“ Address: 108 Westgate Road / Newcastle-upon-Tyne / NE1 4AF / England „
I have a couple of friends who live up north and often visit them. A few times now I have been to see various productions at the Tyne Theatre and have even seen a couple of musical acts. My favourite performance there was Rufus Wainwright who captivated the audience and gave such an intense and alluring show. The theatre itself is deliciously old and holds such a great atmosphere. It is one of ten that were born of the Victorian era and it is a pleasure visiting a theatre steeped in so much history. It was opened in 1867 and the exterior has remained pretty much the same since then. In 2004 it was bought by the Journal newspaper that ploughed a lot of money into it and made some much needed internal alterations. The exterior of the building is superb and looks absolutely wonderful keeping the signature Victorian columns and tiling.
The theatre has a capacity of 1100 with the best seating area in the inner circle. The seats are small and shabby but fit in nicely with the decor of the place. Although the seating looks tired and old fashioned, they are comfortable and I have never had a trouble viewing the stage from wherever I sit in the theatre. The seating is packed quite closely together, however I rather like the intimacy that this provides.
On entering the theatre from the street, you enter a large foyer with the ticket vendors and the shop to buy your goodies to eat. This is rather expensive so I would advise you bring your own sweeties! The hallway is decorated nicely and looks quite grand. In the middle of the foyer is a starcase leading you to the upper circle and the bar areas. Here it a nice place to enjoy a glass of wine while you wait for your performance. The actual theatre is wonderfully decorated with magnificent moulded arches and frames around the hall. The ceiling is high and has a number of dramatic paintings there, there are a lot of features that will keep you entertained whilst waiting for the show to start.
The toilets are clean and tidy but there is not many of them and there is always a long queue during the intervals. You can order your drinks for the interval at the bar so that you do not need to queue at the bar area when you only get a break of fifteen minutes. I rather like this facility and often take advantage of it! There is also disabled accesses and areas for wheelchairs.
The theatre is walking distance from the train station as it is in the middle of the city centre. There are a large number of bars and restaurants around so you can really make a night of it.
This is a really nice theatre and has kept much of its Victorian charm. The stage is grand and seating as adequate enough to have a decent view wherever you sit. Whenever I have visited the staff are more than helpful and exceedingly friendly. I much prefer the ambiance this theatre has to other ones I have visited in England and would fully recommend it for a visit.
A great place to enjoy your favourite show.
The Journal Tyne Theatre
I have been to the theatre on many occasions over the years and most recently to see the thoroughly enjoyable production of Never Forget.
The theatre is a Grade I listed building and is apparently the oldest working Victorian Theatre in the World. A quick look at the "What's on" on the website shows that at any time of the year, the theatre plays host to all different kind of events, including opera, theatre shows, comedy, concerts and conferences. It can hold up to 1100 people and each time I have been I have found the seating to be more than adequate and not all squashed like in some places.
The theatre itself is situated on Westgate Road which is a main road in Newcastle city centre. Last time we went we arrived by taxi and were able to be dropped off right outside the theatre which in my opinion, on a cold evening, has to be a good thing.
From the outside, the theatre does look as I would imagine a theatre and includes adverts on the outside. Walking straight inside, there is a large foyer and ticket area as well as vendors selling merchandise for any specific show.
Stairs from this foyer lead to the different levels with there being bars on the levels of the Grand and Upper Circles, complete with seating areas and the opportunity to order drinks for the interval. Although this is available, the bars do tend to be well staffed and there are rarely queues large enough to have to order and then look for drinks.
WHERE IS IT?
The theatre is located in the centre of Newcastle and is easily accessible by the city's public transport systems, with the closest metro Station being Central Station. There is of off-street parking nearby, and the theatre is close to lots of restaurants and bars, in particular China Town.
ADDRESS AND CONTACT DETAILS...
Newcastle upon Tyne
TYNE AND WEAR
Tel: 0844 493 9999
Fax: +44 01912 431170
This is one of my favourite out of the theatres I have been to, and really gives a sense of old style opulence and charm. There are lots of different shows on and usually i can find something I want to see a few times a year.
It seems smaller than alot of theatres I have been to so although it is still elegant although a bit shabbily so, it has an air of cosiness and there aren't too many stairs or chances to get lost.
The staff are friendly and efficient, the theatre is clean and has sufficient bars and toilets to ensure everyone is watered during the interval. One of the good things about the theatre is that it is in the centre of the city without being too close to the main drinking areas so when you exit you are not faced with random revellers. However, being close to the centre, there are plenty of bars and restaurants within very close walking distance so there is plenty to do before or after a show.
Well worth a visit if you are near and see something you fancy.
Thanks for reading.
The Journal Tyne Theatre, as it is now called since being sponsored by the local paper in 2004, is a very old building and is Grade One Listed meaning no rennovations of any kind can be undertaken inside. The conditions of the furnishings, therefore, is a little bit shabby and run-down. There is also a make-shift ramp installed in the central corridor by the bar for disabled wheelchair users which is ridiculously steep. The carpets adorning the auditorium are a little musty and dirty too and are hideously mismatched.
Despite these problems the theatre has a antique style charm about it. There are four levels of seating: stalls, grand circle, upper circle and gallery which seat 1100 people altogether. The seats are covered with a royal blue velvet material which looks quite regal. The view is best from the grand circle and the trek to the gallery should not be attempted by the elderly or those with health problems. There are bars on every floor -which sell refreshments, sweets, crisps and popcorn - although these are not always open, depending on the capacity. It is best to ask on entering if this is the case - as the staircases can be exhausting!
The central stage, one of the finest examples of an old working Victorian stage, is small and dusty but can look fantastic with the right set designs. There are some beautiful ornamentation around the front edges and boxes, with a gold stencil finish on leaf designs. The old lantern style lighting is pretty too.
There are bays set aside in the front of the stalls (rows D/E) for wheelchair users and an accessable toilet is conveniently at the back of the stalls seatting area. As mentioned, the journey to the bar may prove difficult for disabled persons, as the wheelchair ramp is very steep.
The theatre has hosted a variety of shows recently: from comedys like 'Mrs Brown' ( who is a bit like 'Father Ted' in drag), to musical sensation 'The Rat Pack'. The nearby Gateshead Sage seems to have taken a lot of business away from the theatre though, which is a shame. There is a fun, entertaining pantomime on every year which normally stars local hero Brandan Healy as the main man. The tickets are the cheapest in the city for a professional production and the performance is good quality. Kids can get interactive flashing wands and the stars sometimes wander around the theatre pre-performance to work their charm.
The theatre is on Westgate Road, within walking distance of Central Station Metro station. There are a few bars ans restaurants nearby for post performance nibbles. Chinatown is a three minute walk away and there is a sushi restaurant opposite the theatre.