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Newcastle Times Square to host 1,000-seat pop-up Pantodrome for Christmas 2017

Newcastle's Times Square, where the temporary venue will be constructed. Photo: Wikimedia commons
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A 1,000-seat pop-up pantomime venue is to be created in Newcastle's Times Square next Christmas.

Denise Welch has been confirmed to star in Jack and the Beanstalk, which will be performed in the purpose-built venue created especially for the production.

With a full-sized stage, 1,000 seats and front-of-house areas, the venue, called the Pantodrome, will be constructed with a hard plastic exterior and glass front in order to feel like a permanent building.

Jamie Owen Gray, managing director of production company NS Pantomimes and the brains behind the idea, said he had struggled to find a venue capable of hosting the large-scale show he wanted to create, and so had turned to the idea of a temporary home.

NS has been trying the concept out on a smaller scale over the past two years, which Gray said had given him confidence that a larger model would work.

"It's gone well, so it's really exciting. I think having this sort of space also gives you an opportunity to make it a bit more four-dimensional. There are fewer limits than a traditional venue," he said.

The pop-up, which will take a week to construct, will be in place for a month over Christmas 2017, and Gray added that there was the scope to use the space for other theatre productions if there was a demand for it.

Nearby venues the Theatre Royal and the Tyne Theatre and Opera House both also stage large-scale pantomimes, however Gray said he hoped NS’ production would prove popular with local audiences by combining traditional pantomime and local humour with high production values.

Further casting is yet to be announced, but the show plans to utilise actors and dancers from the region.

Jack and the Beanstalk runs from December 10.

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