The Grade 1 listed Victorian Tyne Theatre & Opera House turns 150 years old in 2017 and is holding a host of special events to celebrate this monumental milestone.
On 23rd September 1867, Tyne Theatre & Opera House opened its doors to the public for the first time. It was designed by William B Parnell for Joseph Cowen (1829 – 1900), politician and industrialist, and son of Sir Joseph Cowen, a prominent citizen and Member of Parliament for Newcastle upon Tyne from 1865 to 1873. In a time of heavy industry, life was hard and the Tyne Theatre & Opera House provided warmth, light and escapism for local people.
Through the years the theatre has experienced many changes, and even operated as a cinema, the Stoll Picture Theatre, for over fifty years. It has triumphed over many adversities including closure and a backstage fire, but 150 years later, it’s still open for business, providing art and entertainment for the people of the North East.
The first event in the theatre’s 150th programme took place in August, though there is still plenty more in store! The Cinema Years, in association with Whitley Bay Film Festival celebrated the theatre’s time as the Stoll, and was an action packed three days of feature films, animation workshops, fascinating talks about film and more.
An exciting new high-tech exploration of Tyne Theatre history takes place from Monday 11th to Sunday 17th September presented by Twenty Seven Productions, the team who brought WYTCH to Newcastle Castle and Hitler’s Headquarters to the Victoria Tunnel. Aptly named, “1867” will be a multi-sensory experience for each limited audience, anchoring the sights, sounds and smells of the building, all whilst discovering new paths you never knew were there. Cheer for Tosca, escape the 1985 fire, search for lost treasures and mingle with theatre ghosts.
Katie Gibson, Owner and Executive Producer of Twenty Seven Productions says: “We feel particularly privileged to be working with the Tyne Theatre, especially to be asked to come and celebrate their 150 years with them! “1867” is a typical Twenty Seven Productions show, exploring the nooks and crannies of history, but this time we are taking it up a gear and involving more tricks and techniques to take you back in time.”
Hot on the heels of their last successful production, Little Shop of Horrors, Tyne Theatre Productions return with a grand production of one of the most memorable musicals of all time, West Side Story, running from Wednesday 20th to Saturday 23rd September.
Two of the performances will take place on the Victorian Opera House’s birthday (Saturday 23rd September). West Side Story will be another theatre fundraiser, with funds raised contributing to the preservation and future restoration of the magnificent building.
Following the success of 2016’s The Greatest Show on the Tyne, Tyne Theatre has once again teamed up with Geordie magician Chris Cross to present the family variety show on Friday 6th October as part of the celebration programme, featuring comedians, circus performers, acrobats and of course magicians.
Last but not least the theatre has joined forces with the Customs House, South Shields, to bring Geordie the Musical to Newcastle from Wednesday 11th to Saturday 14th October. Based on an idea by Andy Bogle, this heart-warming story of North East life steps back to 1890, combining traditional Northumbrian songs and music with the award-winning storytelling skills of Tom Kelly.
We hope you can join us in our 150th Anniversary celebrations!
Theatre Director Joanne Johnson says: “Many people are unaware that at the start of 2015 Tyne Theatre & Opera House became an independent company. We’re a not-for-profit organization who receive no funding, and I’m glad to say things have gone from strength to strength, and I’m so thrilled that we are still here operating successfully in our 150th Anniversary year. We couldn’t do it without the support of the public, and we hope people come along and celebrate this beautiful, fascinating building’s rich history with us. Here’s to another 150 years!”
For more information or tickets for all shows please visit www.tynetheatreandoperahouse.uk
For further information, requests or press enquiries please contact Linsey Teggert at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Tyne Theatre & Opera House Box Office is open 10am-3:30pm Monday to Friday and event days
- Booking and Information Line: 0844 2491 000 (10am – 6pm Monday to Friday)
- More information at our Website: www.tynetheatreandoperahouse.uk
- Facebook: Facebook.com/tynetheatreandoperahouse | Twitter: twitter.com/tyneoperahouse
- Theatre Address: 109 – 119 Westgate Road, Newcastle, NE1 4AG