Newcastle Theatre Royal kicks off another new co-production with a Purely Belter tale

Gerry & Sewell will have a run at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle in October
-Credit: (Image: Theatre Royal, Newcastle)

Tapping into the current football frenzy, a new theatre collaboration is set to score with audiences with the announcement it will be bringing a much-loved Geordie fan story to the city stage.

Gerry & Sewell, which follows two lads' desperate bid to get their hands on a pair of Newcastle United season tickets, is to have a week-long run at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle. And this week's news coincides with early tickets going on sale.

The play, by writer-director Jamie Eastlake, is an adaptation of Jonathan Tulloch’s novel The Season Ticket which formed the basis of Mark Herman's locally-made 2000 comedy film Purely Belter. Taking its title from the names of the main best pal characters, who are from Gateshead but have their hearts in St James' Park, Gerry & Sewell had sell-out runs at Laurels Theatre in Whitley Bay in 2022 then Live Theatre in Newcastle last November.

All three theatres are now involved in the next step - its major city centre run from October 2-5, which Jamie calls a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity. For the Theatre Royal it is a second major co-production, after the announcement in February of its first in more than 10 years: an upcoming version of Pride and Prejudice involving writer Isobel McArthur and top producer David Pugh.

Gerry & Sewell will be a Theatre Royal co-production with Laurels Theatre and Jamie's own Eastlake Productions company, in association with Live. Jamie said: “Opportunities don’t come much bigger and better than this.

"The chance to recreate the story of Gerry & Sewell - a true Tyneside tale - on stage at one of the leading theatres, not only in the North East region but the country, is something which only comes along once in a lifetime.”

Gerry & Sewell will have a run at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle in October
Gerry & Sewell will have a run at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle in October -Credit:Theatre Royal, Newcastle

His previous cast members Dean Logan and Jack Robertson will reprise their roles as the wayward Gerry and Sewell and for all three of them the upcoming run will mark their biggest professional gig to date. Jamie added of the play's success so far: “The reaction to the lads’ story has been unbelievable."

He added: "We can’t wait to share their tale once again and turn Newcastle Theatre Royal into a sea of black and white.” And helping them to create that effect will be Wor Flags.

Casting auditions for other roles in the show are due to take place in coming weeks. Marianne Locatori, chief executive of the Theatre Royal, said: “Our region is rich in storytelling and ensuring that these local narratives are represented in our programme and performed on our stage is incredibly important."

She said the theatre is delighted to work alongside Jamie and the team to showcase what she calls a "fabulous tale" that is deeply rooted in the region. She added: “Earlier this year, we announced our first co-production in more than a decade and hot on the heels of Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of), we’re thrilled that we can now further support amazing local talent the region has to offer and grow and nurture cultural creativity in the North East.”

To book tickets for Gerry & Sewell at the Theatre Royal call 0191 232 7010 or see here. The theatre's other co-production, Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of), will run there from September 19-28.