The Sorcerer’s Apprentice at Newcastle’s Northern Stage theatre had our children suitably spellbound.
The play is a Christmassy tale of how an orphan child discovers that she has magical powers that can save the world, but only if she is able to overcome the evil witch.
It is modern piece of musical theatre based on a classic tale, but unlike Christmas Classics like the Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol, I had no idea of what the plot would be, and therefore the production had a real element of surprise and suspense.
There was puppetry, catchy songs (we were singing one number all the way to the car park) great choreography and brilliant costumes. The magical plot of the show lent itself to some fabulous special effects and illusions. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but prepare to be amazed at some of the magic that appears on the stage. Our six-year-old son exclaimed several times to us, “how did they do that?!” to which we honestly replied “I don’t know!”. The tricks are very memorable and will stay in your family’s collective memory for years to come.
The cast were absolutely fantastic, with each cast member playing multiple roles. We all agreed that the baddies (the evil witch and the self absorbed aunty) were our favourite characters, which I think indicates that the show really isn’t that dark- overall it’s full of humour, light and the message that everyone is important. The play is recommended for 5+ due to loud bangs and there being some peril in it, however I think it would be suitable for some younger children too.
We have been to the Northern Stage many times and it’s a wonderful modern theatre with great views of the stage wherever you sit. The staging for this show was unlike anything we had ever seen here – as well as the usual stall seating, there was tiered seating in the wings of the actual stage, meaning that you could see some audience members reactions, as if that was an integral part of the show – there was lots of interacting with the audience throughout, which always engages children well.
This show really showed off all the different areas of the stage – we saw trap doors, hidden entrances and exits and ladders coming down the walls next to stall seating – the cast were coming from all angles! The set design was excellent – I think it was one of the best sets I’ve ever seen for a children’s play.
I would definitely recommend seeing The Sorcerer’s Apprentice over the Christmas period. If you would like something linked to the festive season, but different to the typical Santa themed experiences then the Sorcerer’s Apprentice is for you.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice will be running until 7 January 2023 and tickets start from £10
The running time is 2 hours 15 minutes including an interval