After a crazy busy day at my day job helping the new university ‘Fresher’s’ with all manor of random queries such from the mundane ‘Where can I buy ziplock bags?‘ to the more serious ‘What happens if I’ve missed my induction?‘ I was really looking forward to a Monday night out at the Tyne Theatre & Opera House for the performance of 1867. The show was billed as
“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”
All very intriguing. I love anything local history and am partial to a good tour so was sure I’d be in for a treat. Located on Westgate Road the theatre is so easy to find, and free parking in Blandford Square, next to the Discovery Museum, after 6pm made getting there a doddle.
The Tyne Theatre has become a Hooper family favourite the past few years. Just recently we have enjoyed the magicians Morgan & West and the musical Annie showing the diversity of entertainment on offer. The Tyne Theatre wasn’t one I used to go to much as a child but it’s nice to create new memories with your own family in a special and historic building in the middle of Newcastle.
1867 is so named as this was the year the theatre opened, making 2017 the Tyne Theatre & Opera House’s 150 year anniversary. The theatre has a number of special events planned to celebrate this milestone. The fortune of the Tyne Theatre has fluctuated (and was a cinema for many years) and survived debt, fire and numerous owners. The tour was to provide a flavour of behind the scenes of the theatre as well as providing a showcase to this original Victorian working theatre.
I really don’t want to give away too many spoilers but I can say the show started in the bar with a set of high tech headphone. As we followed the guide, our narrator in our ears Bill described the people we would meet on our way such as Bessy Featherstone, a star of the stage, and Jack a hardworking stage hand. Going behind the stage was a real treat as I honestly never imaged the area to be so big. Under the stage the original Victorian stage pullies have been preserved, a real wow moment. I had no idea this area even existed.
We heard that a performance of the show the Grand National was the first to have live horses on stage and employed around 200 backstage ensuring it was a world first! Standing on stage when the curtain came up to see the theatre all lit up was a real treat and I can imagine how the stage performers feel with everyone looking up at them.
The tour lasted around 45 minutes, taking us back to the bar area to conclude the tour. Sometimes it’s great to do something different and learn something new about the area you live in.
For more information about 1867 click here