Nine Must-Book Shows for 2023
The best events to see in 2023
THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE
UNTIL 7TH JANUARY
Northern Stage, Newcastle
A tale that’s been told in so many ways since the 18th century, this new production is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice as you’ve never seen it before – and it’s set in the North East. Hatty Rabbit thought she was just a normal Geordie lass – but she couldn’t have been more wrong. In this show, which is made for all the family, she embarks on a magical adventure through the streets of Newcastle (but not as you know them) on her quest to become The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Filled with original music by Katie Doherty, puppets, and plenty of magic, it’s a must-see show this winter. Read all about it from the cast and creators here.
THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Two TV favourites will take to the stage in The Shawshank Redemption when this stunning adaption plays Newcastle Theatre Royal. Joe Absolom, best known for his roles in EastEnders and Doc Martin, plays the wrongly convicted Andy Dufresne with Ben Onwukwe, known to many for his long-standing role in London’s Burning, as his fellow inmate Ellis ‘Red’ Redding. Based on Stephen King’s 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, this superb stage production examines desperation, injustice, friendship and hope behind the claustrophobic bars of a maximum-security facility.
HAL CRUTTENDEN: IT’S BEST YOU HEARD IT FROM ME
The Fire Station, Sunderland
Hal is back to living the single life. But it’s going to be fine; he’s made a show all about it. He’s lost enough weight to almost get his wedding ring off and he’s got his grown-up daughters, his dogs and his divorce lawyer looking out for him. It must be going well… the Sunday Times says it’s the ‘funniest he’s ever been’.
The moving story of Giselle and her aristocratic but duplicitous lover Albrecht will be set to a sensational score and performed beautifully by Varna International Ballet. From the villagers happily gathering the harvest at the start of the story to the eerie moonlit forest haunted by drifting spirits, this ballet production is stunning from start to finish.
Newcastle Theatre Royal
The smash-hit West End production of Annie returns to Newcastle for one week only in March and it’s starring Paul O’Grady as Miss Hannigan. With its Tony-award winning book and score, including the unforgettable songs It’s The Hard-Knock Life and Tomorrow, we know you’ll love this all-singing, all-dancing show.
DISNEY’S THE LION KING
16TH MARCH–6TH MAY
Disney’s multi award-winning musical is a unique theatrical experience the whole family will love. Follow Simba on his epic adventure to his role as King of the Pridelands, with all the songs you know and love.
AN EVENING WITH FRAN LEBOWITZ
Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Newcastle
Fran Lebowitz is one of the most insightful social commentators. In April, she’ll be live in Newcastle sharing her cutting take on anything and everything; from growing up in New Jersey and being expelled from her high school for being a bad influence on her peers, to moving to New York City in the 70s, and writing a column for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine. We’re sure you’ll learn plenty from her.
JOHANNES RADEBE: FREEDOM UNLEASHED
Strictly sensation and international champion Johannes Radebe is hosting a party like no other in Stockton this spring. In Freedom Unleashed he’ll be joined by a diverse, world-class cast of talented dancers and singers in this fusion of South African rhythms and huge party anthems, with a touch of ballroom magic thrown in of course.
Later this year, Teesside Musical Theatre Company presents Sister Act. Featuring original music by Tony and eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken and songs inspired by Motown, this will be a fabulous show of sisterhood and songs.