As the largest producing theatre company in the North East of England, the Northern Stage is one of the most prestigious theatres in all of the UK. Building a reputation for putting a modern spin on classics, expect original plays, belly laughing comedies and children’s productions. And, it’s not just a stage for theatrics. There are a variety of workshops for budding stars, script reading and Saturday classes for those with a passion for acting and performing. What’s more, it’s home to a bustling bar and restaurant, perfect for after show commentary and catch-ups before you head back to your Newcastle hotel.
From family favourites and modern classics to one-man shows and laugh-out-loud comedies, there’s something at the Northern Stage for all ages and tastes. Past performances have included Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Shakespeare’s The Tempest. There are also plays performed by local schools and the Saturday schoolers.
Workshops and classes
Do you have an aspiring stage star in the family? There’s a wide range of workshops, classes and groups for anyone who dreams of being a star. From script reading classes for the over-60s, open stage sessions on Saturdays for children up to age 15 and writing classes for those with a passion for all things theatre, there’s so much opportunity to bring those dreams of being a star to life!
There’s free Wi-Fi throughout the whole theatre including the on-site restaurant so if you need to check some emails before a show or read some reviews after the show, take advantage of the complimentary Wi-Fi.
From facilities, opening times and admission, make the most of your visit to the castle with our guide.
Ticket prices range from £10 to around £40, show dependent. Under 16s, NUS holders, concessions and membership holders can snap up discounted ticket prices too. Tickets can be bought online, via the box office telephone line on 0191 230 5151 or at the theatre box office on site. The doors open at 10am every day except Sundays with the restaurant also opening at 10am and serving food until 9pm. If you’re looking for an after show tipple, head to the bar. Closing at 11pm Monday to Saturday, it often stays open later after some performances.
A fully accessible building, the theatre can be accessed from two entrances - one on Claremont Road opposite the Great North Museum: Hancock or from the ramp off Barras Bridge, opposite the Civic Centre. Both entrances have automated doors and lead into the foyer where the restaurant, bar and box office is. There are also three lifts available that give you access to stages 2 and 3, the accessible toilets (in the lower entrance lobby) and baby changing facilities. It’s also worth checking the events calendar for their range of British Sign Language, Touch Tour and Captioned performances, depending on the show and times.
Near the Northern Stage
Depending on what you’re up for doing before or after a show, there’s a choice of things to see and do nearby to the theatre. Just to the left of the theatre is the Great North Museum: Hancock a refurbished Victorian museum with Hadrian’s wall exhibit and a planetarium. If shopping is on your to-do list, head back towards the Haymarket and you’ll find the intu Eldon Square shopping centre packed with high street fashion favourites, jewellers, shoe shops and department stores like John Lewis. For a lovely stroll around the park, Leazes Park is just on the theatre’s doorstep too complete with picturesque lake and memorial garden.
Eating and Drinking
Popular with show goers and locals alike, on-site restaurant McKenna’s is the perfect spot to enjoy a meal before or after a show. From lunches and tapas to classic burgers, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Made from locally sourced food and a sprinkle of Northern charm, dishes include flat iron steak sandwiches and seafood risotto. Tapas plates come in their droves in the form of stuffed vine leaves, fried whitebait Moroccan lamb tagine to name but a few. If it’s just a post-show drink you’re after, their extensive wine list will do just the job as will their range of beers, lagers and pale ales too.
Outside the theatre
There are so many restaurants and eateries nearby that you’ll be quite spoilt for choice if you don’t fancy McKenna’s.
If you’re looking for something a little unique when it comes to dining out, head to medieval-themed restaurant Blackfriars Restaurant & Hall located in a 13th century former friary. With it’s long banquet-style tables, you can enjoy everything from pre-theatre menus, Sunday lunch and 5-course medieval meals served by costumed ‘wenches and monks’ - whichever you choose will be an experience! Pizza, pasta, risotto, carpaccio… the list goes on at Italian restaurant Marco Polo. Bringing style to classic Italian dishes (and adding twists to them too), there won’t be just one item on the menu you’ll want! Favourites include baked gnocchi with aubergine, seabass with pancetta and the beetroot and duck risotto.
A hotspot for students, The Hancock pub has a lively atmosphere, heated beer garden and lots of comfy sofas to chill out on. From cocktails, craft beers and a wide range of gins, drinks options are endless here. Sat between the two universities in the Jesmond area, you couldn’t get any closer to the Northern Stage to enjoy for a pre or post show beverage.
Getting to Northern Stage
Located at the north end of Newcastle city centre and nestled just behind the new Newcastle University building at King’s Gate, the theatre is right in the heart of this bustling city. And with our Newcastle City Centre (The Gate) Premier Inn just around the corner, you’ll have a comfy bed to sleep in right after your show.
Parking is available on either Claremont Road, near the main entrance to the Exhibition Park or in the Civic Centre car park on Sandyford Road. From here, expect a 5-10 minute walk to the theatre.
The closest metro station to the theatre is Haymarket, just a 2 minute walk from here and fully accessible. From the station, take a right onto Percy Street and continue onto Barras Bridge. From here, take a left onto Eldon Place and another left onto King’s Road. The entrance to the theatre is on your left.
Central Station is the main hub for most trains coming from out of town. From London, your journey time will be around 2 hours and 45 minutes, around an hour and 45 minutes from Edinburgh and 60 minutes from York. From Central Station, it’s a 10 minute walk to Haymarket or two stops to Haymarket Metro.