9 reviews of Journal Tyne Theatre in English
I've been the This theatre a couple of times to see tribute bands, from pink floyd to Meatloaf. Although a bit run down, I love it, warm & cosy but with atmosphere. Parking close by at the bottom of westgate rd & FREE in the evenings. Bargin.
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I’ve been to the Tyne Theatre loads of times and would recommend it to anyone. The viewing has always been good and the sound is good. I’ve seen pantos and comics although I haven’t seen any bands, but I can’t see any problems with the acoustics.
Isle of Man
This is a lovely old place to visit,The Theatre stands at the bottom of Westgate Road in the city centre,so is very easy to get to.It’s a listed building so it has’nt lost its charm and has lots of original features.There is always a vast variety of acts available and even the annual pantomime so there really is something for every age.
There’s a good sized bar which is always a bonus.
It’s not a glitzy place but it’s atmosphere more than makes up for anything it might lack in looks.Much nicer than a lot of the newer venues around.
The Journal Tyne Theatre is a beautiful old building at the bottom of Westgate Road in Newcastle upon Tyne. The building is listed meaning no large works can be undertaken on it, so its appearance has remained similar for many, many years.
The building is large and split over many floors with bars and toilets situated on each. The staff are all extremely friendly and helpful. The system of buying interval drinks before the performance is tremendously helpful.
Charming old building with plenty of atmosphere. I like attending perfomances here and find it a much better venue than the likes of the soulless Metroradio Arena. The yearly programme has a good selection of acts and concerts, there’s something for everyone! The seats aren’t the most comfortable for a night of sitting but perfectly adequate and the sound is usually good. It’s within easy walking distance of the town centre and the Haymarket bus/metro station, St James’s metro station or Central station.
Journal Tyne Theatre - my favourite of the two theatres in Newcastle. Though its rival is seen to be the Theatre Royal, I can honestly say that I prefer the general atmosphere and architecture of the Journal Tyne Theatre. On my first visit I found it virtually impossible to locate despite having lived in the North East all of my life. When I did eventually find it, he staff were welcoming and cheerful.
Last year I saw numerous pantomime performances throughout the North East, but I can honestly say that despite its lack of special effects and its very basic stage, the actors and actresses were more engaging than any of the celebrity endorsed pantomimes. I guess they have to be in order to keep up with the competition and pull in an audience over the christmas season.
The actual inside of the theatre is lacking - it goes without saying that it is a very old building, which isn’t particularly well maintained. However, it does have a certain charm and for this reason I look forward to the christmas pantomime every year.
Very old theatre which suffers from being a listed building, hence no rennovation of any kind can be undertaken. The furnishings are old too. Some wonderful, beautiful structural detail inside but it has the feel of a rundown place that has taken to having bands local play, rather than as an active theatre which could still show contemporary dramas.
The staff are young and helpful.
They have a yearly panto which usually stars Brendan Healy, Max and Mitch the comedy duo and a few other local celebs. It runs from around Dec. 7th to the first week in January and is lots of fun and probably the cheapest panto ticket in town.
There are bars on every floor, although they are not always open on every floor, depending on capacity - and they sell alcohol, sof drinks, sweets, crisps and popcorn. During panto season you can also get your flashing wands!
There are disabled-person bays in the stalls for each performance and an accessable toilet at the back of the stalls. Entry to the bar proves difficult though as there is a mega steep ramp which can not be improved due to the Grade 1 Listed Building Status.
They have shown several good productions in recent years. Some of the best being the Mrs Brown comedy shows (think Father Ted with more tenderness) and several motown shows. Many productions which were originally loyal to this theatre (ie. The Rat Pack; Rufus Wainwright etc) have moved though, to the City Hall or to the Sage, possibly because the theatre is a little run down and rickety.
The world’s oldest working Victorian theatre on Newcastle's Westgate Rd. was originally built in 1867 by William B Parnell. The three story Journal Tyne Theatre is a beautiful Grade 1 listed building with a capacity of 1100, and it is one of Newcastle’s many cultural treasures. (This area of Newcastle has some incredible buildings - the old 'Wengers' building, the 'Lit & Phil' etc. so have a good look around while you are here). The theatre has faced adversity and a series of catastrophes over the years and yet, against all odds, it is not only still standing, but still playing to the (somewhat diminished) crowds.
I used to work in this theatre in the 1980's, as an usherette whilst studying 'theatre' at Newcastle College. (The college lease part of the theater for their performing arts courses). It was a grand and beautiful place and always made me feel awed.
The theatre has three horseshoe-shaped balconies punctuated by boxes which flank the stage and its imposing, 28ft proscenium arch. There is a beautiful circular panelled ceiling and some stunning plasterwork in gilt and pale blue. The auditorium remains structurally unaltered, although, cosmetically there have been a few changes over the years. 1901 heralded a time of extensive embellishment - the dress and upper circle tier fronts were decorated with cartouches bearing the names of popular dramatists/ composers of the day; a large central 'Shakespeare' relief was created above the stage, and the box fronts were covered with low relief designs and flanked with Corinthian columns. Gold stencil work was lavishly applied to anything which stayed still long enough and generally everything that could be ornamented and embellished was! The faded ornamentation still looks opulent today but at the time it must have looked stunning.
In 1919 when Oswald Stoll ran the theatre as a cinema, a projection box was added in the upper circle. There is now a modern lighting rig and the seats are tastefully upholstered in royal blue velvet. The whole place has an appearance of beautiful but faded grandeur.
Other than the 1919 addition of a colourful leaded glass window bearing the inscription ‘Stoll Picture House’, the façade has changed little since 1867,
The original stage machinery was restored to working order around 1980. However, a Christmas Day fire in 1985 destroyed the fly tower. Incredibly, the stage house was painstakingly rebuilt utilizing salvaged ironwork and the reconstructed machinery remains in full working order.
The stage arguably represents the most complete working example of an English wood stage - there are four bridges, eight cuts, one carpet cut, two corner traps, two staircase traps, three object traps and one grave trap. Overhead is a series of drum and shaft mechanisms to operate synchronised scene-changes, and a hemp fly floor (stage left) with drum and shaft for the act drop. A single purchase counterweight system is now installed.
(The above technical information from http://www.tynetheatre.co.uk see website for more details).
The theatre's 141st birthday present this year seems to be a new owner. SMG Europe (owners of the Metro Radio Arena) have taken a 15 year lease on the theatre auditorium and Bistro Bar, and a sponsor, in the form of The Journal newspaper, has come forward to save the theatre once again. Funding has been secured for several million pounds worth of repairs, which are to be carried out over the next 6 years. I dearly hope that this will be enough to attract people back to this magnificent theatre
This is obviously a very old theatre which has been through a lot and seen a lot of changes. Though it is somewhat shabby it is historically very significant, it is also, in my opinion, still very beautiful. Though it no longer attracts the major ballet and opera companies and it is not patronized by the RSC or The National Theatre, it is still a wonderful old building and worthy of public support.
The theatre is 5 minutes from Newcastle's Central Station, it enjoys good public transport links and there is plentiful parking. There are a number of bars and restaurants very close to the theatre and some fine examples of Victorian architecture in this area of the city. The area is within a 3 minute walk of Newcastle's China Town.
Definitely worth a look.
Journal Tyne Theatre
Newcastle upon Tyne,
Tyne & Wear,
Ticketmaster UK: 0844 4939999.
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