At the time of writing, we are seeing the devastating effect that the coronavirus pandemic is having on theatres up and down the country.

For the majority of the 2019/20 financial year, Newcastle Theatre Royal was at the forefront for providing quality arts and culture in the region; our diverse programme enthralled and entertained as we continued to present a broad spectrum of high calibre productions and grow our audiences.  Our spectacular pantomime – considered one of the very best in the country – was a huge hit and audiences have enjoyed the very best in touring drama, musicals, opera, comedy, music, dance and ballet with the jewel in the crown being the mesmerising run of Les Misérables which drew visitors from right across the North into the city.

We have built on the strong performance of the previous year and have continued to attract audiences above the national average. With competition fierce for peoples’ leisure time and against a backdrop of economic and political uncertainty this achievement should not be underestimated.

I continue to be hugely impressed by the dedicated members of staff working throughout the Theatre Royal; from those welcoming audiences night after night to the backstage crew whose colossal efforts are instrumental to ensuring quick turnarounds of productions, each and every person demonstrates passion and commitment to guaranteeing that every visitor has a truly warm and memorable experience. 

As we approached the end of the 2019/2020 financial year we faced a hammer blow; as the coronavirus crisis took hold Newcastle Theatre Royal, like venues up and down the country, closed its doors and whilst the situation remains ever-changing, we look ahead with optimism and purpose and plan for when we can again welcome audiences into this magnificent building. 

There are, without doubt, many more challenges that this period of uncertainty will continue to present; I wish to extend my gratitude and heartfelt thanks to every single person connected to Newcastle Theatre Royal – Philip, the team, my fellow Board of Trustees colleagues, our Friends, sponsors and donors - for their resilience, commitment and above all resolute desire to ensure that high quality arts and culture flourishes at this wonderful institution for many years to come. 

Nick Swales, Chairman
Newcastle Theatre Royal Trust Ltd