We’ve rounded up 10 of the top shows and events.
1. Curtains The Musical, Sunderland Empire, until January 25
Curtains The Musical is at Sunderland Empire until January 25. It tells the story of Jessica Cranshaw, star of the new Broadway-bound musical Robbin Hood, who has been murdered on stage on opening night and the entire cast and crew are suspects. Time to call in the local detective, Frank Cioffi (played by Jason Manford), who just happens to be a huge musical theatre fan. With a nose for crime and an ear for music, Frank has his work cut out trying to find the killer whilst giving the show a lifeline. Also starring Strictly Come Dancing winner Ore Aduba and West End star Carley Stenson (Les Misérables), this musical whodunit, by the creators of Cabaret and Chicago, is packed full of unforgettable characters and plot twists galore.
Photo: Richard Davenport
2. Two, Royalty Theatre, Sunderland, January 22-25
Sunderland’s Royalty Theatre will begin the year with Jim Cartwright’s comedy Two. The Royalty’s latest studio production depicts an evening in the lives of a bickering husband and wife, and the many punters visiting their pub, from wannabe womanisers to little old ladies having a relaxing drink. Bus behind the hustle and bustle of the busy bar, there’s a tragic history. Director Beth McAneny said: “I'm very proud to be directing this great comedy – I've loved it since studying it at college and jumped at the chance to be involved in the production.” All fourteen roles are played by just two actors, real-life couple Olivia Bowern and Dominic McDonough, who perform around a bar built for the show in the Royalty’s studio space. All tickets for this production are £6.50 and are strictly limited to 60 per evening, with the show running from January 22-25.
3. The Wizard of Oz, Customs House, South Shields, January 26
Join Ballet Theatre UK and follow the yellow brick road to discover all the wonders of Oz at Customs House, South Shields, on January 26. Enjoy Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tinman, and Lion, (and yes Toto too) as they seek the Wonderful Wizard to find that there’s no place like home. The Wizard of Oz is a two act, full-length, ballet adaptation of the iconic tale by L. Frank Baum, told through classical dance. Set to a classical score which brings the story to life, this production is family friendly and is the perfect way to introduce children to the classical ballet. The production is presented with beautiful backdrops, theatrical sets and costumes evoking the iconic sketches by W.W. Denslow, from the original publication.
4. Robson Carew and the Pirates of Crimdon Dene, Arts Centre Washington, until January 25
Robson Carew and the Pirates of Crimdon Dene pantomime will be staged at Arts Centre Washington on Fridays and Saturdays until January 25. It's this year's offering from Washington Theatre Group. Hero Robson has just a few days to find his family’s long lost treasure or he’ll lose his ancestral home Downsize Abbey! Who better to help with this quest than his manservant Bob and his cook Barely Merry? Together they charter a ship full of jolly sailors – but are they really sailors? Tickets from the Arts Centre Washington website.
Photo: JPI Media