Acting lecturer Katy Weir co-directing new take on Cinderella – on one of Europe’s biggest stages
An Acting lecturer from The Northern School of Art is co-directing a Christmas show that takes place on one of the biggest stages in Europe.
Katy Weir, who teaches on the School’s BA (Hons) Acting degree for Stage & Screen and MA in Directing & Theatre Making, is co-directing a new production of Sally Cookson‘s and Adam Peck’s Olivier award-nominated Cinderella: A Fairytale in an epic space created by combining the two stages at leading Newcastle-upon-Tyne venue Northern Stage.
Described as a glorious girl-powered adventure, the show is scheduled to run from 2 December 2023 to 6 January 2024 and tickets are selling fast.
Katy explained that the production is one of only a handful of shows across the country that isn’t a pantomime: “It’s an actual theatrical telling of a classic tale which is an interesting adaptation. Cinderella is called Ella and is a Doc Martin-wearing, tree climbing, strong female figure in the show. She loves nature, she loves being outside, she loves the freedom that comes with that – it makes her world better, being in nature and being free.”
She added: “It’s a retelling of the old story that draws from the old Grimm’s Fairy Tales so there’s a little bit of everything in it – clowning, puppetry, music, dancing and lights.”
Katy, who is originally from Carlisle, says it is the first time that she has worked at this scale.
“I’ve worked in the North East for a long time and used to run Odd Man Out theatre company in Darlington. Alongside teaching at the School, I now work as a freelance director across the region.
“I’ve also worked at Northern Stage, Live Theatre, Customs House and at Alphabetti Theatre and I’ve done a lot of new writing and a lot of work for family audiences, so it was that combination that led to me getting this job. I also make a lot of work that has a magical element to it, and that has a non naturalistic feel. I like puppets as well as music, dance and movement.”
Katy said that students on the School’s undergraduate and postgraduate acting courses benefit hugely from her experience: “Being part of the region’s theatre infrastructure allows me to provide an industry element to the course which is a very valuable insight for students. The Northern Stage Cinderella project will allow me to help students understand about the challenges of working at the scale of this production.
“We do a lot of theatre-making on the course so the collaborative element is very important – such as what happens when you bring a musician, a dancer, a puppeteer, a director and a writer all into the room together.”
The show has just begun rehearsals and undergraduate and postgraduate students will be heading along to Northern Stage to see first-hand what’s going on and observe directing practice and collaboration and ensemble work.
Cinderella: A Fairytale is at Northern Stage in Newcastle-upon-Tyne from 2 December 2023 to 6 January 2024. For further information and to book tickets visit www.northernstage.co.uk/whats-on/cinderella-a-fairytale/
Further details about The Northern School of Art’s acting courses at post 16, undergraduate and post graduate levels are available HERE