeeling Limited' (Fox Searchlight).'
Television credits include: 'Moonhaven' (AMC Studios); 'Hope Street', 'The Beard', 'The Ambassadors', Doctor Who', 'The Good Housekeeping Guide' (BBC); 'The Twilight Zone' (CBS); Bancroft (ITC Encore); 'The Night Of' (HBO); 'Lucky Man' - Seasons 1, 2 & 3 (Carnival Productions); 'The Bill' (Talkback Thames);' Kidnap & Ransom' (Left Bank Productions); 'Poirot – A Cat Among The Pigeons' (ITV Studios).

Portrait photograph of Jim Kitson looking to camera

Jim Kitson - David

Theatre credits include: 'Red Ellen' (Nottingham Playhouse); 'Wind In The Willows' (Derby Theatre); 'Treasure Island' (Derby Theatre); 'A Viking Christmas' - also MD (Queen's Hall Arts Centre); Vanessa - also Director (Purple Theatre); 'The Grinning Man' (Trafalgar Studios); 'Pitmen Painters' (New Vic Theatre); 'Grapes of Wrath' (Nottingham Playhouse/Royal and Derngate/West Yorkshire Playhouse); 'Much Ado About Nothing' (Shakespeare’s Globe); 'The Drowned Man' (Punchdrunk/National Theatre); 'Richard III', 'King John', 'Tyneside Tales' (Royal Shakespeare Company); 'To Kill A Mockingbird' (Manchester Royal Exchange); 'The Grapes of Wrath' (West Yorkshire Playhouse) ; 'A Walk On Part: The Slow Fall of New Labour' (Soho Theatre); 'What Happened is This' (Tron, Glasgow); 'Noir', 'The Boy on the Swing', 'The Taxi Driver’s Daughter', '13.1' (Live Theatre, Newcastle); 'Cooking With Elvis', 'Office Party' (Hull Truck); 'Son of Man', 'Animal Farm', 'Edmond', 'Glengarry Glen Ross' (Northern Stage); 'Treasure Island', 'The Gift and the Glory' (Dukes, Lancaster); 'Great Expectations' (Aberystwyth Arts Centre); 'The New Tenant' (Hungarian State Theatre, Cluj, Romania).
Television credits include: 'Dinosaur' (Two Brothers Pictures); 'Clodagh' (Afternoon Picture); 'The Red King' (UKTV/Quay Street Productions);' Land of Women' (Apple+); 'King Gary' (Series 2); 'Inspector George Gently' (Company Pictures for BBC); 'Vera' (ITV Studios); 'Emmerdale' (Yorkshire TV); 'Joe Maddison’s War' (Mammoth Productions for ITV1); 'Tracy Beaker Returns' (CBBC), 'Byker Grove' (Zenith Entertainment for BBC)

Portrait photograph of Beth Fletcher Morris looking to camera

Beth Fletcher Morris - Max

After recently graduating from BTEC Performing Arts at Newcastle College, Beth is thrilled to be back at Live Theatre to play the role of Max in 'The Cold Buffet'.
Theatre Credits include: Lord Brockhurst in 'The Boy Friend' (Newcastle College); 'Bobo in We Are The Best!' (Live Theatre), Dandini in 'Cinderella' (Whitley Bay Pantomime Society) and Young Estella in 'Great Expectations' (Tynemouth Priory Theatre).
They have also previously trained at Saturday Stage School Whitley Bay and was involved in productions there, as well as 'Goldilocks and The Three Bears', 'Aladdin' and' Dick Whittington' with Whitley Bay Pantomime Society.

The Cold Buffet

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


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