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

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Image of Late Shows – Hatton Pavilion

It’s that time of year again, as the Late Shows return with an incredible array of cultural events. In what has become an incredibly popular alternative expression of Newcastle and Gateshead’s innovative arts scene, the Late Shows provide a whirlwind tour of the engaging and expressive diversity that North East creatives have to offer.


The weekend kicks off on Friday 19th May with a series of events in the Ouseburn, including Intergalactic story times and (optional) alien transformation at Seven Stories; The Time Bandits are stepping back in time to Victorian serial killers in a walking tour with live enactments; Labyrinth will be creating cabaret outdoor performances including circus activities; St Dominic’s Priory explores community, space and spirituality; the Victoria Tunnel is also having booked tours of its colliery waggon-way.

All weekend in the Ouseburn, there are also exhibitions and demonstrations taking place – venues include 36 Lime Street; The Biscuit Factory with its annual open contemporary award; The Holy Biscuit with artist in residence (Visual Arts in Rural Communities) Lucy May Schofield; Jim Edwards Studio Gallery; Northern Print; and Hoults Yard combining art, stalls, and street food.

Cobalt Studios will also play host to a silent disco; Grow to Glow behind Ouseburn Farm will be undertaking Teatime Plant Stories, as you learn the properties of healing herbs, identifying the plants themselves; The Toffee Factory celebrates vinyl records, with DJ’s, dancing, some food and drinks; and the Ouseburn Farm has the doors of its café wide open, with opportunities to meet the animals. On the Saturday only, Tyne Bank Brewery also creates a 20-metre-long piece of communal drawing.

Newcastle City Centre & Haymarket

13 Grey Street are showcasing artist Amy Lord and many more, in a consideration of happiness and mood, as a one off on behalf of Mint Moon, and BALTIC 39 are inhabited by NewBridge Books for all your art inspiration needs.

Breeze Creatives at Bamburgh House have exhibitions available at Abject2 Gallery, Abject Gallery, FAD, and a music focused night at Inspiring Events CIC. At Commercial Union House, there are also events at Vane, Incubate Experimental Printmaking, The HUB Studio with The Midnight Garden of Beasts, B&D Studios with Skimstone Arts who are considering human connection, Ampersand Inventions are showing the collaborative display that is Weird Science, and Space Six with music, dance and poetry.

Exhibition-wise, Culture Lab will display performance and installation pieces; Gallagher & Turner are hosting a join-in life drawing class, and exhibition by Peter Quinn; Globe Gallery also have an exhibition that considers Newcastle After Dark. Laing Art Gallery gets visitors to be creative in following Picasso’s inclusive art ethos, and the NewBridge Project are putting on a unique exhibition that delights in the history of the location, Carliol House. System Gallery will also be delivering vital commentary on the media in relation to human migration through an exhibition, with visitors also encouraged to identify their personal geographic background with string on a massive world map.

Great North Museum: Hancock will bring alive all the imaginings you had about experiencing a night at the museum; Newcastle City Library focuses on dance, through a talk, performance, music, and art from a range of noteworthy figures; Twisting Ducks Theatre Company is showing a unique film and dance created by creatives with learning disabilities and autism; and Grainger Market are giving night time walks among market stalls, with music and art sprinkled among them.

Newcastle Quayside

Moving towards Newcastle Central Station and the quayside, events include a Latin dance event at Dance City; how-to pottery at David Fry Pottery Studio; a gaming event and opera performances in parts of the Discovery Museum; the Memory Box exhibition at NBS – The Old Post Office; and the spring exhibition at the North of England Art Club. There are also events hosted in historical locations including Bessie Surtees House, the Cathedral Church of St Mary, the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas, Maple Terrace Masonic Hall, Newcastle Castle, and the Swing Bridge.


But it’s not just the Toon – Gateshead is also host to events, exclusively on Saturday 20th May. These include BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art’s exhibitions, notably Rodney Graham and Holly Hendry, with Nicola Singh responding to Graham’s exhibition through a DJ set and live performance art, as well as a talk by Durham Wildlife Trust about the kittiwake colony located on the Baltic. The Academy of Music & Sound showcase their degree students with example music sessions; Bensham Grove Community Centre host craft workshops for all; Dunston Staiths has incredible views of the River Tyne, and the opportunity to join a choir for the evening or visit for the Project Image light show; Gateshead Central Library takes you back to the 80s with Digital Makings artists; Hatton Pavilion focuses on the outdoor art installation by Toby Paterson, leading to pavilion construction challenges for visitors; Hidden Heights Creative Studio showcase photography, hair, and make-up; Lawnmowers Theatre Company put on The Mechanics of Music; and the Shipley Art Gallery is to present an incredible 1920s jazz age evening, with tunes, drinks, craft and clothes, as well as displaying the exhibition, Companion Pieces.

After Hours

For those who stay up after hours, and for whom the cultural and creative spirit has truly taken hold – The Cumberland Arms hosts a pop-up choir, theatre, music, and CLUB BONENKAI (cabaret and live music); Ernest connects you with other places to dance via the internet; The Globe has live music from a selection of artists hosted by owners, the Jazz Coop; the Jazz Café also have live music from The Susan Hamilton Soul Trio. Kommunity creates Club Tropicana in tribute to George Michael; Vicolo and Tyneside Bar Café come alive; World Headquarters provide a vibrant club night; and the Sage Gateshead has live singing in the piano bar.

Having visited the Late Shows year after year, I always feel like I have encountered only a fraction of the wonderful happenings taking place over the weekend. There’s no need to be frustrated, though – there’s a huge array of many experiences to be had!

The Late Shows takes place from Friday 19th to Saturday 20th May 2017.

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