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

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Image: Pearl Primus performing (c) BaronÔÇöHulton Archive, Getty Images

Newcastle and Gateshead’s free late night culture crawl The Late Shows returns on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th May, with a vast array of creative and cultural activities to engage with.

In addition to the usual eclectic programme, there are also five brand new artist commissions supported by Creative Central NCL, each inspired by their location. Digital artists Multiminded and illustrator Deborah Snell animate the Grainger Market with clever projection mapping; there are micro poetry performances from Dearest Haley and video projection and immersive soundscapes from Tim Dalling, Jeremy Bradfield and Faye MacCalman at Blackfriars; artist Theresa Poulton is inspired by African American dancer Pearl Primus’ powerful protest dances to produce a large-scale, text-based, polychromatic painting at Dance City; and multimedia artist Emma Tominey’s interactive augmented reality art trail reveals The Common Room in a completely new light.

No matter how you like your fancy tickled, there’s something for you. Here’s a few suggestions…



British-South Korean paper artist Yvette Ja’s Moon Light Guide Night installation showcases the artist’s stunning skills of map folding, origami, paper cutting and book binding at The Find in the Ouseburn; resident artist Dan McBean exhibits his limited edition fine art prints in aid of Music v Cancer at Flea Circus; puppeteer Marc Parrett’s The Ballad of the Underwater Daughter comes to life with puppets, machines and an exhibition at Newcastle Arts Centre; Castle Fine Art gallery discovers the artwork of comedian Billy Connolly; and enjoy art after dark, as visitors to Hancock Gallery are invited to win treasure and crack secret codes.


Make your own linocut or drypoint print with The Biscuit Tin Print Club at the Ouseburn studio; there’s more printmaking at Incubate, who will showcase modern techniques including laser projection and electric metal etching; make your own coaster with Maling Pottery, inspired by the award-winning tiled wall at Hoult’s Yard; create a handmade Sew Peace heart and discover how to tackle textile waste at Gateshead’s Green Heart Collective; have a go at zine making during a drop-in workshop at Mosaic Tap; learn about urban architecture, make a marble run with cabinet of curiosity or try block printing at Farrell Centre.


Design Feminisms Research Group create a massive mixed media manifesto using clay, fabric and photographs at Northumbria University’s School of Design; ROOTED promises an evening of connection, community and climate hope at The Biscuit Factory, with a life-sized book shop made of an eco material found in fungus; Just Building Bridges at 36 Lime Street is a new photography exhibition by Newcastle-based sanctuary seekers, tackling subjects of social and climate justice; African Lives In Northern England invite visitors on a short guided walk to discover the lives of Africans in the city, including Ida B. Wells, Muhammad Ali, Ira Aldridge and Martin Luther King Jr.


There’s improvised music, life drawing, print making and artists’ studios to explore at Cobalt; enjoy Mexican-themed music, food and drinks plus eco-minded participatory arts workshops at Ouseburn Farm; at Gateshead Library create a leaf collage or print work with Ali Wilkes, personalise a tree-themed air freshener, enjoy an exhibition on nature and birdsong by Mike Collier, plus live music and drinks from the bar; there’s medieval revelry, fine ale, music and storytelling at Newcastle Castle; dance the night away at Newcastle City Library’s silent disco, enjoy board games and creative activities or check out Hazel Plater’s Toon Fans United exhibition.

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