Tyne Theatre & Opera House | Panto Review & Top Tips

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Tyne Theatre & Opera House is a beautiful Grade I listed theatre in the heart of Newcastle City Centre on Westgate Road. I have lots of happy memories from visiting panto here over the years and this was the panto that I remember first taking Harry to when he was small which always sticks in my head as a special memory. 

What to Expect from this Year's Panto

This year's panto is once again brought to us by Enchanted Entertainment who have assembled an amazing cast and are planning some spectacular panto magic to ensure Sleeping Beauty will be a brilliant panto for the whole family. 

They promise audience participation, fantastic sets and costumes, songs, dance routines and of course lots of jokes galore. There will be a live band and this year, for the first time ever in Tyne Theatre, there will be 3D aspects of the show (sponsored by Specsavers - insert your own jokes here). 

North East favourites Charlie Richmond and Lewis Denny (these guys are a hoot) will be joined by Callabro's Matt Pagan (winner of Britain's Got Talent) as the Prince and Laura Baxter from Sunderland as Sleeping Beauty. 

There are a whopping 54 performances to choose from this year and the show runs from 3 December 2021- 3 January 2022. 

  • Ticket prices: From £14-£25
  • Family ticket: £63 - £89 (stalls and grand circle only, A family ticket is for 2 adults, 2 children or 1 adult, 3 children)
  • Boxes: £108 to £150
  • Schools: £10 (buy 10 get 1 free) – Teachers go free
  • Youth Groups: £14 (buy 10 get 1 free, except on Christmas Eve)
  • Groups: 10+ £14 buy 10 get 1 free
  • Relaxed & signed performance – Wednesday 15th December @ 5.30pm

Find out more and buy tickets here: https://tynetheatreandoperahouse.uk/events/enchanted-entertainment-present-sleeping-beauty/

Accessible tickets are available and can be purchased by emailing info@tynetheatreandoperahouse.uk  and stating your requirements (eg if you need a wheelchair accessible bay / carer tickets etc....)

Covid 19 Safety

You can read the full list of measures in place at the theatre here.  Obviously, things may change so please always check with venue when making plans for the most up-to-date info but at time of print:
  • face coverings are strongly recommended inside of the theatre
  • bars will be open before the performance and at the interval but please listen to staff guidance
  • seating is not socially distanced and it is likely you will be sitting next to someone
  • keep left when moving around the theatre and it is strongly recommended you wear a face covering when moving around the theatre, especially when passing other seats 
  • enhanced cleaning and disinfecting 
  • please use hand sanitiser on arrival / leaving / when necessary (provided at points around the theatre)
  • there may be separate entry and exit points and temperature checks may be in operation so please leave plenty of time for admission 
If you need to cancel your tickets due to COVID, providing you give 24 hours notice, a face value refund will be given (proof may be required). 

Where to Park / Public Transport / Location 

Tyne Theatre and Opera House is located on Westgate Road between Stowell Street and behind the Gate. It is an easy 12 minute walk from Haymarket Bus / Metro Station and about the same distance from Central Station so very easy to get to by public transport. The closest Metro Station is St James. 

We usually park in the Gate's car park but it is fairly pricey! Grainger Town Car Park is another option and only a few minutes from the theatre. 

Recommended Restaurants 

There are lots of restaurants to enjoy nearby. My top recommendations would be a trip to one of the Chinese restaurants on Stowell Street and if you have time, Fujiyama is fab for kids and less than a minute from the theatre. 

Blackfriars is another favourite of ours and again, a very short walk from the theatre. They have a lovely children's menu and Christmas menu available. 

The Gate has plenty of family-friendly options too including Nandos and Pizza Hut and Turtle Bay is brilliant for the whole family too if you fancy something a little different. 

Top Tips For Visiting Tyne Theatre & Opera House Panto 

  • You are allowed to take your own food & drinks into the theatre (no hot food or glass)

  • Make sure you collect some free 3D glasses from the foyer and keep hold of them for a scene in the second half

  • Drinks and snacks are reasonably priced - £4.50 for a slushie and bag of twirl bites 

  • Ice cream is available in the interval 

  • There aren't really any scary parts in this panto - they villain is quite Disney-esque. The only part to maybe warn sensitive kids about is the 3D aspect where things may jump out at you from the screen 

  • If you are driving into town on a weekend, leave with plenty of time. The roads in and around Newcastle were super busy this weekend 

  • Do not film or take photos during the show - it is against the rules and ushers will come to your seat and ask you to stop. Save yourself from the embarrassment. 

  • There are quite a few 'bangs' which occur pretty much every time a fairy appears on stage 

2021 Panto Review 

We watched the show on Saturday 4 December. It was the cast's 3rd performance of the day but you'd never have guessed it. 

We had an absolute blast and I think that this is Tyne Theatre's best panto yet. Highlights for us included: 

  • Lewis Denny & Charlie Richmond. This year, they take centre stage as the main characters and are in pretty much every scene which is a wise move as the audience love them so much. These two have worked together for years and have a brilliant, natural chemistry and bounce off each other so well. They're a hoot and the audience is just in fits of laughter whenever they're on stage (which is for most of the panto)

  • LOADS of jokes and one liners with a fair few just for adults which will go over the kids' heads (but the kids seem to laugh at these anyway). There is a good mix between modern references and the traditional classics

  • Lots of Geordie / North East references and jokes including a few jokes around Newcastle United
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas scene is always a good laugh and this year is no different

  • Brilliant music and singing voices - some of the best I've seen in panto and not just from Matt Pagan (of Callobro fame) - the singing from the whole cast is first class. This is accompanied by live music and excellent song choices from across the decades including hits from Madness, The Greatest Showman, Britney, Pet Shop Boys and Clean Bandit 

  • The 3D aspect of the show in the second half is fab and the kids in the audience loved it

  • Yes, there is 'the bench' scene but it has a bit of a twist this year

  • Opportunities to sing and dance along 

  • Carabosse (the evil fairy) was fantastic and really stood out as one of our favourite characters. She really captured an evil spirit on stage but in a non-intimidating way. The balance between portraying evil yet not being too terrifying for kids was perfect 

  • The Good Fairy is also fabulous and had some good banter with the crowd

We had a fantastic evening. This was the first panto we have taken my 6 year old nephew to and this is his review, "It was long, but it was funny. Seriously though, it was really funny". He laughed the whole way through as did Jack (10), myself and Steve and the grandparents in the audience seemed to have a brilliant time too. It is one of those pantos that guarantees a fabulous night for all. 

There were a couple of traditional panto aspects missing - no messy scene & no audience participation on stage (which they said was due to COVID - although I have been to another panto this year where audience members have been on stage)...but I guess it is down to caution and there is no right or wrong way to navigate these things. 

There are risque jokes which were mostly very funny and there are a few 'did they really just/almost say that?' moments that had us in fits of laughter.  However a couple of the jokes didn't sit right with me (the upskirting scenes with the feather duster and febreeze if the producers read this - I don't think it added anything to the scene at all). This is very much a personal thing and humour is subjective. Jokes in panto are never meant to offend and should be taken with a pinch of salt. 

I would still give this year's panto a 10/10 as we all left the theatre absolutely buzzing. Sometimes pantos can feel like they go on forever but I was actually left wanting more which I don't think has ever happened! I could have watched the cast all night. 


1 comment

  1. Thank you for your fabulous review. So delighted you all enjoyed Sleeping Beauty.


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