North East Theatre Welcomes London’s West End for One Night Only
Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre and Opera House is welcoming six London West End performers to their stage in a bid to bring musical theatre back to the North East and put a spotlight on regional theatres and the huge struggles they are also facing.
‘Waiting in the Wings’ will be live streamed to audiences on Saturday 27th February and will feature performances of musical theatre favourites from Jenna Boyd (Beulah - Come From Away UK), Danny Whitehead (Raoul – The Phantom of the Opera, London) Jacqueline Hughes (Elphaba - Wicked International Tour), Manon Taris (Belle - Beauty and the Beast and Cosette - Les Miserables, Paris) Joseph Claus (The Phantom of the Opera, London and 25th & 30th Anniversary Concerts) and Kris Manuel (The Phantom of the Opera, London and Doctor/Escapologist Matilda, London). The show will be under the musical direction of Antoine Merand (The Phantom of the Opera, Cats and Beauty and the Beast).
In association with North East based AV firm Tyne Audio Ltd, the show will also raise much needed funds for the theatre, as well as the local entertainment industry and help support industry professionals who have been out of work since the pandemic started. For the six performers, this will be the first time they have performed live, on stage since March last year.
Kris Manuel, who is originally from the North East and has helped bring this show together says, “I am so excited to be performing in this one-off event for the Tyne Theatre and Opera House. This is the venue where my career began back in 1999 in the Christmas pantomime Sleeping Beauty with the football legend Peter Beardsley! I am now returning to perform with some of the finest voices I have ever had the privilege of working with. It is going to be a wonderful evening and I can hardly wait to be back on stage.”
Kris also runs West End Prep alongside husband Mark Hedges, the Resident Director of The Phantom of the Opera in London's West End. West End Prep is an elite training programme for young performers in the North East of England and is sponsoring the live streamed show.
Over the last year the Tyne Theatre and Opera House has tried to embrace the continually changing restrictions as much as possible and has hosted a variety of events including socially distanced comedy shows and hybrid musical events, as well as setting up a crowdfunding account. However, this latest tightening of restrictions saw the theatre cancel their much-anticipated panto season, resulting in another huge loss in revenue.
Theatre Director Joanne Johnson says:
“We are so excited to welcome some of the West End’s finest performers to our stage and give them the opportunity to perform after so long. The dramatic and ongoing loss of income caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that without urgent support, the future of our historic venue is in question. We are aiming to raise £30,000 which will go towards essential work on the theatre – necessary to enable us to offer shows in this ‘new normal’. We want to continue to bring the joy of musical theatre to our audience as well as ensure our doors remain open at the end of all of this.”
The show will take place on Saturday 27th February 2021 at 7.30pm and tickets are priced at £20 per household plus £3 booking fee. To book visit www.stream.theatre/season/47.