20: I Ought to be in Pictures. A 19-year-old would-be actress, treks from New York to Hollywood to confront her long-absent screenwriter father in Neil Simon’s comedy. Newcastle Theatre Company, at the NTC Theatre, Lambton. To February 3. 4952 4958.
31: Year of the Rooster. A young man, bullied and ignored by those around him, trains a rooster to be a cockfighter; dark comedy by Olivia Dufault. Knock and Run Theatre, at the Royal Exchange, Newcastle. To February 3.
2: Little Women - The Musical. Four young sisters, led by would-be novelist Jo, try to show in the 1860s that women are as adept as men; adapted from the novel by Louisa May Alcott. Young People's Theatre and Lindsay Street Players, at Young People’s Theatre, Hamilton.
To February 24. 4961 4895.
3: The Empire Strips Back - Star Wars Burlesque. Sexy Stormtroopers, a dangerously seductive BobaFett, and other amusing adults-only Star Wars characters. Russall S. Beattie, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. February 3 only. 4929 1977.
7: Out of Order. A junior government minister gets more than he bargained for when he takes an attractive opposition secretary to a hotel bedroom during a parliamentary sitting; comedy by Ray Cooney. Maitland Repertory Theatre, at its theatre. To February 25. 4931 2800.
9: The Diamonds. A song and dance celebration of great divas including Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga, and others. SMA Productions, at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre. February 9 only. 4993 4266.
9: Our Land People Stories. Bangarra Dance Theatre’s indigenous performers use dance to tell three stories about their peoples’ backgrounds, including their relationship with Governor Macquarie. Civic Theatre, Newcastle. To February 10. 4929 1977.
10: Love Letters. A man and woman who began writing romantic notes to each other as teenagers continue the practice throughout their lives; funny and moving work by A.R. Gurney. Bare Productions. Kevin Sobels Wines, Pokolbin. February 10 and 17. 4998 7766. Harp of Erin Theatre, Wollombi. February 14. 4998 3230.
11: Celtic Woman – Voices of Angels. Irish singers, dancers and musicians celebrate their homeland’s rich music and cultural heritage. TEG Live, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. February 11 only. 4929 1977.
14: We're Going on a Bear Hunt. Michael Rosen’s adaptation of his book for young people about a family and their musical dog on the title search is a lively adventure for all ages. Andrew Kay & Associates, at the Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. To February 15. 4929 1977.
16: RAW Comedy 2018. Budding comics show in five-minute segments how funny they are, as they compete in a heat for a place in Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s RAW Comedy event. Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. February 16 only. 4929 1977.
17: Burlesque The Circus. Bright fusion of burlesque, dancers and circus for adults. Birdcage Burlesque and Circus Avalon, at Lizotte’s, Lambton. February 17 only. 4956 2066.
24: Twelfth Night. A couple separated by a shipwreck travel in William Shakespeare’s comedy across a foreign land encountering very different and amusing people. Essential Theatre’s touring Shakespeare in the Vines production, at Calais Estate Wines, Pokolbin. February 24 only. 4998 7654.
3: A Murder is Announced. Agatha Christie thriller, with a town’s residents meeting to discuss a newspaper advertisement about a coming murder. Newcastle Theatre Company, at the NTC Theatre, Lambton. To March 17. 4952 4958.
5: Jimmy Carr - The Best Of, Ultimate, Gold, Greatest Hits World Tour. A renowned English comedian offers a mix of his renowned jokes and new ones. Adrian Bohm Presents, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. March 5 only. 4929 1977.
6: Thomas Murray and the Upside Down River. A farmer living near the Darling River finds the relationship with his wife threatened when two school friends visit and make revelations; comedy by Reg Cribb. Stone Soup and Critical Stages, at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre. March 6 only. 4993 4266.
8: Burlesque Idol. Audience members get to participate in this mix of music and comedy, as women compete to be chosen as the title character. Lizotte’s, Lambton. March 8 only. 4956 2066.
9: Lano & Woodley - Fly. Comic team Lano (Colin Lane) and Woodley (Frank Woodley) return to the stage after a 12-year break, with an amusing tribute to pioneers of flight, the Wright Brothers. Token, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. To March 10. 4929 1977.
16: Kiss Me Like You Mean It. Love is in the air in Chris Chibnall’s play, with two young people attracted to each other at a party, and a couple married for 50 years celebrating on the floor above. Maitland Repertory Theatre, at its theatre. To March 24. 4931 2800.
21: Ross Noble - El Hablador. Comedian Ross Noble plays a shadowy and exotic figure whose nature brings out laughs. A-List Entertainment, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. March 21 only. 4929 1977.
21: Newcastle Fringe Festival 2018. This year’s Fringe includes 27 shows at six venues, with 77 performances over five days - comedy, theatre, children’s theatre, music, dance, cabaret, circus – and artists from Germany, England, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, and the Hunter. To March 25. newcastlefringe.com.au.
24: Sing Along to the Shows - Oscar-winning Songs. Audience members join the performers in singing the songs. Adamstown Arts, at The Dungeon, Adamstown Uniting Church. March 24 only. 4943 5316.
27: Blanc de Blanc. Cabaret and acrobatic talent from around the world in a blend of vintage glamour, high-end spectacle and titillating acts to infatuate, illuminate, surprise and delight.
Strut & Fret, in the Fortuna Spiegeltent, Civic Park. To April 15. 4929 1977.
30: Under Milk Wood. An affectionate and hilarious look by playwright Dylan Thomas at a day in the life of a small Welsh fishing village, exploring dreams and desires, loves and regrets. Valley Artists, at Laguna Hall. To April 7. 4998 3230.
6: James Reyne: A Crawl to Now. The songwriter looks through music and reminiscences at his Australian Crawl and Company of Strangers songs. The Harbour Agency, at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre. April 6 only. 4993 4266.
6: Jimmy Barnes - Working Class Man: An Evening of Stories & Songs. Barnes looks at the songs and events that helped shape his life when he became an adult working with Cold Chisel. Frontier Touring, Triple M & MAX, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. Also on June 6. 4929 1977.
6: Perfect Wedding. A bridegroom wakes on his wedding day to find a very attractive girl in bed beside him; comedy by Robin Hawdon. Theatre on Brunker, at St, Stephen’s Hall, Adamstown. To April 28. 4956 1263.
6: Alternative Prime Minister - Mark Swivel. The renowned comedian tells what he would do if he became prime minister, with a 10-point plan. Near Dead White Male Productions, at the Royal Exchange, Newcastle. April 6 only. 4929 4969.
7: Secrets and Lies: An Evening with Michael Robotham. The novelist talks about events in his time as a journalist that helped him put together his crime thrillers. Newcastle Writers Festival, at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre. April 7 only. 4993 4266.
11: Bosom Buddies - Nancye Hayes and Todd McKenney. The musical theatre stars look through story, song and dance at the highs and lows of their renowned careers. Christine Dunstan Productions, at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre. April 11 only. 4993 4266.
13: The Nutcracker. The classic ballet about the adventures of a young girl when a magician brings her nutcracker doll to life. Moscow Ballet La Classique, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. April 13 only. 4929 1977.
13: Disney’s Aladdin Jr. Bright adaptation for young performers of the Alan Menkin and Howard Ashman musical about a magic lamp helping a boy to have adventures with a princess. Hunter Drama, at the Civic Playhouse.
To April 21. 4929 1977.
16: Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. Lively musical for young performers that has a young girl finding herself among colourful creatures when she falls into a rabbit hole. Young People’s Theatre, at its Hamilton theatre. To May 19. 4961 4895.
17: Songs from Stage and Screen. The 7 Sopranos show how songs from 1950s musicals helped to change the nature of musical theatre. Cre8ion, at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre. April 17 only. 4993 4266.
18: The One. Five very different people search for perfection in this music-filled story as they move about under the stars. Tantrum Youth Arts, in association with University of Newcastle Community Strings. King Edward Park, Newcastle. To April 22. 4929 7279.
26: Ugly Mugs. People affected by unexpected violence, including a girl who is hit on a footy field and has her bag stolen, look at how their lives were affected; Australian drama by Peta Brady. GNaW Theatre, at the Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. To April 28. 4929 1977.
28: Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. Two Queensland cane-cutters find that things have changed when they meet Melbourne girlfriends on their summer break; classic play by Ray Lawler. Newcastle Theatre Company, at the NTC Theatre, Lambton. To May 12. 4952 4958.
2: The Hollow. A murder unexpectedly occurs when a woman invites diverse and eccentric people to visit her rural estate; thriller by Agatha Christie. Maitland Repertory Theatre, at its theatre. To May 20. 4931 2800.
4: Annie Kids. An orphan girl encounters many different people when she searches for parents she believes are still alive; bright musical, with a junior cast. High Street Productions, at St Philip’s Christian College Theatre,Waratah. To May 12. 4960 6600.
5: Barry Humphries: The Man Behind the Mask. The renowned entertainer shows the real man behind his creations including Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Paterson. Civic Theatre, Newcastle. To May 6. 4929 1977.
11: The Orchid & the Crow. Comedy cabaret with writer and performer Daniel Tobias looking through story and song at his sometimes almost deadly experiences. Critical Stages and Salvador Dinosaur, at the Civic Playhouse. To May 12. 4929 1977.
17: Josephine Wants to Dance. A story about dreams, believing in yourself, and a dancing kangaroo; based on the picture book by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley. Monkey Baa Theatre Company, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. To May 18. 4929 1977.
17: A Mystery Musical. A well-known and award-winning musical, with audience members only knowing what it is when the overture begins. The Very Popular Theatre Company, at the Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. To May 19. 4929 1977.
18: Moonlight Cabaret – Moondance. Jerry Ray leads a night of spectacular local performers in song, dance, comedy and circus acts. Royal Exchange Newcastle. To May 26. 4929 4969.
20: Julia Morris: Lift & Separate Golden Jubilee Tour. Morris looks amusingly at her life over the past two years, trying to make sense of her actions. Live Nation, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. May 20 only. 4929 1977.
22: Quiet Faith. By David Williams. The audience sit on the stage, with performers moving around them and looking at the different ways faith can underpin lives. Alternative Facts, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. To May 26. 4929 1977.
30: Hinterland. Afraid of the dark, a young salesman discovers a hidden portal in his home and is taken away through it; satirical comedy by Matt Cameron. Young People’s Theatre, at its Hamilton theatre.
To June 6. 4961 4895.
1: Wanted – One Body! Farcical murder mystery by Charles Dyer, with the body of an unliked dead man disappearing when people gather to hear his will read. Newcastle G and S Players Comedy Club, at St Matthew’s Anglican Church Hall, Georgetown. To June 17. 0432 886 149.
2: Disney’s High School Musical. Senior students at a high school deal with issues of first love, friends and family, between and in classes; catchy musical. Bling Performing Arts, at St Philip’s Christian College Theatre, Waratah. June 2 only. 4961 0490.
2: Playhouse Creatures. Actresses in 17th century London struggle to win roles in an era when men dominated stages; comedy by April de Angelis based on real women and events. Newcastle Theatre Company, at the NTC Theatre, Lambton. To June 16. 4952 4958.
3: Shakespeare Festival. Hunter Drama students in their colourful adaptations of sequences from Shakespeare’s play. Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. June 3 only. 4929 1977.
6: Jimmy Barnes - Working Class Man: An Evening of Stories & Songs. Frontier Touring, Triple M & MAX, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. Also on April 6. 4929 1977.
7: Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow. Acclaimed 2018 comedy festival performers show their laugh-raising skills. Cessnock Performing Arts Centre, June 7. 4993 4266. Also at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. June 8-10. 4929 1977.
12: Stolen. Jane Harrison’s play, first staged 20 years ago, looks movingly and with humour at the stories of five indigenous Australian children taken from their parents. National Theatre of Parramatta, at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre. June 12 only. 4993 4266.
14: Micro Theatre Newcastle - The Director's Cut. Eight acclaimed plays from the first three Micro Theatre festivals staged at two venues by new directors. To June 23. microtheatre.com.au.
15: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Colourful musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber looking at the Bible figure who became advisor to an Egyptian ruler after being taken from his family. Novocastrian Players and Theatre on Brunker, at St Stephen’s Hall, Adamstown. To June 30. 4956 1263.
15: Star Struck 2018. The 26th year of this annual celebration of music, theatre, song, dance and comedy with students from NSW Education Department Hunter schools. Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Broadmeadow. To June 16. 4921 2121.
26: Who Am I . . .? Comic look by Newcastle writer and actor Russell Cheek at his prize-winning experience on the TV quiz show Sale of the Century in the early 1990s. Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. To June 30. 4929 1977.
27: The Sound of Music. Bright Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on the story of the Von Trapp family who fled Austria in 1938 to escape from the Nazis. Opera Hunter, at Lake Macquarie Performing Arts Centre, Warners Bay. To July 8. 4943 1672.
27: The 78-Storey Treehouse. Andy and Terry’s treehouse goes to a higher level as they try to protect facilities including a potato chip storage; lively family comedy. CDP Kids, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. To June 28. 4929 1977.
July: Pete the Sheep. A new sheep shearer in Shaggy Gully has a sheep as his assistant, rather than a sheep dog, upsetting other shearers; bright musical adaptation of the book by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley. Upstage Youth Theatre, at Blackett’s Barn, Tocal Homestead. Watch for dates. 0402 331 197.
7: Letters to Lindy. Moving look by playwright Alana Valentine at the letters, supportive and damning, Lindy Chamberlain received after being accused of murdering her child. Merrigong Theatre Company, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. July 7 only. 4929 1977.
9: Pinocchio. Engaging adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s novel about a wooden puppet who becomes a live person. Young People’s Theatre, at its Hamilton theatre. To August 18. 4961 4895.
11: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show. Based on Eric Carle’s books, this colourful family show includes 75 puppet characters. JWR Productions and Michael Sieders, at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre. July 11 only. 4993 4266.
11: Endgame. Samuel Beckett’s dark comedy has a man, his servant and mother and father trapped in a house after an apocalyptic disaster. The Very Popular Theatre Company, at the Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. To July 14. 4929 1977.
13: Disney on Ice - 100 Years of Magic. This show marks the centenary of Walt Disney’s employment at 18 as a commercial illustrator, with 30 songs from films his company produced. Feld Entertainment, at Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Broadmeadow. To July 15. 4921 2121.
13: Junior play - watch for details. Maitland Repertory Theatre, at its theatre. To July 28. 4931 2800.
14: Peepshow. The lives of seven people living in an apartment building, including two pairs of lovers, become intertwined in Isabel Wright’s comedy. Newcastle Theatre Company, at the NTC Theatre, Lambton. To July 28. 4952 4958.
21: Which Way Home. City dweller Tash and her ageing indigenous dad are heading to his birthplace, a place Tash has never seen; by Katie Beckett. Ilbijerri Theatre Company, at the Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. July 21 only. 4929 1977.
28: Work in Development- Gurri Thurr-aye. Public reading of a new play by the Hunter’s Ray Kelly. Ngarrama, at the Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. July 28 only. 4929 1977.
1: Dark Matter. New work by Anna Kerrigan for Aspire, the Hunter Catholic schools performing arts program. Civic Theatre, Newcastle. To August 4. 4929 1977.
1: The Dark Room. Six people in a lonely Northern Territory motel experience lovesickess and social breakdown deep into the night; thriller by Angela Betzien. Stooged Theatre, at the Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. To August 4. 4929 1977.
4: Play in a Day. Newcastle Theatre Company’s annual staging of new plays, put together in a 24-hour period. NTC Theatre, Lambton. August 4 only. 4952 4958.
10: ab [intra]. The title is Latin for “within”, with Sydney Dance Company performers showing the very different things that drive people apart and bring them back together. Civic Theatre, Newcastle. To August 11. 4929 1977.
14: Madame Butterfly. A US naval officer in Japan falls in love with a Japanese woman and marries her, before returning home and leaving her behind; moving opera, with music by Puccini. Opera Australia, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. August 14 only. 4929 1977.
17: The Best of the Best. Favourite songs from 20 Tony-award winning musicals, with the audience joining in singalongs. Theatre on Brunker, at St Stephen’s Hall, Adamstown. To September 8. 4956 1263.
17: All’s Well That Ends Well. The romance between a young count and an attractive woman goes through many trials and tribulations in Shakespeare’s comedy before the title situation occurs. Reamus Youth Theatre, at Maitland Repertory Theatre. To September 1. 4931 2800.
22: We Will Rock You. Musical based on the songs of British rock band Queen which looks at a future where a group of Bohemians struggle to get a ban on music withdrawn. Metropolitan Players, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. To September 1. 4929 1977.
25: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). Three actors deliver scenes from all 37 Shakespeare plays in a brisk, engaging and amusing way. Newcastle Theatre Company, at the NTC Theatre, Lambton. To September 8. 4952 4958.
29: Sleep, Perchance to Dream. Hamlet’s girlfriend Ophelia takes centre-stage, questioning why power is exploited by males and female ambition is ignored; created and performed by Alex Travers. Tantrum Youth Arts, at the Civic Playhouse. Newcastle. To September 2. 4929 1977.
5: Ajax in Iraq. Ellen McLaughlin’s play looks at the struggle soldiers face in trying to make sense of war, moving between the ancient Trojan campaign and today’s Iraq conflict. Knock and Run Theatre, at Tantrum Studio, Merewether. To September 8. 0432 389 406.
12: Co-production between Seated Ovation and Newcastle Theatre Company, at the NTC Theatre, Lambton. To September 15. Watch for details.
14: Humans. Ten acrobats take watchers on a stirring journey of what it means to be human. Circa, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. To September 15. 4929 1977.
15: B2M – Mamanta. Band B2M from the Tiwi Islands near Darwin offers mamanta (friendship) with a mix of traditional chants and contemporary music. ArtbackNT, at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre. September 15 only. 4993 4266.
19: Prize Fighter. A young Congolese boxer who fled being a child soldier in his homeland finds in Australia that his boxing skills are affected by memories of his past. La Boite Theatre and Brisbane Festival, presented by the Civic Theatre at Tuff’N Up Boxing Gym, Newcastle West. To September 22. 4929 1977.
26: Lost in Yonkers. Two teenage brothers encounter gangsters and other problems when they move in with their grandmother after their mother’s death; comedy by Neil Simon. Maitland Repertory Theatre, at its theatre. To October 14. 4931 2800.
27: Madame Butterfly. Tender and romantic telling through dance of the story of a Japanese geisha married to an American naval officer, using Puccini’s opera musical score. Melbourne City Ballet, at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre. September 27 only. 4993 4266.
27: This is Not Art. Staged by Octapod and including the National Young Writers Festival, Critical Animals and Crack Theatre Festival. Multiple venues across the Newcastle CBD. To September 30. 4021 1605.
1: Elf The Musical Jr. A young orphan mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is treated as an elf at the North Pole; a musical for all ages. Young People’s Theatre, at its Hamilton theatre. To November 3. 4961 4895.
6: The Third Act. Premiere of Novocastrian Emma Wood’s comedy-drama about a woman meeting her estranged husband while she organises her daughter's wedding. Newcastle Theatre Company, at the NTC Theatre, Lambton. To October 20. 4952 4958.
6: Madame Flute - French Classical Cabaret. Flautist Jane Rutter performs on six different flutes in this ‘up-close and personal’ evening of different types of French music. Cessnock Performing Arts Centre. October 6 only. 4993 4266.
10: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A poor young boy finds a golden ticket that lets him go through Willy Wonka’s renowned but secretive chocolate factory; amusing adaptation of Roald Dahl’s story. Hunter Drama, at the Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. To October 20. 4929 1977.
12: Big Bad Wolf. A young girl sees him as very misunderstood and becomes his friend; family comedy by Matthew Whittet with many fairy tale characters. Windmill Theatre Company, at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre. October 12 only. 4993 4266.
12: That Place in Between. Premiere of a touring dance show by Newcastle’s Catapult Flipside that looks at the games we play to hide insecurities. Civic Theatre, Newcastle. To October 13. 4929 1977.
12: The Drowsy Chaperone. A 1920s musical comes to life as a man listens to its songs recording; amusing send-up of the era’s shows, with characters including gangsters. High Street Productions, at St Philip’s Christian College Theatre, Waratah. To October 20. 4960 6600.
19: Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase. A mix of comedy routines from this year’s Sydney event. Civic Theatre, Newcastle. October 19 only. 4929 1977.
November: Newcastle G and S Players Comedy Club. Comedy dinner show, at St Matthew’s Anglican Church Hall, Georgetown. Watch for details. 0432 886 149.
November: Sing Along to the Shows. Songs to mark the centenary of the end of World War 1. Adamstown Arts, at The Dungeon, Adamstown Uniting Church. Watch for date. 4943 5316.
1: 9 to 5 The Musical. Three women co-workers concoct a plan to get even with their sexist and hypocritical boss; musical with jubilant songs by Dolly Parton. Theatre on Brunker, at St Stephen’s Hall, Adamstown. To November 24. 4956 1263.
9: The Wharf Revue 2018. Lively send-up of politicians and other people and events in sketches written and directed by Jonathan Biggins and Drew Forsythe. Sydney Theatre Company, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. To November 10. 4929 1977.
9: The Sculpture Garden. An estranged couple are brought together by a stranger from overseas and the devastating actions of another person; new play by Australian writer Noel Hodda. Valley Artists, at Laguna Hall. To November 17. 4998 3230.
10: Harvey. A heavily drinking man’s best friend is a two metre tall invisible rabbit (the title character) who helps to resolve people’s problems; comedy by Mary Chase. Newcastle Theatre Company, at the NTC Theatre, Lambton. To November 24. 4952 4958.
16: Hissyfest 2018: 2300. Short plays developed by Tantrum Youth Arts members and associates, that are related to the title’s Newcastle post code. Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. To November 18. 4929 1977.
23: Maitland Repertory Theatre. End-of-year show. Watch for details. To December 9. 4931 2800.
24: Disney’s Sleeping Beauty KIDS. Three fairies have to use their magic to save Princess Aurora from the spell of evil sorceress Maleficent; classic fairy tale musical for young performers. Young People’s Theatre, at its Hamilton theatre. To December 8. 4961 4895.
1: City of Newcastle Drama Awards. The 40th year of the CONDA Awards is celebrated in musical numbers between the presentations. CONDA Inc, at Wests, New Lambton.
1: Chicago: The Musical. A 1920s vaudeville performer in Chicago persuades her husband to face the rap when she kills her faithless lover; bright satirical musical. Hunter Drama, at the Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. To December 15. 4929 1977.
16: Wowfest - Jeepers Creepers! Hunter Drama students use the title theme in developing and performing short plays. Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. December 16 only. 4929 1977.