The past year, 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 has been a time of renewed focus to ensure that in an increasingly competitive marketplace, we continue to deliver an entertaining and diverse programme of commercially viable productions.

Audience numbers swelled to a very healthy 377,073, with capacity increasing to 78%, boosted by an impressive eight week run of the internationally celebrated musical Les Misérables and another record breaking pantomime with Beauty & the Beast proving once again that we are home to the North East’s biggest panto!

Over the course of the year, a remarkable 395 performances were presented on our stage including stunning dance from Matthew Bourne, Scottish Ballet and Northern Ballet amongst others, two highly regarded seasons from Opera North, a wealth of high quality drama and the very best smash-hit musicals – Annie, Mamma Mia!, Motown the Musical and The Bodyguard to name just a few – all doing great business at the Box Office.

The Royal Shakespeare Company made a much-anticipated return presenting three productions – As You Like It, Measure for Measure and The Taming of the Shrew - in repertoire for the first time at our venue since 2013.  Unfortunately, after opening to rave reviews, the run was sadly, and abruptly, cut short.

On 17 March 2020, due to the mounting coronavirus crisis, our stage went dark and we await a time when social distancing measures are significantly lifted to enable us to reopen our doors. 

As an independent charity we rely on our portion of ticket sales for our income and to date, we have refunded tens of thousands of tickets for dozens of cancelled performances. However, thanks to a lifeline grant of £3million from the Culture Recovery Fund, generous donations from our ever-supportive donors and customers and the relentless determination displayed by each and every member of staff, we look ahead with an unwavering resolve to once again light up the Newcastle Theatre Royal stage with stunning shows planned for 2021 and beyond.

As ever, my heartfelt thanks go to our dedicated staff, committed Board of Trustees, our wonderful audiences, our supporters and everyone who lives and breathes theatre. Stay safe and we can’t wait to welcome you through our doors in hopefully the not too distant future.

Philip Bernays, Chief Executive
Newcastle Theatre Royal Trust Ltd