WEEKLY ROUND-UP (01.04.24) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Yowl by Simon Milner

Every week we pull together some of the best events taking place across the region, from music and theatre, to comedy, art and film. Read more on these, and other events, in the latest issue of NARC. magazine in print and online.

Residency Sharing
Alphabetti Theatre is well known as a venue and organisation for providing performers creative latitude to workshop, develop and entertain. This month, over three nights each, you can see the fruits of residencies by Kate Fox and Si Beckwith (Tuesday 2nd-Thursday 4th April) and Iona Moss and Mysterious Theatre (Tuesday 16th-Thursday 18th April).
The first double bill showcases Fox’s The Flux, a Doctor Who-inspired neuroqueer imagined world where identities shift and time travellers guide us through a poetic, funny, spoken word journey into what a neurodivergent-affirming world can look like. Stepping Up by Si Beckwith encompasses his endearing, cheeky and charming way with words, as the local funnyman will be mixing the silly with the serious in a show that will have you in pieces.
The second set of shows features Lady Flower by Iona Moss, which explores the stigma, taboo, and unspoken side of being a menstruator, and aims to educate and empower. Told through the eyes of Moss as someone with undiagnosed Endometriosis, it shows that periods can be positive but also a bloody pain too! In conjunction with this, Mysterious is a fantasy tale about five children with unusual abilities; conceived and created by Colum Findlay, Sarah Chew and Coggin Galbreath, Mysterious is a contemporary ensemble show about those who don’t want to blend in, those who can’t and those who choose to stand with them.
Tuesday 2nd-Thursday 4th April and Tuesday 16th-Thursday 18th April @ Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle

Image: Si Beckwith

Naturally Northern
Artists Carol Metcalfe and Donna Slyfield present an exhibition of ceramics and paintings. Carol’s work captures the essence of North Yorkshire countryside through extraordinary use of texture and colour; while Donna’s paintings emerge from a sensual connection to the natural environment.
Tuesday 2nd-Saturday 27th April @ The Witham, Barnard Castle

Before they captivate The Cumberland Arms on Friday 5th April with their menacing indie storytelling, YOWL’s journey began in the gritty underbelly of South London. In the early days of 2016, fuelled by a shared frustration with urban living, the five-piece band emerged from the shadows, wielding their raw talent like a weapon against the mundane.
Their debut EP, 2016’s Before The Sleep Sets In, served as a manifesto – a declaration of their intent to infuse sleazy indie with the raw energy of post-punk. As they honed their sound in the smoky depths of underground venues, word of their intensity spread like wildfire. DIY, NME and BBC Radio 6Music took notice, propelling them into the spotlight alongside luminaries like IDLES and LICE. Festivals became their playground, from the stages of Pitchfork Avant-Garde to the electric atmosphere of London Calling Amsterdam. Their debut album, Milksick, which was released last September via Clue Records/EMI North served to reiterate the band’s story of defiance and determination, and a testament to the power of music to transform frustration into art, and strangers into devoted fans.
Friday 5th April @ The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle

The Caper
Having previously popped up at Newcastle’s Grainger Market and Gateshead’s Baltic gallery, it’s time for Sunderland to get in on the Caper action this month, as they bring their fusion of creativity and culture to transform Sunderland’s iconic City Hall into a hub of artistic brilliance on Friday 5th April.
Featuring a diverse line-up curated to delight all senses, Let’s Caper@CityHall promises an unforgettable evening of entertainment. Acclaimed Sunderland band The Futureheads will headline the musical line-up, while the city’s rising stars Lottie Willis, Isabel Maria, Lily Mac and Sara Leilah will each play a set.
Also on the line-up is the comedic brilliance of Alfie Joey, Steffen Peddie, Nick Cranston and Alex Redman, who will be sure to have the crowd in stitches. In addition to this range of entertainment, guests can also tantalise their taste buds with delectable street food offerings, sip on locally sourced beverages and peruse a curated selection of artisanal and vintage goods.
As the night progresses, Pop Recs Ltd.’s all-vinyl DJ set will fill City Hall’s glass and steel atrium with infectious beats. Keep an eye out for spontaneous dance moves adding an extra layer of excitement, from individual dancers to impromptu flash mobs.
Friday 5th April @ Sunderland City Hall

Image: The Futureheads

Toft House Comedy Night
Fancy a Friday night full of laughs this April? Look no further than the Toft House Comedy Night, making its return on Friday 5th April, and promising an evening brimming with comedic talent set to evoke waves of laughter.
Leading the line-up is Sully O’Sullivan, a Kiwi comedian whose humour has captivated audiences worldwide. Notably appearing on New Zealand’s Pulp Comedy, O’Sullivan has garnered international praise, including being a highlight at the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, winning the International Improvaganza Tournament in Canada, and his show A Complete Idiot’s Guide to New Zealand was a sell-out at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Beyond his performances on stage, he has also graced Australian TV’s The Comedy Channel.
Gareth the Poet, the recent winner of the Toft House Comedy Cup, is set to charm the audience with his witty and engaging verses, while Eppie Brilliant rounds out the line-up as Toft House’s beloved musical comedian. Known for her adeptness at crafting songs with a comedic twist, Eppie has a knack for captivating audiences, ensuring a night of laughter and amusement.
With more acts to be announced, Toft House Comedy Night offers the perfect opportunity for a delightful start to the weekend, filled with laughter and exciting performances.
Friday 5th April @ Toft House, Middlesbrough

Bend & Shake Queer Party
The Easter celebration from the multi-genre Queer party specialists, Bend & Shake guarantees an inclusive party with a music policy that keeps you on the dancefloor. Performances come from twin sister DJ and violin duo Kintra, plus two floors of music from R&B and house, to disco, pop, hardcore and much more.
Saturday 6th April @ World Headquarters, Newcastle

Aelius Festival
There’s a new alternative music festival on the scene, and we say the more the merrier! Aelius is a hot-off-the-press multi-venue event that will take over some of Newcastle’s favourite independent venues on Saturday 6th April in a celebration of our beloved local music scene. Over thirty acts will perform across five stages across the city centre: live music will be hosted at the Head of Steam, The Globe and Mosaic Tap, while you can catch a run of comedy sets hosted by Howl Comedy Club while you refuel at Newcastle’s first Mexican-inspired joint, Zapatista Burrito Bar.
Confirmed names include Reverend & The Makers’ guitarist Ed Cosens, who’ll be promoting his second album Somewhere Between Dark And Light as part of his recent embarkation as a solo singer-songwriter; Scottish artist and BBC Radio Scotland’s singer-songwriter of the year award nominee Megan Black; Glaswegian actor, musician, and former frontwoman of Sara ’N’ Junbug, Sara Rae; alternative rock outfit Electric Circus; slacker pop supremo James Leonard Hewitson; excitable pop rock band Oddo’s Gaze; goth-pop pioneer MXYM, among many more.
And for those for whom an all-day festival isn’t quite enough, there’s even an all-night after-party at The Globe with non-stop rock ‘n’ roll anthems on one floor and Nightbreed Goth Night on the other. 
Saturday 6th April @ various venues in Newcastle

Image: Stuart Laws by Ed Moore

Stuart Laws
Intricate gag-weaver and leftfield observationalist Stuart Laws brings his critically acclaimed show, Is That Guy Still Going?, to Newcastle. Aiming to expose, warts and all, the bare truths behind marriage, vasectomies, child-free living and long-grief, the stand-up comedian, filmmaker, goalkeeper and viral Twitter star promises a deliriously funny show.
Saturday 6th April @ Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle

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