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Sage Gateshead



Posted on 1 June 2022

Becky Owen
  • Martha Hill is one of four artists in residence at Sage Gateshead.
  • The residency has allowed them to work on Dracula the Musical – inspired by a weird lockdown obsession with the vampire.
  • A selection of songs from Dracula the Musical will be performed on the 2nd of June at Sage Two.

Dust off your cloaks and hurry to book your tickets! Sage Gateshead is delighted to invite you to join Martha Hill, one of four artists in residence, for a ridiculous performance of some of the songs from Dracula the Musical on the 2nd of June at Sage Two.

The performance will give a first incredible impression of what Dracula the Musical could be like and will include a 30-min run-through of some of the songs, performed by 10 live musicians and 4 singers.

Martha Hill has used their residency at Sage Gateshead to develop their ideas and abilities for a musical inspired by Dracula – a newly discovered lockdown obsession – and their own experiences. The musical, set in a teenager’s bedroom, will discuss themes of sexuality and gender through a fascination with the homonymous vampire.

Thanks to the Sage Gateshead residency Martha Hill was able to further develop their skills, learn how to arrange and score orchestral instruments, and receive mentorship in musical theatre writing. The residency also granted them the time, focus, and space to work on a large-scale project that would have been otherwise difficult to pursue.

Gloriously confident, Martha Hill weaves their unique take on pop melodies over a backdrop of guitars, cellos and synths, thriving in reinvention and fusion. An energy of husky vocals and melodic hooks, their introspective storytelling picks apart the mundanity of life with northern spirit and humour.


For further media information please contact:

Susie Gray, The Corner Shop PR:, 07834 073795


Artist Development at Sage Gateshead

Sage Gateshead is a PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner in association with Youth Music. The residency is supported through this scheme and is part of Sage Gateshead’s commitment to artist development and the future of the music industry in the North East. Every year Sage Gateshead supports more than 100 musicians through its Artist Development programme. The programme includes one to one advice sessions, GP clinics, networking events and performance opportunities, as well as an annual Summer Studios residency programme.
About Sage Gateshead

  • Sage Gateshead is an international music centre for the North East and wider North. Through music, creative learning and artist development, the organisation demonstrates what music can achieve for communities.
  • Since opening in 2004, Sage Gateshead has worked side by side with partners and the wider community to help address the complex blend of social and economic challenges the region faces.
  • Sage Gateshead continues to be a major employer bringing investment and tourism into the region. We’ve generated a c. £500 million contribution to the local economy, a sum six times greater than its combined capital cost.
  • Sage Gateshead has brought social, cultural and educational value to over 10 million people and millions more via digital and broadcast activity. The scale of its artistic, learning and artist development activity places Sage Gateshead amongst the UK’s largest cultural organisations, while reaching a substantially more socially and economically diverse audience.
  • Pre-pandemic Sage Gateshead attracted 2 million visitors; 5,000 people took part in weekly music classes; 17,854 school children experienced live orchestral music and we worked with a further 2,418 vulnerable young people; more than 2,000 adults a week took part in music making designed to tackle social isolation.
  • The North East region is one of the worst affected by Covid-19. The region will be one where the recovery is slow and hard. Arts and culture have a pivotal role to play in regional and nation-wide recovery.
  • Covid-19 presents a major financial challenge to Sage Gateshead, the iconic Foster + Partners designed NE landmark. 80% of its income has been affected, and in 2020/21 £10 million in revenue was lost. The organisation has taken swift action to overcome this crisis. 90% of the workforce was placed on furlough, significant cost savings have been sought and found, and it launched a fundraising campaign to raise £3 million to help secure the organisation during the next three years. Further challenges lie ahead; in 2021/22, Sage Gateshead estimates box office and trading income to be less than half of what would be expected in a normal year.
  • Sage Gateshead temporarily closed to the public on 17 March 2020, five days ahead of the announcement of the national lockdown. Sage Gateshead recommenced performances in October 2020 with a season of socially distanced concerts featuring Royal Northern Sinfonia and artists across genres, made available by live stream; audiences were able to be present in the hall for two weekends of those performances.
  • In 2020 Sage Gateshead received a grant of £2.8 million from the Culture Recovery Fund Round One to help it through the pandemic and associated financial crisis. In 2021 the charity received a loan of £3m from the Culture Recovery Fund Round Two to support recovery. It has thanked the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and Arts Council England for this vital support.