There’s something very special about seeing a theatrical performance at Northern Stage in Newcastle… it’s a modern theatre nestled in the historical grounds of Newcastle University and the listings are always full of imaginative and engaging productions from local and touring theatre production companies.
To kick off our festive season James and I went along to the press night of A Christmas Carol at Northern Stage. This brand new musical production of the Charles Dickens’ classic is on from 1st December – 5th January and it’s the perfect show to get you feeling all Christmassy!
From the moment we took our seats in the auditorium we knew we were in for a treat because the clever set design meant that the stage was surrounded by the audience on four sides. This unique set up is created at Northern Stage by combining both Stage 1 and Stage 2 and results in fully immersive experience.
While we waited for the show to start I scan read the programme which revealed that the creative team on this production was made up of some of same people who put together The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, James and the Giant Peach and Alice in Wonderland. Another reassuring sign as those previous shows at Northern Stage all had rave reviews!
We were absolutely gripped as the familiar story unfolded in front of us. I loved the costumes which had a touch of the Peaky Blinders about them and the quirky characteristics of Scrooge had me captivated. The actor Nick Figgis who plays Scrooge is home-grown talent with some impressive credits to his name, he played the character perfectly, I particularly enjoyed his zany dance moves!
The music was another highlight of this show for me. The jazz inspired soundtrack transformed the traditional story in to something new and exciting. I have since discovered that the musical director was the talented trombonist we saw in the show. This lady (above) has performed with the legendary Drifters and locals may recognise her from Nobby Solano’s salsa band the Geordie Latinos!
The intimate surroundings of Northern Stage and the minimalistic set design means that every musician is a part of the show, weaving in and out of the audience and across the stage rather than being hidden away in an orchestra pit – it makes for a much more exciting experience!
The main cast were all faultless and they were supported on stage by a chorus of six students from Newcastle College – another nice touch! I love that Northern Stage attracts talented actors from across the country but also gives opportunities to up and coming local talent.
James and I came away from the show absolutely buzzing, we both agreed that it was the best interpretation of A Christmas Carol we’d ever seen, including any of the film adaptations!
For tickets and more info check out www.northernstage.co.uk
*We were invited to the press night so our tickets were complimentary. All images were supplied by Northern Stage, credit Pamela Raith Photography.