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Spring / Summer 2020

ON YOUR FEET Mon 13 – Sat 18 Apr 2020 On Your Feet! is the inspiring true love story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan and charts their journey from their origins in Cuba, onto the streets of Miami and finally to international superstardom. Here Gloria gives us an insight into this incredible smash-hit musical.


What have you been most pleased with about how On Your Feet! has been received? Simply that people seem to love it. There’s actually a group of fans called The Feeties, who are teenage girls or in their early 20s who have seen it, like, 100 times. And there are others who have written to say they were entertained or cried or were reminded of different times in their lives through the songs. That’s the point of the show – to connect with people on a very human level, which is what we’ve always tried to do through our music. It’s been phenomenal. It makes grown men cry. [Laughs] Personally, seeing grown men cry is my favourite thing. I also love how it surprises people. They go in expecting one thing and they come out feeling everything we’d hoped, which is a connection and having been on an emotional journey besides just the pure entertainment of the music and what they already know about us.

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As you say, Conga is one of the high points of On Your Feet! When you released it in 1985 did you realise it’d be such a huge hit? Yes, I did. It was written when we were travelling from Holland to England as part of the Dr Beat promotional tour and when we got home we began performing it in our live shows even before we’d recorded it. People were reacting to it as if it was already a hit so we knew we were onto something. Funny thing is, it didn’t do well in the UK because Black Lace’s Do The Conga came out before our song did.

Call 0191 244 2511 or 08448 11 21 21 or go to theatreroyal.co.uk Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge

What’s the most poignant song in the show for you? Most definitely the one I co-wrote with my daughter Emily called If I Never Got To Tell You, which in the play is when my mother comes to visit me in hospital after the tour bus accident. My daughter couldn’t be in the show because she hadn’t been born during the timeframe. I tried to wedge her in there somewhere in any possible way and then she ended up being in it in a very natural, beautiful way through the only original song written specifically for it. It’s a very poignant song because it’s my mum telling me the things she wished she’d told me. She hadn’t spoken to me for two years after I took my sister on the road with me. She’d been punishing me for that. Now with your story being retold on stage, have people mentioned to you about how it has inspired them? They have and it’s wonderful. There was a man who ran a company with 20 employees. He told me: ‘My wife took me to your show on a Broadway weekend and I went along reluctantly because it was the fifth show and I was Broadway-ed out. But because of your show I now have a 60-person company because I’d given up on my dreams of making it bigger, then seeing it really inspired me.’ Another person wanted to start a swim programme for special needs students but they’d never gotten around to it, thinking ‘This is never gonna happen’. Then they started it after seeing the show and it’s been incredibly successful. Tickets from £23.00. Book now and get On Your Feet! Call the Group Sales team on 08448 11 21 22* *Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge

Follow Theatre Royal Group Sales to be the very first to hear about what’s on and receive exclusive offers:

Zizzi Newcastle – 42 Grey Street, NE1 6AE Book online at zizzi.co.uk call 0191 261 8360


*Offer valid Monday – Friday from 12pm to 5:30pm only until 30th September 2020. Excludes Saturday & Sunday and is not available between 16th December 2019 – 5th January 2020. Enjoy a starter, main & dessert from our 3 course Amico Set Menu. Not valid with any other offer, set menu, eTesco tokens, student discount or tastecard. You must show a valid Theatre Royal ticket for the same day to qualify for this offer. Offer excludes Click & Collect and Deliveroo orders. Zizzi reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time and without notice. Offer valid at Zizzi Newcastle only.



Autumn Exhibition, until 3 Nov // With 200 artists & makers, including Henrietta Corbett, Olivia Turner, Rhythm jewellery collection & updated contemporary craft space. Henrietta Corbett

Artisan Social, every Wed, 5-9pm until 18 Dec // Street food pop ups & bar. Winter Launch, Fri 15 Nov, 6-9pm // New artwork & gifts from more than 200 artists & makers.

Olivia Turner

The more the merrier!


Groups get more at the Theatre Royal


Bring a group of 10 or more and you receive all the following fantastic benefits…

Ouseburn Open Studios, Sat 23 & Sun 24 Nov, 10am-5pm // Go behind the scenes in our artists’ studios.

Generous group discounts on selected performances: 10+ £3 off each ticket, 20+ £3.50 off & free organiser, 40+ £4.50 off, free organiser & free programme


Christmas Lates, Wed 4, 11 & 18 Dec until 9pm // Late night shopping, live music, street food & pop ups.

Tone Von Krogh

WWW.MPWRESTAURANTS.COM Stoddart Street Newcastle NE2 1AN

Open daily 10am-5pm Free entry



Reserve now and pay later - book your tickets early to ensure you get your favourite seats and we guarantee you will pay the lowest price for your ticket! With nothing to pay upfront, call Group Sales now to reserve your seats on 08448 11 21 22*. *Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge

Cover image: On Your Feet!

How has it been bringing the show to the UK? It’s been fantastic. The cast is amazing. Christie Prades, who was in the original Broadway production, has been loving it because she has a whole different energy to play off. The book is brand new to the English cast and the acting choices they’ve made are spectacular. And Philippa Stefani, who is performing at certain shows in London and is headlining the UK tour, is just wonderful. What’s the most fun number in the musical? There’s a couple of really big numbers. Tradición is spectacular and then of course there’s Conga, where you literally see how it grows and grows then explodes in joy and includes the audience in it.

12pm - 5:30pm

Priority booking and flexible payment terms

Dedicated group booking phone line

Exclusive rewards with our groups loyalty card

Save 10% on pre-ordered interval drinks

Backstage tours to see what life is like behind the scenes

Save time queuing! Pre-order your programmes and interval ice creams

Fantastic savings on your coach travel to and from the Theatre

Free season brochures, posters, flyers and sign-up sheets

Free postage for group tickets

Group Sales 08448 11 21 22 Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge

groupbookings@theatreroyal.co.uk theatreroyal.co.uk Mon -Thu 9am - 5.30pm Fri 9am - 5pm


In The Wings...

Welcome to the spring / summer 2020 edition of the Groups newsletter which includes information on the fantastic discounts and benefits we offer to make your group visit to the Theatre Royal an occasion to remember. Visiting Newcastle Theatre Royal is even more fun if you are part of a group!

We caught up with Rory to discover a little about what goes on behind the scenes...

We look forward to welcoming you in the very near future. Best wishes Evelyn, Nikita, Pauline & Sam, Group Sales Team

District Publicity Assistants Pauline and Sam provide a personal and convenient link to the Theatre Royal and love to hear from new groups. You can benefit from their expertise when making a group booking and receive exclusive offers on tickets. Simply contact them on the details below: Samantha McDine, 07785 612 759 samantha.mcdine@theatreroyal.co.uk Pauline Wallis, 07756 095 036 pauline.wallis@theatreroyal.co.uk ‘I have worked within the Group Sales team for over 8 years now and I love every aspect of my job. I get to be part of an amazing team bringing groups and schools to the theatre. I get a thrill from introducing a new group to the theatre and building a relationship with them; watching their love of theatre grow and being a part of that journey.’ Sam McDine

Theatre Royal Groups Experience The Theatre Royal is both a neo-classical monument and a cultural engine, with an annual audience of 400,000 and over 400 performances each year; the finest drama, the brightest West End musicals, the cream of the comedy circuit, award winning ballet and dance, family friendly shows, sensational opera – and (we think) the best Pantomime in the country! If you would like to learn more about our incredible Theatre we are delighted to offer groups a chance to experience something a little bit different with the following exclusive Groups Tour, Tea and Talk package.

Can you introduce yourself and tell us what you do at the Theatre? I’m Rory Fallow, I’m part of the Box Office Management Team and have worked in a variety of roles here at the Theatre Royal. Can you describe your typical working day? Answering lots of emails, printing loads of internet orders and stressing over rotas! Working in the Box Office means you never really know what your day is going to entail but that’s definitely one of the reasons I enjoy it, as no two days are the same. Working with such a great team full of lovely people certainly helps too! How did you come to work in this role? I first started as an usher in 2011 before becoming one of the duty managers in the Front of House team a couple of years later. Not long after, I started working in the Box Office as an assistant and then as a supervisor so I was delighted to be able to progress and become part of the management team last year. Are there any moments that really stand out for you? I once helped someone organise a proposal when they were coming to see the pantomime on Christmas Eve! The gentleman who was going to propose to his girlfriend called the stage door and asked if there was anything we could do to help him. I was the Front of House Duty Manager that day so I gave him a call and we managed to arrange everything so he would propose to her in one of our function rooms during the interval. It was really fun to help organise something so special for someone and help give them such a special memory. Thankfully, she said yes as well! What are you top 3 shows you’ve seen here since you started? The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night Time is my all-time favourite as the story is brilliant and the production of the show enhances it even further. I loved The Ladykillers and have always been desperate for it to come back since we had it in March 2013. Even though it was a tough watch at times, The Father was incredible and Kenneth Cranham’s Olivier Award winning performance was amazing.

Your visit would include:  guided tour – join us front of house, backstage and on-stage A as we give you a tour around the theatre • A talk on the history of Newcastle Theatre Royal & a season briefing with highlights for groups • A copy of The Theatre Royal, Newcastle – A New Short History book for each person (RRP £6.99) • Light refreshments

MATTHEW BOURNE’S THE RED SHOES Tue 21 Apr – Sat 2 May 2020 Matthew Bourne talks to us about his triumphant adaptation of the legendary tale of obsession, possession and one girl’s dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. What is it about the story that attracts you to an adaption? Set in the theatrical world of a touring dance (ballet) company, it is actually about dance and dancers. The film’s genius is to make that theatrical world at times surreal, larger than life and highly cinematic. My challenge will be to capture some of that surreal, sensuous quality within the more natural theatre setting. What themes will you explore? The main theme of The Red Shoes is love vs. art, or career VS. love. It is the love story of two young artists (one a dancer, one a composer) and the fight between that love and the lure of the highest artistic achievement as represented by Boris Lermontov, the dance company’s legendary impresario, who believes that you cannot be a great artist if distracted by human love! I have also explored how the fairy tale world of a ballet company and the stories it tells can actually blend into the real life tale of love, ambition and artistic and personal fulfilment, until the two are barely distinguishable (as in the film finale when The Red Shoes seem to take over and lead our heroine to her death/suicide in front of a train on the Monte Carlo seafront.

How might The Red Shoes be development of your previous works? The Red Shoes is a natural development of our latest production Sleeping Beauty, which saw the Company increase its sophistication in storytelling, its execution in dance technique and deeply felt acting performances. Portraying great dance artists will naturally develop the Company’s skills and ambition. Having completed the Tchaikovsky trilogy, it is also part of our desire to introduce new titles into the narrative ballet canon (Edward Scissorhands, Play Without Words, Dorian Gray).

How is having Jason Donovan as your producer? It’s brilliant, he’s so knowledgeable about the show. He’s played it in the West End and on tour, and just having his input is brilliant because he’s been there, he’s actually played this part and I’m hugely in debt to him for getting the part because he really championed me. To have his seal of approval really means a lot, he’s been nothing but complementary and encouraging and it’s been fantastic.

Early booking is highly recommended for the show’s much anticipated return. Tickets from £19.50. Call the Group Sales team on 08448 11 21 22* to book now!

I assume the costumes will be quite fabulous. Have you had many glimpses of what you might be in? We did have some quite special outfits to wear, they’re really colourful and really sparkly. But, you know, having done Strictly a couple of years ago, all of that stuff isn’t alien to me anymore, so I’m really looking forward to getting into our costumes.

*Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge

Why will it speak to an audience? In today’s culture everyone is very interested in what it takes to become a great performer or artist with the likes of TV and movies such as the X Factor, Black Swan and Strictly Come Dancing highlighting this and the question of what sacrifices need to be made. Audiences also love a backstage story, particularly one that gives insight into the art form. However, The Red Shoes is also a love story, a highly dramatic, even melodramatic tale, populated by a cast of colourful characters, glorious dancing and music. Not only do we represent the backstage life of a dance company, we also see them in performance in a range of theatrical productions (including the full length ballet, The Red Shoes). However, the heart of the story is a tragic real life triangular love story, overseen by the towering Svengali-like figure of Lermontov, representing art and the sacrifices it asks us to make. What can you tell us about your ideas for the music and design? With Terry Davies we have created a score from the early works of the genius film music composer, Bernard Herrmann. Herrmann is mostly famous for his scores for the films of Alfred Hitchcock, but the music for The Red Shoes is taken from an earlier period (30 ‘s and 40’s). I have unearthed some great dance music as well as some beautiful music from movies such as The Ghost and Mrs Muir and Citizen Kane. Lez Brotherston’s challenge has been to create an adaptable theatrical setting, (on stage and backstage) and a range of locations from London, to Paris to Monte Carlo, but to also allow for those flights of fancy that take us out of the literal theatrical world and into the sensuous and surreal world of the artistic experience and endeavour.

Why not make a day of it and combine it with a performance too? Call Group Sales on 08448 11 21 22 for more information. Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge

Follow Theatre Royal Group Sales to be the very first to hear about what’s on and receive exclusive offers:

Outback and meet some interesting characters, and they all have to make big decisions about being themselves or conforming. There’s loads in there for audiences to get their teeth into!

Follow Theatre Royal Group Sales to be the very first to hear about what’s on and receive exclusive offers:

Do you think that being in Strictly has helped to lead to this part? It has certainly helped me get my head around doing it, I’ve waited for the opportunity to get the chance to use the bit of dance training that I did. I really wanted to get to use it at some point but absolutely had to be with the right thing, and when this came along it felt like a perfect fit. PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT Mon 17 – Sat 22 Feb 2020 The iconic musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert is coming to Newcastle starring Joe McFadden! The Strictly Come Dancing winner caught up with us to tell us a bit more about this hilarious adventure of self-discovery, sassiness, and acceptance. Were you a fan of the original movie of Priscilla? Did you know it well? I really loved it; I think it’s something everyone has an awareness of. I actually saw the production at the Palace in London years ago. It’s such a vibrant show, I remember being blown away by it, and especially by how great the music was. Why do you think that this story has become such a sort of cult classic? There’s loads of things that really work, so many fantastic songs in there, as well as it being a great story. It was way ahead of its time; I think it’s one of the first pieces of drama that was centred around a trans person and that was discussing things like gay parenting. It’s complete timeless as well as being super entertaining and joyous. It has all the best elements of a great musical.

Obviously Priscilla has got very fun soundtrack as well, are you fan of busting out some moves to the old Disco classics anyway? Definitely! There are such great songs in the show, and so many that you can’t help but tap your toes to, and be moved by and that’s the thing I remember most about seeing the musical. I remember I was so worried about seeing the musical because I had enjoyed the film so much, but it really works because of those fantastic songs. We’ve actually got some new ones in there this time that I’m sure people will go mad for. Are there any numbers that you’re particularly looking forward to, any favourites in there? I really love McArthur Park, Always on My Mind which is the song that sings to his son, that really sticks in my mind from the West End show. I also love We Belong, the three main characters do it together and it really unifies them and reinforces their friendship. Don’t miss the hit Broadway and West End show! Tickets from £19.50. Call the Group Sales team on 08448 11 21 22* to book now *Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge

For anyone who hasn’t seen it before, or hasn’t seen the film, what can audiences expect from the show? It starts with my character Tick working in Sydney in a drag bar, enjoying his life, just as he gets a call from his past. We find out he has a wife, who asks him to come and do a show at Alice Springs and spend some time with his son who he hasn’t had much contact with. He decides to rope in a couple of his pals and travel across Australia in a big bus. His friends think they are just going to do the show, and have no idea why they are really going, or that he even has a child! The relationship between the three friends really drives the story as they find out he has this whole other life they had no idea about. They get themselves into some quite dangerous situations as they travel across the

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Profile for Newcastle Theatre Royal

Groups newsletter October 2019  

Groups newsletter October 2019