Creative team announced for highlight Freedom City 2017 event

An internationally acclaimed theatre director, one of the UK’s leading producers and an award-winning playwright have been unveiled as the creative team behind one of the most ambitious arts events in the UK in 2017.

Tim Supple, Mike Griffiths and Roy Williams have joined forces with Newcastle University, Northern Roots and NewcastleGateshead Initiative to present Freedom on the Tyne on Sunday 29th October 2017, an epic, processional performance inspired by civil rights struggles through the ages, culminating in a momentous finale on Newcastle’s iconic quayside.

Part of Freedom City 2017, a year-long, city-wide programme marking the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr receiving an honorary degree from Newcastle University, Freedom on the Tyne will feature international artists, performers and local community groups from across NewcastleGateshead in a unique afternoon of theatre, music, dance, circus and art to celebrate the courage and sacrifice of those who have led the long march for civil rights.

Freedom on the Tyne director Tim Supple said: “We will create an unforgettable artistic event on Tyneside; a modern Passion Play where the heroes are those who gave or risked their lives to gain the rights and freedoms we take for granted.

“The stars of the show will be the people of NewcastleGateshead and the arena will be their city, renowned throughout the world as a beacon of social justice and resistance to repressive power.”

Freedom on the Tyne producer Mike Griffiths said: “Freedom on the Tyne is an homage to the values and life of one of the 20th century’s iconic and most influential men by the citizens of NewcastleGateshead and a celebration of the creativity and history of the North East.”

Hundreds of local volunteers will be recruited from communities from across NewcastleGateshead to perform alongside professional artists and performers, bringing Freedom on the Tyne to life. Anyone interested in being a part of this unique one-day performance can sign up at or email their details to

For more information about Freedom City 2017, visit, like the Facebook page,, or follow on twitter @freedomcity2017.