Review & Top Tips | Northern Stage Newcastle Christmas Show 2021

Northern Stage Christmas Show 2021 | Overview & tickets

The Christmas Show at Northern Stage is always something I really look forward to. It's completely different to anything else in the North East and is a fantastic alternative for those who aren't too keen on a traditional panto.

The production is always magical with incredible staging and live music. We still talk about previous shows from years gone by to this day (with Get Santa being a particular favourite).

This year's Christmas show is The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Here is what they have to say: 

"Grab your magical marching mop and join us in this enchanting new production.

Harrietta Rabbit was just a normal girl from a normal family (well, as normal as families get). That is until a job offer arrives for Harrietta, in the form of a letter slid underneath the door on a cold winter’s night, she is to become the Sorcerer’s Apprentice…   

A truly magical treat for the whole family that’s not to be missed this Christmas."

Kids Go Free Offer 

KIDS GO FREE! if you book on selected dates before 18 September (or until they sell out).

Tickets are available from £10 which means a family of 4 could see the show for as little as £10. What a bargain!! The production is more than worth this cost and I promise you won't be disappointed. Find out more about the offer/code and book here.  Top tip - make sure you make the correct selection of standard and children's tickets otherwise the code won't work. 

The show continues until 31 December and is 2 hours in length including an interval. The show is recommended for ages 5+ but all are welcome. Northern Stage Christmas Shows are perfect for watching with grandparents, friends and even without children.

Northern Stage Christmas Show | Where to park

Northern Stage is very easy get to and find. Located on Newcastle University Campus in the centre of Newcastle.

We always park in Claremont Road Car Park by Exhibition Park. (Postcode NE2 4AN). We always manage to find a space and it's free after 6pm (£1.30 per hour before this).

This car park is just a short walk from Northern Stage. Other car parks include Eldon Square (free after 5pm but closes at 10pm) and it's just a short walk from Haymarket bus and metro station if you wish to use public transport.

Northern Stage Christmas Show | Where to eat

Northern Stage has it's own on-site brasserie McKennas which looks lovely but is always super busy so I'd definitely recommend booking in advance.

Review & Top Tips | Northern Stage Newcastle Christmas Show 2019

We often pop to Zapatista in Ridley Place for a super quick bite to eat (especially if we're travelling by bus) and Red Mezze is a gorgeous little restaurant to try near St James' Park. You could also enjoy tapas at El Coto which isn't too far and they have some fab deals.

Northern Stage Christmas Show | Our 2019 Review

Here is a review from the last Northern Stage Christmas production alongside photos and a little about what to expect (in 2019 the show was 'The Snow Queen'). 

 As with previous years, Stage 1 & 2 have been combined with the audience seated on either side of the stage. Cleverly though, we never felt as if any of the cast had their back to us. The play starts abruptly and we are plunged into darkness before the scene is set before us.  

Review & Top Tips | The Snow Queen Reindeer Northern Stage Newcastle Christmas Show 2019

This version of The Snow Queen didn't really feel like Frozen at all and for me, you would never guess they were based on the same story. The only similarities for me were the loveable reindeer and the rousing song by the Snow Queen which left my hairs standing on end. Elizabeth Carter's voice is just incredible and worth the ticket price alone I think.

The characters seemed to draw on a number of stories for me - the brave girl off on an adventure into the unknown reminded me of The Wizard of Oz, there were huge parallels between the stern school mistress Elsie Orr and Ms Trunchbull from Matilda and the eclectic range of characters ranging from enthusiastic fireflies to Garden Rose who craves validation very much reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. Storytelling and characters really feel as if they are at the heart of this Christmas tale.

Review & Top Tips | Northern Stage Newcastle Christmas Show 2019

I am usually wowed by the staging at Northern Stage and there were some standout moments including the train trundling across the stage and the clever use of minimal props which instantly made us feel as if the audience were sitting in Gerda's front room with her. The ice prison was also very effective.

For me, the show did lack some of the immersive elements and surprises from the last few years. Don't expect any food fights, any characters popping up where you least expect it or for the whole room to be used as a set like it has in the past. The Snow Queen definitely feels a lot more traditional.

Live music is played throughout and really adds to the story. The cast at Northern Stage are always super talented and I always love that one second dad can be playing the drums in the ensemble and the next second he will be running down onto the stage with a key line. The cast work incredibly hard and you won't see finer acting anywhere in Newcastle.

The story is a real adventure and it feels as if the audience is taken along for the ride. We fly on magic sleighs, meet magical and mythical beasts, ride a reindeer, hunt with wolves, sit in a classroom, brave a blizzard and share midnight phonecalls with our best friend along with Gerda.

Review & Top Tips | Northern Stage Newcastle Christmas Show 2019

The story was a little complicated to follow but we all thoroughly enjoyed the evening. The kids left saying that it was amazing, a show full of music and one they would recommend to their friends.  The Snow Queen was my favourite character and I loved how her costume became a little more elaborate as her power grows.

Another favourite was Elsie Orr - at times it was hard to decipher if she was actually acting or just having a private joke with the audience. I am sure we will all be able to see one of our old school teachers or someone we know at work who is a stickler for the rules in her.

Steve and the kids really enjoyed a particular scene in the forest which was played out with soft toys. This part didn't really click with me but the kids loved it.  The Snow Queen definitely feels as if it is more for children (or families with children) rather than something you would go and see just as grown-ups which is the first time I have said this about a Northern Stage Christmas show.

Review & Top Tips | The Snow Queen at Northern Stage Newcastle Christmas Show 2019

I have to give a huge shout out to the reindeer - definitely the star of the show and there were audible gasps as he first appeared. Whoever was in charge of building the puppets needs a pay rise.

The Snow Queen wasn't my favourite Northern Stage Christmas show but we did all still have a fantasic time and it was just lovely to be swept along with a fairytale for a few hours. Pure escapism. Northern Stage set such a high standard and the quality and creativity is always something I look forward to at Christmas - this year was no different.



  1. Really not a panto fan so always do the northern stage. Not sure why you weren't keen on last year - we really enjoyed it! We went to see Christmas carol today and loved it, my 5 year old was mesmerized by the music and the energy regardless of the more complex dialogue.

    1. I don't know, last year was a little TOO out there if that makes sense? Can't wait to see what 2019 holds x


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