Theatre launches high-flying season

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A theatre which ended its year with the accolade of the Most Welcoming Theatre in the UK is planning a plethora of treats for 2016.

The Theatre Royal will be welcoming a variety of different productions, from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang through to illusionist Derren Brown’s newest show.

First up at the venue is a new tour of Hairspray the Musical, which runs from January 19 until January 30.

The production stars Tony Maudsley (ITV1’s Benidorm) as Edna Turnblad. He will be joined by actress and TV presenter Claire Sweeney (Educating Rita, Guys and Dolls) as Velma Von Tussle, Olivier Award-nominated actor and much-loved Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan as Wilbur Turnblad and British singer and West End performer Brenda Edwards (Chicago, We Will Rock You, The X Factor) as Motormouth Maybelle.

February will feature classics like JB Priestley’s An Inspector Calls and the drumming phenomenon Stomp will return to the stage.

March will see the arrival of William Goldings take on Lord of the Flies, which had rave reviews at Regent’s Park Theatre.

Another highlight for the company will be the arrival of the first national tour of TOM the musical, which is based on the life of Tom Jones in the years before he was known as a singing icon.

From May 3 to May 7, the production will take the audience back in time to the working men’s clubs of the ’60s where the legend of Tom Jones was born, a Valleys boy with a heart-stopping voice. Welsh West End star Kit Orton appears in the title role.

Another two musical bookings for the theatre in 2016 are the new national tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins.

From June 1 to June 12, Lee Mead will follow in the footsteps of Dick Van Dyke as the wacky inventor 
Potts.

Cameron Macintosh will bring his hit musical Mary Poppins to the Newcastle stage in September.

The stage version of Mary Poppins is adapted from the wonderful stories by PL Travers and the beloved Walt Disney film.

The stage production of Mary Poppins has a book by Oscar-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator, Julian Fellowes, a timeless score by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman including the songs Jolly Holiday, Step in Time, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and Feed the Birds with new songs featuring additional music and lyrics by the Olivier award-winning British team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

For full details of all of the shows stopping at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal, visit www.theatreroyal.co.uk or or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access 
charge).