Cast announced for World Premiere of The Savage by Carnegie-Award-winning author David Almond at Live Theatre, Newcastle

Thursday 30 June to Saturday 23 July 2016

A Live Theatre Production: World Premiere

The Savage
Written by David Almond
Directed by Max Roberts
Associate Director Jamie Jackson
Designed by Alison Ashton
Original music by Beth Brennan

Choreography by Lee Proud

Audio Visuals by NOVAK

The cast have been confirmed for the World Premiere of The Savage adapted by Carnegie Medal-winning author David Almond from his illustrated novel, and start rehearsals at Live Theatre from today (Tuesday 31 May).  The Savage is David’s first full length commission for Live Theatre where its World Premiere between Thursday 30 June to Saturday 23 July 2016.

Dean Bone, a regular at Live Theatre takes on the lead role of central character Blue. Dean has performed in Live Theatre in Rendezvous, Write Stuff and The Heights and has also appeared in Vera (ITV), The Dumping Ground and Wolfblood (BBC).

Other cast members Adam Walsh, Dani Arlington and Kate Okello make their debut appearances at Live Theatre. Adam Walsh originally from Spennymoor performed in War Horse at the National Theatre and previously appeared in Skellig – the Opera, also written by David Almond at Sage Gateshead. Dani Arlington from Teesside starred in the film Soulboy, and has appeared extensively on stage. Kate Okello, originally from Gosforth is a recent graduate of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

Max Roberts, Artistic Director said:

“In order to realise David’s beautiful adaptation of his own novel we decided to recruit an ensemble of young actors, all originally from the North East who can all act, sing and dance. Their energy, talent and charisma will deliver David’s compelling narrative and music and movement as well as stunning visual effects will create a magical and engaging theatrical experience that will appeal to all ages.”

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 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.”

Max Roberts, Artistic Director, Live Theatre added:

“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 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 9 July. In a Meet the Writer EventDavid 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 12 July. David will also be available for book-signing after this talk. Both events are free but booking is essential. David will also lead aWild Writing Workshop between 11.30am and 1pm on Saturday 16 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.

Free 90 minute Telling Tales Workshop are available for educational groups visiting daytime performances of the Savage at 2pm on Wednesday 6 July, 10.30pm on Tuesday 12 July, 1.30pm at Tuesday 19 July (also a captioned performance) and 10.30pm on Thursday 21 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.

The Savage is a family friendly play suitable for ages 9+ and is at Live Theatre, Newcastle from Thursday 30 June to Saturday 23 July. Tickets forThe Savage cost £22-£10 full price, £16-£12 over 60s concessions and £15-£6 for other concessions. For more information or to book tickets or contact Live Theatre’s box office on (0191) 232 1232.