PREVIEW: Dark Woods, Deep Snow. A Grimm Tale for Christmas, Northern Stage, Newcastle

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DANGER, mayhem and just a few laughs are promised for Northern Stage’s production of Dark Woods, Deep Snow. A Grimm Tale for Christmas.

This first production as artistic director for Northern Stage’s Lorne Campbell sees Paul Charlton – the Bishop Auckland born actor is best known as one third of comedy trio The Ginge, the Geordie and the Geek – heading the cast.

As the title suggests, this is no “he’s behind you” panto, but, then again, Northern Stage like to do things differently.

Lorne said: “This year I want Christmas at Northern Stage to feel like a mighty adventure that we all go on together - exciting, a bit scary, important and unpredictable.

“What most excites me about making the show is making theatre that is such unashamed fun. With music, danger, a lot of fun and a bit of magic we hope audiences will come and join us for a Christmas of joyful mayhem.”

The synopsis of the show hints at what to expect.

It reads: “This Christmas all the best and grisliest tales will be told as if our lives depend on it.

“At the darkest time, on the longest night, as the real winter starts to close in, something is happening. In the Extremely Secret House in the woods, a rag-tag band of super-heroic outcasts are ready to do battle in the gathering darkness.”

Joining Paul Charlton in the rag-tag band is Gary Kitching, who starred in last year’s Christmas hit show The Borrowers as well as being a regular with North East improv legends, The Suggestibles.

In 2012 he took his one man improvised show Me and Mr C to the Edinburgh Festival and has appeared in various TV productions.

Fresh from their sinister re-telling of the classic Cinderella tale The Ugly Sisters and this summer’s The Frenzy at the Lyric Hammersmith, Abbi Green and Helen Goalen (better known as RashDash – stars of last year’s Northern Stage Edinburgh Festival programme at St Stephens) will choreograph the show as well as joining the cast.

Live music comes from Rebecca Wilkie (who is also musical director/composer for the show) and Scottish singer and multi-instrumentalist Annie Grace, who went down a storm in Bloody Great Border Ballad at St Stephen’s this summer.

Dark Woods, Deep Snow. A Grimm Tale will be written by Chris Thorpe. Chris is a founding member of the award-winning Unlimited and Artistic Associate of innovative live art/theatre company Third Angel.

•Dark Woods, Deep Snow. A Grimm Tale for Christmas, runs from December 2-28, with shows at 10am, 2pm and 7pm. For tickets call 0191 230 5151. Online www.northernstage.co.uk