Northern Stage launched their autumn season with comedian and poet Kate Fox. Kate gave us a taste of what was to come in a series of interviews, video clips and snippets of performances. Her chirpy, upbeat commentary and infectious enthusiasm kept the evening moving along at a cracking pace - as well it needed to, there was a lot to pack in!
Before we get to the Autumn there is a great programme of events over the summer with Northern Stage's involvement with the Great Exhibition of the North. There are plans for Self Build Utopias - a series of exhibitions, installations and performances re-imagining the future. Lorne Campbell and Annie Rigby talked about the inspiration behind the projects and the hope to produce an interactive and engaging series of activities to recreate landscapes and reconnect communities. Watch out for the many different activities around the Great Exhibition of the North from June 22nd till 9th September.
But what can we expect at Northern Stage in the Autumn?
As always there is a stunning array of diverse and original theatre.
If you missed last season's production of Laura Lindow's adaptation of H G Wells' War of the Worlds then you have another chance to see it in September.
After the Last Ship and Launch Day, remembering the shipyards, this coming season sees The Last Seam pays tribute to the mining heritage of the north with a play based on stories and voices of the miners during the last deep seem colliery closure. There's limited availability so be sue to book your seat for this one! (27th Sept).
October brings the stage premier of Alice Seebold's bestselling selling novel The Lovely Bones (9th-20th). This much loved, uplifting tale of love, loss and redemption has been adapted by Bryony Lavery.
While on Stage 2 there is drama in The Mountaintop - an intimate look into the life of Martin Luther King on the eve of his assassination (9th - 13th).
In November we have two powerful, but different pieces of from classic literature - Dylan Thomas's lyrical observations of life in the small, imaginary Welsh village of Llareggub in Under milk Wood (2nd -17th), while the English Touring Theatre bring us Richard Twyman's vital production of Shakespeare's Othello (13th-17th).
Both these productions give a fresh and innovative look at a classic piece of literature.
The Christmas show this year is also a classic from English literature - Dicken's A Christmas Carol. Adapted by Neil Bartlett and directed by mark Calvert it promises to another imaginative and original Christmas production. (Dec 1st - Jan 5th)
And of course we have dance: Tangomotion is a virtuoso display of traditional and contemporary interpretations of this passionate dance, while Ballet Lorent's After Dark is a cabaret style celebration of the 25 years of the company. Then there is more Dickens with Fagin's Twist - Avante Guarde Dance Company's hip-hop style re-imagining of five of Dicken's familiar characters (13th-20th Dec).
This really just scratches the surface of what is on at Northern Stage - there is quite literally something for all ages and interests, whether you love dance, drama, poetry or puppetry there is a show for you next season. If you want to be more involved than a spectator then check out their youth theatre - Open Stages (ages 5-15) and Young Company (ages 16-21) - they gave a breath-taking, assured performance of part of their own work at the launch.
If you're at the other end of the spectrum you might like to join in with Read Through - a script reading group for the over 60s.
Check the website www.northernstage.co.uk to see the full programme of productions and activities and book your place.