By Issy Flower
Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre and Opera House are hosting a musical revue, ‘Waiting in the Wings’, in a bid to bring musical theatre back to the North East and highlight the plight of regional theatres.
Starring six West End performers, who have performed in popular shows such as Phantom of the Opera, Wicked and Come from Away, the show will be under the musical direction of Antoine Merand, who has worked extensively in musical theatre.
The show will raise much needed funds for the theatre, as well as the local entertainment industry, while supporting industry professionals who have been out of work since the start of the pandemic. It will be the first time all six performers have performed live on stage since March 2020.
Performer Kris Manuel, who is originally from the North East and helped arrange the show, 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.”
Although Tyne Theatre and Opera House have hosted multiple events throughout the last year, the tightening of restrictions over Christmas meant that the consistently profitable and popular panto season was cancelled.
The theatre’s 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 be streamed on Saturday 27th February 2021 at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £20 per household plus £3 booking fee.
Image Credit: Newcastle Tyne Theatre and Opera House