NEWS: Northern Pride 2017 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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This month sees the return of the most colourful, eclectic and (at times) gut-wrenchingly emotive shindig in our cultural calendar: Northern Pride. The official pride events span across a single weekend, from Friday 21st until Sunday 23rd of July – but, as 2017 marks its triumphant tenth birthday, we consider it our duty here at NARC. to bring you cream of the crop of this year’s alternative cultural festivities, with highlights from Curious Festival, parades, poetry, and more art than you can shake rainbow flag at. Whether you’re attending as part of the LGBTQ community or simply as a supportive ally, there’s plenty to get excited about!

Wednesday 5th July
Words Bare @ Northern Stage

Kicking off the festival is an event more poignant than most: hosted in Northern Stage’s Gillian Dickinson Gallery, this exhibition highlights some of the persistent social challenges faced by the LGBTQ community today. The show aims to represent the experiences of those living in and around Newcastle specifically, all through the medium of word-based visual art. But don’t worry if you miss it on the opening day – Words Bare will be on show until Wednesday 26th July.

Northern Stage is Curious @ Northern Stage
The venue is also set to launch the first event of this year’s Curious Festival – an alternative cultural celebration of the LGBTQ community. Showcasing a vast array of new writing and performance from across the region, the evening will feature an extract of Shorty by Hester Chillingworth, as well as a showcase of New Writing North’s Proud Words, an LGBTQ creative writing project for talented youngsters.

Thursday 6th July
Mother’s Ruin is Curious @ ARC Stockton
Teesside is the next stop for Curious Fest, as the team bring you yet another weird and wonderful display of cultural goodness. This sensational cabaret-style variety showcase aims to bring you the best of both established and emerging local queer performers. Hosted by the glamorous eco-warrior Timberlina, the night promises to feature a whirlwind of comedy, performance, dance and elaborate artistry – plus, it’s pay-what-you-like. Late-night entertainment doesn’t get much better than this!

Friday 7th July
Theseus Beefcake @ Dance City
Dance City’s theatrical contribution to both the Pride and Curious celebrations has been described as “a journey into the dark labyrinth of masculinity”. If that wasn’t enough to sway you, we can also reveal that the intensely dark duet will consist of a disturbingly manly concoction of mixed martial arts, rodeos, american frat culture, death metal and pornography. What’s more, there’s even a pre-show chat with the co-artistic creators, who will endeavour to explore each and every theme at hand before the show has even begun.

Saturday 8th July
Time to Talk: Queer Space @ Northern Stage

This artist-led discussion is one of many intellectual events that form the core of Curious festival’s bright ideals: encouraging all those who attend to get involved, this interactive talk examines the magnificent world of queer arts and culture. The panel will feature artists and contributors from the festival itself as they discuss the nature of their work at length with the audience. Executive Producer Phil Douglass will also be using this time to cast the call for 2017’s Curious Festival Commission – so, artists, make sure you’re in attendance!

Curious Vogue Ball @ Bamburgh House
Sing, dance and vogue your way well into the night in this wondrous celebration of all things curious- and, after the ball itself, get yourself down to Kommunity for POKE, a wild after party like no other!

Sunday 9th July
Time to Talk: North East Trans History @ BALTIC
An open discussion offering the audience a rare opportunity to discuss and learn about Transgender history in our fair region. What issues do the trans community face? How can we use arts to raise visibility? All these questions and more will be answered with the help of talk facilitators Kate O’Donnell, Tara Stone and Emma RoeBuck.

BALTIC live is Curious @ BALTIC
Closing 2017’s curious fest is this more than apt venue: the grand and idiosyncratic BALTIC. This evening event will aim to showcase some of the finest Queer performance art the North-East has to offer, including Hayley and Me by award-winning transgender writer Kate O’Donnell and 2016’s Curious Festival Commission A Blighted Life by Gavin Coward. The Evening will also feature a sensational host, in the form of anti-drag queen David Hoyle.

Wednesday 19th July
Paul Flynn “Good as You: 30 Years of Gay Britain” @ the NewBridge Project
This meet-the-author event sees seasoned journalist Paul Flynn present his incredible new book, Good As You, to an audience of both avid fans and inquisitive readers. In it, he recounts the struggle of 1984 – 2014: the cultural road to British gay equality, from Smalltown Boy to same sex marriage. 

Saturday 22nd July
Parade @ Civic Centre
It’s a parade. In the midst of a region-wide pride celebration. From Newcastle Civic Centre all the way through the heart of the city. What’s not to love? This year’s theme is pride in our past, present and future – plus, the day is set to be jam-packed with gleeful revellers, music, dancing and wondrous comradery, so wear your brightest outfit and get involved!

Sunday 23rd July
Pride Vigil @ Civic Centre
Marking the end of the Pride weekend, this vigil is an opportunity to celebrate the lives lost, battles fought, and tireless struggles endured in order to bring about social change for LGBTQ people across the world. All those who attend will be given candles in attempt to light up Newcastle’s Civic Centre in this moment of sombre contemplation.

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