I love a night out at the theatre and Northern Stage is one of my favourites in Newcastle, as soon as I heard that they’d commissioned a stage adaption of Get Carter I couldn’t wait to go!
Ashamedly I have never actually seen the iconic crime thriller featuring Michael Cane as a cold blooded gangster (nor had I read the book it was based on!) but I was well aware that it was set in Newcastle during the 1960’s and I was familiar with the jazzy soundtrack created by Roy Budd. So with the promise of a stunning set (always a certainty at Northern Stage), exceptional writing by North East based playwright Torben Betts and a 60’s inspired soundscape, I knew it would be right up my street.
As James and I scuttled to our seats in the packed theatre the curtain was already up, revealing the impressive set design which would provide the backdrop for the entire show. Check out this time lapse to see how it was put together.
If you’re not familiar with the story, allow me to give you a brief summary… it centres around a gangster called Jack Carter who has returned from London to his native Newcastle for the funeral of his estranged brother Frank. Jack suspects his brother’s death isn’t as accidental as it seems so he sets about quizzing the unscrupulous villains of the Toon and stops at nothing to uncover the truth.
In this captivating stage adaptation, the ghost of Frank is a constant presence, allowing Jack the opportunity to reveal an intriguing back story to his character through one sided conversations with his dead brother. Frank is a pretty mean drummer and his live solos add drama and tension to some of the scenes.
I loved the lighting throughout the whole production, not something I would usually pay much attention to but it’s used so cleverly in Get Carter, to create haunting shadows of off stage characters and to jolt the audience from one scene to the next.
I was fully engrossed in every character but was particularly impressed by Victoria Elliott who played both Margaret and Glenda, I didn’t even realise till I read the programme after the show that the actress had played two characters!
The whole performance had me gripped, in fact I was actually glad I had no prior knowledge of the plot because every twist and turn in the story came as a real surprise. I was of course expecting some violence but what I wasn’t prepared for was how dark and chilling the murderous scenes would be. When you see murder on TV or in a film you’re completely detached from it, no matter how good the acting is, but when you see it convincingly played out right in front of your eyes, it sends a shiver down your spine! Well, that’s what happened when I saw Get Carter at Northern Stage anyway!
Get Carter is on till 5th March and I urge you to go and see it!
Book here: www.northernstage.co.uk/whats-on/get-carter