Northern Stage has announced its spring 2022 season, titled This Is Now.
The venue in Newcastle upon Tyne has revealed a stellar line up of shows for the start of next year.
New season This is Now “invites artists and audiences to join a yearlong conversation about who we are and who we want to be; to think deeply about the important questions of our time, and to find refuge in coming together to imagine our way through the world we live in, right now.”
Highlights include the UK and European premiere of Claudia Rankine’s first published play The White Card (29 April – 14 May) which will be directed by Northern Stage Artistic Director Natalie Ibu.
Written in 2019 during an increasingly racially divided America, and before the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests rippled across the globe, the play poses the question: can society progress when whiteness remains invisible? Through a conversation between a wealthy, privileged white couple and a talented Black artist, the play explores uncomfortable truths about white privilege, cultural appropriation and representation.
A co-production between Northern Stage, Birmingham Rep, Leeds Playhouse and Soho Theatre, in association with HOME Manchester, The White Card premieres in Newcastle in May before touring to London, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham.
A new play from Caroline Bird, Red Ellen (25 March – 9 April) tells the remarkable story of Ellen Wilkinson, the revolutionary Labour MP who led the Jarrow Crusade, served as a vital member of Churchill’s cabinet and battled to save Jewish refugees in Nazi Germany. Directed by Wils Wilson (Life is a Dream/Royal Lyceum Theatre), Red Ellen is a Northern Stage, Nottingham Playhouse and Royal Lyceum Theatre co-production and will tour to Edinburgh, Nottingham and York after its Newcastle premiere.
There’s also a new take on one of the most iconic characters in horror fiction as Northern Stage presents an electrifying new production adapted from H.G. Wells’ science fiction classic The Invisible Man (1-19 February).
Adapted by North East actor and writer Philip Correia (Othello/English Touring Theatre) and directed by Newcastle-born director Anna Girvan (Twelfth Night/Southwark Playhouse), the new production investigates themes of exploitation, establishment power over truth and the conflict between power and morality, asking the question: who is really invisible in Great Britain 2022?
Four emerging North East actors have been cast – Izzy Ions, Jack Fairley, Kate Okello and Daniel Watson – and after opening in Newcastle, the show will tour to theatres and community venues across the North of England from The Maltings in Berwick-in-Tweed to The Dukes in Lancaster.
And originally due to open in 2020, HERE (4-12 March) by Lindsay Rodden is a powerful new play about finding sanctuary in the unlikeliest of places and is part of Curious Monkey’s Arriving project – ongoing work with people who have come from all over the world to seek sanctuary in the UK. Set against the backdrop of the Byker estate in the east end of Newcastle, HERE is a co-production between Theatre of Sanctuary Curious Monkey, Northern Stage and Newcastle University,
The venue has also announced visiting works including Sorry you’re not a winner (5-9 April), Rice (1-2 April), Woke (10-11 February), Boundless Theatre’s How To Save The Planet When You’re A Young Carer and Broke (18 March), Frozen Light’s 2065 (22-23 March), Y’MAM (25-26 March) and Snatched (21-22 June).
And new shows from North East theatre makers include Luca Rutherford’s You Heard Me (18-19 February), Lee Mattinson’s Happy Meal (17 June), BRASH’s Ankles (9-11 June) and Hannah Walker’s Gamble (19-21 May).
Dance shows include the return of award-winning BalletBoyz with new show Deluxe (11-12 March), 40 Years of Phoenix Dance (20 May) and Infinite (24-25 June) by Humanhood Dance Company.
Family shows include Zog and the Flying Doctors (3-6 March), Pinocchio (25 February), Oi Frog and Friends (21-24 April) and Aidy the Awesome (4-5 June).
Northern Stage remains committed to making its programme as accessible as possible, including captions, audio description, BSL at live events and relaxed approaches to the programme and time frames for workshops, plus Northern Stage at Home allows people to watch Northern Stage productions at a time or place that better suits them.
Tickets for shows start from £10 and go on general sale from 29 November, with pre-sale tickets available to Northern Stage members and supporters from 23 November. For more details and full listings visit northernstage.co.uk.