I recently wrote about the plethora of theatres we have here in Newcastle and encouraged you to plan your own theatre break, but admittedly the venue I was least familiar with in my theatre guide was the Tyne Theatre and Opera House. I’d not seen a show there in over ten years!
So, when the team at Tyne Theatre got in touch and invited me to the Easter panto with my family, I jumped at the chance!
Apparently, Easter panto is now a thing, theatres up and down the country are putting on great family shows at this time of year. Tyne Theatre welcomed Enchanted Entertainment’s production of Beauty and the Beast featuring comedy legend Bobby Davro and we went along on Easter Sunday for the last performance of the show’s run in Newcastle.
My niece and nephew are six so they are at the perfect age to enjoy the madcap capers of panto and my Mum and Dad have always found Bobby Davro’s impressions hilarious so it was the perfect family day out for all of us!
The show was hilarious and we giggled and cheered through every panto cliche and traditional scene. There was also a few surprises along the way, Bobby Davro’s celebrity impressions had my mum crying with laughter and when he dragged some poor bloke out of the audience to take part in a trick, we couldn’t stop laughing!
Every performer had their moment to shine but my favourite character was the fairy godmother, imagine if Bubble from Ab Fab had got a part in Coronation Street, that’s what came to mind when she was on stage.
The theatre itself was far more impressive than I’d remembered. As we looked up from our seats in the stalls, we all gasped at the lavish beauty of the venue. The Grade I listed building was originally opened in 1867 and still retains lots of original features, including key elements of national importance like the Victorian wooden stage machinery hidden beneath the boards on which so many stars have tread.
For my next visit to Tyne Theatre and Opera House I plan on taking part in a guided tour of the building to find out more about its fascinating history. For just £5 per person you get to snoop back stage and under stage while being regaled with tales about the stars and shows that have visited throughout the theatre’s colourful history. Some even say that Tyne Theatre is haunted so who knows, it could turn out to be a ghost tour!
The tours tend to take place on the first Saturday of the month and there’s only 25 tickets available for each one, click here for availability and bookings.
Now that I’ve rediscovered Tyne Theatre and Opera House I’m sure I’ll be a regular. My sister in law and I are already booked up to take my youngest niece to see ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ based on her favourite book by Julia Donaldson. I’m also planning on booking tickets for ‘Cirque Bersek’ which celebrates the 250th anniversary of the invention of Circus by bringing it bang up-to-date in an exciting new show that I know my family will love!
These are just some of the wonderful family shows in this years varied programme of events at Tyne Theatre and Opera House…
Sooty & Friends: Saturday 14th April
Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales: Friday 20th and Saturday 21st April
What the Ladybird Heard: Friday 8th – Sunday 10th June
Cirque Berserk: Thursday 21st – Sunday 24th June
Guess How Much I Love You: Thursday 20th – Saturday 22nd September
The Greatest Show on the Tyne: Friday 2nd November
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: Wednesday 21st – Saturday 24th November
Cinderella (Christmas Panto): Friday 7th – Sunday 30th December
To find out more head to www.tynetheatreandoperahouse.uk
I’d love to hear if you have any special memories of Tyne Theatre and Opera House, especially if you’ve been on one of their guided tours!
*I was gifted some tickets to Beauty and the Beast by Tyne Theatre and Opera House but they have had no editorial influence on this post.