Laurels Theatre in Whitley Bay

Founded by award-winning theatre producer Jamie Eastlake and writer and filmmaker Stephen Robertson, Laurels aims to provide a hub for artists and tapas lovers alike along the North East coast. 

With live theatre, visual arts and comedy coming to life in our theatre space, and tapas doing the rounds in our bar - we aim to bring the folk of the bay together. Allowing everyone an opportunity to access art and yummy food, in a chilled out, accessible space.



How does it work?

We have 10 tablets spread throughout our venue, all which can be booked in 1 hour slots to listen to the plays. If, for example, you would like to listen to all three plays - then you would need to book three slots. If you only wanted to listen to one, then you would book one slot. 

Once at the venue, you can select somewhere to sit with your tablet, and enjoy the plays. 

Launched in 2009, the Papatango New Writing Prize is the biggest playwriting award in the UK, attracting more annual entries than any other. Despite this, it is also unique in offering personal feedback, supporting new writers and generating new work for the entire sector.

The Prize has long led provision for emerging playwrights, being exceptional in committing to produce and publish as well as award a follow-up commission to its winner. No other company makes such an investment in new talent.

In 2021 the Prize has been reimagined to address the extraordinary circumstances facing early-stage artists. In partnership with English Touring Theatre, it will expand to support three, not one, winners, awarding each £2000, an audio production, and digital publication with Nick Hern Books. These audio productions will then tour the UK in free listening stations, with scripts including braille translations, so that audiences everywhere can enjoy brilliant new writing in their local theatre when such programming is under threat. Venues already confirmed for the tour include Bristol Old Vic, Bush Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Lyric Theatre Belfast, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Theatre Clwyd and Theatre Royal Plymouth.

What's On?


By Nkenna Akunna 


Cast: babirye bukilwa (Neighbour/You), Florian Clare (Coe), Funmi James (Isata), Rachel Nwokoro (Chiamaka) and Oseloka Obi (Black Masc/Dad)


Director: Rasheka Christie-Carter; Composer and Sound Designer: Xana


Chiamaka is new to all this. Fresh off the plane from the UK, she's new to Brooklyn and its extremes. She's new to queer dating, to the realities of being an immigrant. Most of all, she's new to the voices of the gods...


Utterly original, wryly funny and always gripping, Some Of Us Exist In The Future follows one woman’s journey to finding her place in a world that’s not all it seems.


Nkenna Akunna is an Igbo playwright-performer from London. Akunna was a member of the 2017/18 Soho Writers Lab cohort, the 2018 VAULTS Festival New Writers Programme, and is currently an MFA candidate in Playwriting at Brown University. Akunna is a recent recipient of The Kennedy Center's Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, and the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award for Playwriting. Akunna is also co-director at Skin Deep, a collective that makes space for Black creatives and creatives of colour through cultural production.


By Tom Powell


Cast: Aldous Ciokajlo-Squire (Ant) and Shakira Riddell-Morales (Daize)


Director: George Turvey; Composer and Sound Designer: Asaf Zohar 


Every teenager knows what it’s like to be stuck between things: childhood and maturity, innocence and experience, hope for the future and uncertainty about what that will be. But Daize is torn between even greater challenges: her love for her vulnerable mother and her dangerous friendship with Ant. An outsider with knockout trainers, Ant has just appeared on her doorstep, bringing with him a whole world of trouble.


The Silence and The Noise captures the story of two young people on the edge.


Tom Powell was the 2019-21 CRSC Writer in Residence at Pentabus Theatre and was chosen for the BBC Studios Writers’ Academy 2019/20. Powell’s previous writing includes I Dare You (Nottingham Playhouse/Curve - shortlisted for the Soho Young Writers’ Award) and Little Echoes (Hope Theatre -  published by Methuen/Bloomsbury). They previously won the OTR National Radio Drama Award and the Harry Porter Prize. Powell was selected for the BBC Words First spoken word programme, is an Arts Council England/BBC New Creative and his short audio drama Love Beyond the Zoo will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra in September 2021.


By Tajinder Singh Hayer

Cast: Rebecca Crankshaw (Paula), Raj Ghatak (Dal) and Shane Zaza (Amar).

Director: Jessica Lazar; Composer and Sound Designer: Farokh Soltani

Dalvir has always told a good ghost story, properly unsettling, dark tales to send a chill right through his younger brother Amar. But now Dalvir’s almost a ghost himself, cloistered and secretive. Amar desperately wants to reconnect with the only family he has left, but can he unravel Dalvir’s stories to find a way back to his brother?

Threaded through with captivating fables, Ghost Stories from an Old Country is a riveting and poignant exploration of the ties that bind us.

Tajinder Singh Hayer lectures in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. Their writing credits for theatre include North Country (Freedom Studios), Players, Mela (Leeds Playhouse) and In This House (Menagerie); and for radio, The One That Got Away (BBC Radio 3), If You Can’t Stand The Heat, ID (BBC Radio 4), We’re Not Getting Married, Ask Mina (BBC Asian Network), and Tidelands. Television credits include Numtums. They previously won the BBC’s The Spin competition with their play People Like Me in 2003. They have been a writer on attachment at the Leeds Playhouse, BBC Radio Drama Manchester and the National Theatre.