Yes the Tyne Theatre and Opera House opened its main auditorium for the first time since closure, and this was my first theatre visit to any theatre in 6 months.
Doors opening only 45 minutes prior to the start. A temperature check on entry, mobile or printed at home tickets to minimise contact and a mandatory pump of hand sanitiser and I was in.
Staff in visors and a very well socially distanced seating plan. The audience separated every other row, and at least two seats between every pairing of seats. Seat service was in operation for the bar, and this had a lot of people with their hands up to get their pre show drink in.
Carl Hutchinson’s playlist played through the speakers and his song choice, not random if you listened to it. I suspect was a playlist carefully selected to represent the times we are in.
Some of the picks were..’I’m still standing’.. proves that the theatre is still here and still standing strong. Ronan Keatings, Rollercoaster maybe signified the changing times better than anyone could of said currently. REM’s It’s the end of the world as we know it. Definitely tells us something we already know.
Carl Hutchinson was the act we had all come out of our households and bubbles to see. Carl hosted the live streamed Live from the Tyne events throughout lockdown in to help raise money for the venue. I know this is a place close to his heart. So there was no one better to play the first live show back here since the venues closure. Tonight we were able to take the Ghost Light off the main stage.
Carl was supported by two acts, both who appeared in the Live at the Tyne shows.
Firstly Anth Young. He give us a brief insight into his dark humour, Covid and lockdown experiences, who left us on a mic drop of a joke that left us cringing and in laughter all in one.
Namesake but no relation, Half Turkish Half Geordie lass Louise Young followed and entertained with stories and tales of herself, haggling, our city of Newcastle and the impressions people have of us in this city.
Then Carl Hutchinson. Entertained like he knows best with his Mam, Dad, Cousin , school friend, neighbours and a new found relative in the crowd. Tales of Joe Wicks lockdown workouts , BBQ’s, Lockdown Arguments and imitations of his wife. Carl might have forgotten his microphone coming onto stage, but hasn’t left any of his whit, humour or persona behind. I Love this guy and his comedy is great, it was touching that he got a bit emotional at the end of the show, not knowing when the next time he could do this. The limited capacity audience clapped him and deservedly so.
A great night was had, laughs a plenty. I genuinely think everyone was happy to be out in a theatre again. Rules respected and everyone adhered to social distancing rules.
I hope socially distanced theatre isn’t around for long, and we can return to normal sooner than later. For now however I’ll take it!
The Tyne Theatre are also hosting local talent in the bistro bar on sundays from 11th October with The Show Must Go On, produced by Tyne Audio. This is in aid to help raise much needed funds for the venue and showcase local talent.
These live events will launch on Sunday 11th October and tickets are priced Tables of 2: £20, Tables of 4: £40 and can be booked at https://tynetheatreandoperahouse.uk/events/the-show-must-go-on-local-theatre-variety-show/.
For further event and performer details visit:
I’ve personally also commissioned a range of photo prints for sale designed by local artist Elizabeth Carins of Blinkn Imp in association with JAM marketing & Prints to help raise funds for the Tyne Theatre as well as 10 others in the North East in association with
This was to celebrate the arts and local theatres, that are at the heart of our community, with all profits to be donated to the venues.
Celebrating the venues of the Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Newcastle Theatre Royal, Sage Gateshead, Live Theatre Newcastle, Northern Stage, People’s Theatre, Little Theatre Gateshead, Alphabetti Theatre, Gosforth Civic Theatre and The Customs House, they are all pictured in this unique one of a kind print as well as individual images also. All profits donated to the theatres.
A group image or individual images of the venues can be now purchased online via the Etsy store: