The Savage, a new stage play for Live Theatre, Newcastle

Carnegie Medal-winning author David Almond is adapting his uplifting illustrated novel The Savage for the stage, in his first full length commission for Live Theatre. The play has its World Premiere at Live Theatre, Newcastle, between Thursday 30th June to Saturday 23rd July 2016.

The Savage is a contemporary fable about creation and renewal, wildness and civilisation and the importance of creativity in making us whole. The novel is popular for reading in schools and also used discuss behaviour with young people.

David Almond, said: "It's a real thrill to be working with the great Live Theatre, to bring this story to vivid life in Newcastle, right on the banks of the river. Tyneside is my literary heartland. It's where my stories, my dreams and my language come from, and it's where the strange, scary, tender savage was born."

The Savage is a family friendly play suitable for ages 9+ with music, movement and eye-catching visuals that will appeal to young people, families and adults alike.

Max Roberts, Artistic Director, Live Theatre said: "It's great to have a writer of David's quality and reputation writing for Live Theatre. I'm very much looking forward to bringing David’s play to fruition moulding his rich lyrical writing with music and beautiful settings that will appeal to a wide age range of audience.”

In the play, Blue Baker wants to write a story. After the death of his dad and to escape the unwanted attention of Hopper, the neighbourhood bully, Blue imagines a ‘truely wild’ character - full of anger, adventure and thoughts of revenge. Life is dark and complicated and so is Blue’s story. Helped by his friend Elaine, his mum and baby sister Jess, he tries to discover where life starts and the story ends.

The Savage it is an uplifting contemporary fable about creation and renewal, wildness and civilisation. It shows the importance of creativity in finding consolation, redemption and fulfilment in the world around us.

The Savage has been commissioned to coincide with the launch of Live Tales, Live Theatre’s new writing centre for children. This new strand of Live Theatre’s education programme is an extension of its successful playwriting initiatives for young people. Live Tales will offer creative story writing sessions to pupils aged 7-12 from September 2016.

Max Roberts added: “David’s enthusiasm and support for Live Theatre has been enormous. We have commissioned The Savage to mark the opening of Live Tales, our new children’s writing centre, of which David is a champion.”

A series of events accompany the play including two free talks for audiences. In Live Tales Introduction, David Almond will discuss the importance of children’s writing and creativity, with Christina Castling from Live Theatre’s Education & Participation team, and discuss the plans for children’s writing centre Live Tales, of which he is a champion, following the 2pm performance of the play on Saturday 9th July. In a Meet the Writer Event David Almond and Director Max Roberts discuss the making of the play, and transforming the story for the stage, after the 7.30pm show on Tuesday 12th July. David will also be available for book-signing after this talk. Both events are free but booking is essential. David will also lead a Wild Writing Workshop between 11.30am and 1pm on Saturday 16th April, at Live Theatre. Participants will be encouraged to lose their writing inhibitions and explore their imagination to discover their inner wild writer. The Wild Writing Workshop costs £10, £6 concs and is suitable for young people age 9+ and adults.

For school groups a free 90 minute Telling Tales Workshop is available for groups visiting daytime performances of the Savage at 2pm on Wednesday 6th July, 10.30pm on Tuesday 12th July, 1.30pm at Tuesday 19th July (also a captioned performance) and 10.30pm on Thursday 21st July (which is also designated as a relaxed performance for young people with special educational needs). Workshops have limited places and must be booked in advance.

Tickets for The Savage cost £22-£10 full price, £16-£12 over 60s concessions and £15-£6 for other concessions. For more information or to book tickets visit or contact Live Theatre’s box office on (0191) 232 1232.

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Previous Comments

“When will this title be available for licensing. I live in the states and have been trying to follow this title. Any information is dearly appreciated. Thank you, God bless. ”

by Dustin Jackson on 4th December 2017

“Hi Dustin - this isn't our title, please contact the theatre directly and they will be able to advise. Sorry we are unable to help further on this occasion. Thank you!”

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