Northern Stage, Newcastle upon Tyne

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Northern Stage
Newcastle Playhouse
Gulbenkian Studio
Northern Stage, Newcastle University, 5 September 2013 (1).jpg
Northern Stage Building, viewed from Kings Gate Building
Address Barras Bridge
Newcastle upon Tyne
Coordinates 54°58′45″N 1°36′51″W / 54.9792°N 1.6143°W / 54.9792; -1.6143
Capacity Stage 1: 447 seats
Stage 2: 160 seats
Stage 3: 80–120 seats
Stage 1 and 2 can combine to seat 600.
Opened 1970
2006 as Northern Stage
Rebuilt 2004 to 2006

Northern Stage is a theatre and producing theatre company based in Newcastle upon Tyne. It is surrounded by Newcastle University's city centre campus on King's Walk, opposite the students' union building. It hosts various local, national and international productions in addition to those produced by the Northern Stage company. Until the 2006 reopening the theatre was known as the Newcastle Playhouse and is a registered charity.

The complex hosts three stages. The capacity decreases, with stage one being the largest, having 447 seats. The complex also boasts a bar-restaurant, McKenna's at Northern Stage.


Early history[edit]

The theatre's beginnings were in 1970 when the current building (initially known as the University Theatre) was built[1] to replace The Tyneside Theatre Company's old building, the Flora Robson Playhouse, which was demolished in a road-widening scheme. The old Playhouse was not actually demolished until some time later, and the site never was used; Access did become a problem however. The Tyneside Theatre Company continued to use the theatre until 1977.[2] The theatre was also formally known as the Newcastle Playhouse and Gulbenkian Studio. From 1992 until 2005 the company was run by Alan Lyddiard who created the Northern Stage Ensemble Company in 1998.[3]

Recent history[edit]

It re-opened in August 2006 as Northern Stage after a £9 million refurbishment.[4][5] The first performance at the refurbished theatre was a production of Dennis Potter's Son of Man.[6] During the 2006 refurbishment an art installation was constructed on the roof of the theatre, titled Escapology, by artist Cath Campbell.[7]

On 7 April 2008 the Barras Bridge car park was closed for the development of the University's new King's Gate Building.[8]


Recognised as one of the top ten producing theatres in the country,[who?] Northern Stage both presents visiting national and international theatre and produces its own productions. On reopening in 2007 productions included the first ever revival of Our Friends in the North, Lipsynch (a co-production with Robert Leapage), the first major UK adaptation of Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber and updated versions of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House and John Osborne's Look Back in Anger. More recently, productions have included Hedda Gabler and Dr. Frankenstein, both in co-production with Newcastle based theatre company Greyscale


  1. ^ "Happy Birthday Northern Stage". Northern Stage. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Phyllis Hartnoll and Peter Found (1996). "Newcastle Playhouse (The Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre)". Retrieved 27 September 2008. 
  3. ^ Radosavljevic, Duska: Shared Utopias: Alan Lyddiard, Lev Dodin and the Northern Stage Ensemble in Pitches, Jonathan (ed): Russians in Britain: British Theatre and the Russian Tradition of Actor Training, Routledge, 2012
  4. ^ "Outdoors & Attractions". BBC Tyne. Retrieved 12 August 2007. 
  5. ^ "The Theatre". Northern Stage. Archived from the original on 30 July 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2007. 
  6. ^ "Curtain rises at new city theatre". BBC News. 25 August 2006. Retrieved 12 August 2007. 
  7. ^ "The Theatre". Northern Stage. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  8. ^ "Barras Bridge Development". Northern Stage. 2008. Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 8 November 2008. 

External links[edit]