FEATURE: The Late Shows | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The Late Shows, the after-hours arts and culture crawl through over sixty of the city’s creative and heritage sites is now in its eleventh year. Taking place on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th May, The Late Shows is increasingly a premiere event in the arts calendar, offering a unique perspective on the celebration of art, with a festival that is carefully curated; this is an event for both interaction and immersion, for learning and appreciation.

There are several highlights to the packed programme, far too many to mention here. One such ‘must-see’ on Friday 18th is the grand return of our cover stars, the DIY cinema Star & Shadow, which reopens its doors after the staggering and brilliant community-led rebuild. Head down Warwick Street to the new site opposite the City Stadium Park where volunteers will offer tours of the new building whilst City Youth Music and Chilli Road bands test out the acoustics. Short films from the archive will play and audiences are invited to bring their own instruments to join the party.

Immersive and inclusive, historical and contemporary, DIY and classic: The Late Shows as a festival is the embodiment of the city itself.

Also on Friday (where the action takes place in the Ouseburn Valley), Northern Print is hosting a street party in the style of the Great War Peace Teas, fully stocked with trestle tables and bunting. Take part in some printmaking and meet the studio artists including the latest work by acclaimed artist Nicole Polonsky. Other highlights include a signing by Beano artist Nigel Auchterlounie at the all ages comics event at Seven Stories; more paper fun is on offer at 36 Lime Street as visitors can add to a Paper Jungle throughout the evening; the Biscuit Factory launch their Open Contemporary Young Artist Award with an exhibition featuring work by up and coming artists; more local artists’ work is on display at Tyne Bank Brewery, featuring illustration, print, painting and sculpture; and if dancing the night away is more your scene, Cobalt have you covered with their three-in-one silent disco.

On Saturday, a gothic novel showcase at Gateshead Central Library will be followed by a drop-in screening of James Whale’s 1931 classic Frankenstein, plus there’s an exhibition of original Victorian crime posters from the Library’s collection; there’s a Punk Rock Vinyl showcase at Gallagher & Turner, exhibiting art and memorabilia as well as a pop-up vinyl store selling rarities from the Vinyl Guru collection. An interactive light installation by Stuart Langley in BALTIC Square re-imagines the red ribbon symbol used to raise awareness of those living with HIV; Bensham Grove Community Centre invite attendees to enjoy ‘make and take’ workshops in glass, textiles and ceramics; performances of all kinds are on offer at Alphabetti Theatre; photographic exhibition Goldtapped takes over The NewBridge Project, tackling themes of intimacy, fragility and language; and Commercial Union House is home to a wide variety of art, performance and interaction across its many floors.

The Late Late Shows provide a chance for merriment deep into the night. The Cumberland Arms offer lip syncing fun; Ernest host a masked ball; The Globe welcomes Ital Guidance Sound System; and Culture Vulture and Candy Vortex team up for a night of hedonism at Prohibition Cabaret Bar.

Immersive and inclusive, historical and contemporary, DIY and classic: The Late Shows as a festival is the embodiment of the city itself.

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