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A double helping of Shakespeare in Newcastle, courtesy of Northern Stage and The People's Theatre

Tragedy Macbeth and comedy Much Ado About Nothing will be performed on respective Tyneside stages from March 10 to 14

Pictured Benedick (Craig Fairbairn) and Beatrice (Sara Jo Harrison) who are starring in The People's Theatre (Newcastle) production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing in March 2015
Pictured Benedick (Craig Fairbairn) and Beatrice (Sara Jo Harrison) who are starring in The People's Theatre (Newcastle) production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing in March 2015

This week on Tyneside, plays by William Shakespeare are like buses.

Admirers of the Bard’s work have not one, but two opportunities to be in the audience while a duo very different classics are performed.

While his last great tragedy, Macbeth will cast a dark shadow over Northern Stage in Newcastle (courtesy of Filter Theatre), one of his greatest comedies, Much Ado About Nothing will be performed at The People’s Theatre in the city.

The former promises to be a radical version of Macbeth, fusing Shakespeare’s corrosive, psychological thriller of ambition, power, witchcraft and sanity with the theatre company’s trademark innovative sound and music.

In the latter, the team at the People’s have given Much Ado a “La Dolce Vita makeover” - setting its production of the popular comedy in 1950s Italy.

Audiences are being invited to “enjoy the effervescent battle of wits between the irrepressible, perennial favourites Beatrice and Benedick” in this colourful production, which combines lusty, knockabout hilarity with darker meditations on honour, shame, and court politics.

The play teeters precariously towards tragedy at times, thanks to the ‘plain dealing villain’ Don John. But never fear (spoiler alert) love conquers all by the end with young lovers Hero and Claudio united, and the ‘merry war’ between Beatrice and Benedick joyously concluded.

Both plays will be performed from March 10-14. Tickets for Filter’s Macbeth at Northern Stage are available from 0191 230 5151 or www.northernstage.co.uk . Recommended for ages 14+ www.filtertheatre.com

For tickets for Much Ado About Nothing at The People’s Theatre, call 0191 265 5020 or visit www.peoplestheatre.co.uk .

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