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Hollywood star leads cast of actors telling the story of Beethoven at Sage Gateshead

Posted on 4 October 2021

Toby Jones credit Andrew Ogilvy

Acclaimed British actor Toby Jones, famous for roles such as Dobby the House elf in the Harry Potter movie series, the Dad’s Army movie remake, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Hunger Games and a whole host of other major movies, theatre productions and television dramas, is set to appear at Sage Gateshead on Thursday 14 October.

Beyond the Score – Beethoven 5 is a concept adopted from the prestigious Chicago Symphony Orchestra using live actors and video to explore the life and work of one of the most famous composers of all time, underpinned by live music from Royal Northern Sinfonia.

After the interval, RNS – the North East’s very own world-renowned orchestra – will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No.5 in full – one of the best-loved and instantly recognisable pieces of music ever written. The orchestra will be conducted by their new Principal Conductor, Dinis Sousa, who is keen to create new ways for people to engage with classical music.

Dinis Sousa, Principal Conductor, Royal Northern Sinfonia said: “We’re thrilled to be bringing Beyond the Score to Sage Gateshead for the first time. The live action and film will take the audience on a journey through the life and work of Beethoven, giving a deeper, fresher understanding of a composer we’ve all heard of. And of course, when Royal Northern Sinfonia take to the stage to play his Symphony No.5, audiences will be treated to an amazing evening of live music!”

Joining Toby Jones, the cast is completed by a hugely talented company of stage and screen stalwarts including Dominic Gately (as Beethoven), Rob Pickavance and Tamzin Griffin.

Beyond The Score – Beethoven 5 is part of a new RNS programme of live and online concerts taking place this autumn, with more concerts being announced later this month.

All this takes place to the backdrop of an ongoing financial challenge. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the venue has largely been closed since March 2020, with 80% of its income affected before reopening at the start of September. This year, its income is set to be half of that in a pre-Covid year. Alongside the support of the Culture Recovery Fund from Arts Council England and DCMS, the charity again needs to raise £1m this year and £1m next year to secure its future, rebuild live music in the region, provide vital support to artists, and ensure music is part of everybody’s recovery.

Beyond the Score – Beethoven 5 takes place at Sage Gateshead on Thursday 14 October at 7.300pm.


For media enquiries, images and interviews please contact
Susie Gray, 07834 073795
Jackie Thompson, 0191 443 4602

About Royal Northern Sinfonia

Royal Northern Sinfonia, orchestra of Sage Gateshead, is the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra. Founded in 1958, RNS has built a worldwide reputation for the North East through the quality of its music-making and the immediacy of the connections the musicians make with audiences.

The orchestra regularly flies the flag for the region at major festivals, including the BBC Proms, most recently performing Handel’s Water Music at Stage @theDock in Hull – the first Prom performed outside of London since 1930. They appear frequently at venues and festivals in Europe, including La folle journée in Nantes. In recent seasons they have toured to Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul and Tokyo.

RNS has worked with many international conductors and soloists including Christian Tetzlaff, Sir Roger Norrington, Paul McCreesh, Jess Gillam, Nicholas McGegan, Mahan Esfahani, Viktoria Mullova and Jessica Cottis, and also collaborated with leading popular voices such as Sting, Ben Folds, John Grant, Mercury Rev, Field Music and Maxïmo Park.

RNS has commissioned new music by David Lang, John Casken, Tansy Davies, Errollyn Wallen and James Weeks amongst others, and runs an annual Young Composers Competition.

In order to engage with the widest possible range of artists and audience, in 2018 RNS founded its inclusive ensemble RNS Moves, and also increasingly programmes accessible and relaxed performances throughout the season.

RNS has always been actively involved in local communities and in education, performing regularly across the region in places like Kendal, Middlesbrough, Carlisle, Berwick and Sunderland. Musicians support young people learning musical instruments through Sage Gateshead’s Centre for Advance Training and through In Harmony Newcastle.