WEEKLY ROUND-UP (17.06.24) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Jeremy Deller, The Battle of Orgreave, 2001. Production photograph Parisa Taghizadeh

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.

STAGE
The Death & Life of all of Us
Following sold-out performances at Soho Theatre and hit reviews from its Edinburgh Fringe run, The Death & Life of All of Us comes to Newcastle’s Alphabetti Theatre on Tuesday 18th-Wednesday 19th June.
Victor Esses’ multimedia performance explores intergenerational shame, family secrets and history. The show combines documentary, interviews, art projections, text, live music and movement to tell the story inspired when Victor found his long-lost great aunt Marcelle in Rome.
The show was born out of a desire to capture the strength and rebellion of Marcelle’s experience; having moved from Lebanon to Italy, converted religion, changed her name and kept her secrets. As well as reflecting on Marcelle’s life, a story he has been grappling with for over 20 years, the show also explores Victor’s own relationship with his intersecting identity, largely his acceptance of Queerness and how this interacts with his migrant, Jewish, Middle Eastern and Latin American background.
Encouraging audiences to do as he has done, and revisit their personal history on their own terms, Victor says: “we are all unique and complex, wonderful and awful. To be human is to be multifaceted and often intersectional”. The Death & Life of All of Us promises to be a moving celebration of just that.
Tuesday 18th-Wednesday 19th June @ Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle

COMEDY
Laugh, I Nearly Voted?
In the lead-up to the election, there’s plenty of political coverage but some of it can be a little dry… Thankfully, four of the city’s best comedians,  Gavin Webster, Si Beckwith, John Scott and Nicola Mantalios take to the stage to remind us why our vote matters on July 4, whilst giving us some much-needed laughs along the way.
Tuesday 18th June @ The Stand, Newcastle

ART & LIT
Jeremy Deller: The Battle of Orgreave
In 2006, historian and journalist Tristram Hunt gave this description of The Battle of Orgreave: “Almost medieval in its choreography, it was at various stages a siege, a battle, a chase, a rout and, finally, a brutal example of legalised state violence.”
The scars from what happened on that dramatic day still cause pain to many. What had previously been the site of an unassuming coking plant in South Yorkshire suddenly became the centre of a hugely pivotal event in the 1984-85 UK miners’ strike. Violence erupted between the police and picketing miners, creating a scene more akin to the Wild West than a quiet Yorkshire village.
To mark the 40th anniversary of the strike, the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art Collection Space is screening The Battle of Orgreave, Mike Figgis’ film of Jeremy Deller’s 2001 re-enactment. Figgis combines footage he shot of Deller’s groundbreaking artwork, which saw almost 1,000 people involved in a public re-enactment in the village of the infamous confrontation, with interviews from several significant protagonists from the 1984 clash.
There are also photographs on display to complement the film. Showing pickets at Easington and Monkwearmouth collieries, through to snapshots of everyday life in Sunderland during the 362-day industrial action, these images help to illustrate the human side of a notable period in our history.
Tuesday 18th June-Sunday 3rd November @ Northern Gallery For Contemporary Art, Sunderland

MUSIC
Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan
Those who enjoy exclusive and rare opportunities to see top artists collaborate should run not walk to this performance at The Fire Station on Thursday 20th June. Karine Polwart, a seven-time winner at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, including 2018 Folk Singer of The Year, has developed her latest project, a collaboration with renowned jazz/folk pianist Dave Milligan, which culminated in the 2021 album release Still As Your Sleeping. 
This one-off performance brings two artists at the top of their game to the North East, in a simple yet powerful and spell-binding show. Karine is a multi-award winning Scottish songwriter, folk singer and storyteller; and Dave is a highly versatile musician and well known jazz pianist. Their collaboration offers an intimate, stripped-back collection of songs combining voice and grand piano. The musicians live in the same Midlothian village, and this familiarity and ease is reflected in their music, with some of the songs brand new, and some two decades old. As Karine says: “It’s never felt more important to me to make music, and tell stories, from exactly where I am, with the people I live alongside, my friends and neighbours.”
Thursday 20th June @ The Fire Station, Sunderland

Image: Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan

MUSIC
Coast Fest
Coast Fest is riding the wave back to North Shields, building on its award-winning debut with an even bigger line-up. Scheduled for the weekend of Friday 21st-Sunday 23rd June at Percy Park RFC, the festival will feature headline performances from Professor Green, The Selecter and Badly Drawn Boy.
Following its recognition as the Best New Festival of 2023, Coast Fest aims to deliver an even more impressive line-up with over 100 grassroots artists spread across three stages. The festival’s mission is to spotlight North East talent, providing local artists the chance to perform alongside national acts. Attendees can expect performances from a wide range of artists including 20 Dollar Wedding, Baby Rattlesnakes, Bear Park, Hector Gannet, Cat Ryan, Club Paradise, Elizabeth Liddle, Dayzies, Jack Fox, Jenny Lascelles, Twayn and many others, offering a diverse musical experience ensuring there’s something for everyone.
This year, Coast Fest is also embracing a family-friendly approach, inviting music lovers of all ages to enjoy the festivities and the event will maintain its commitment to accessibility, featuring an accessible viewing platform and a secure environment. With an emphasis on community and inclusivity, the festival promises to be a highlight of the summer in the region, blending top-tier musical acts with a welcoming atmosphere.
Friday 21st-Sunday 23rd June @ Percy Park RFC, North Shields

ART & LIT
Hannah Perry
Tackling themes of motherhood, class and labour in her new large-scale installation, British artist Hannah Perry’s Manual Labour comprises film, sculpture, printmaking and sound, and considers the process and transformation of matrescence – the process of becoming a mother – and its creative and destructive power.
Saturday 22nd June-19th January 2025 @ Baltic, Gateshead

MUSIC
Live at the Amphitheatre
Generator’s Create:Live programme aims to equip up and coming promoters with knowledge and experience to enable them to become the next generation of live gig bookers. With so many independent promoters feeling the pain of low advance sales and high agent fees, it’s encouraging that there’s plenty of new blood coming through to offer artists a platform.
Among the new cohort of promoters are House Folk and Punk Princesses (otherwise known as Lucy Bridge and Hope Lynes), whose event at South Shields Amphitheatre on Saturday 22nd June focuses on an all-female line-up of talent which spans genres.
The all women/queer collective line-up features the very best of the region’s talented women across the alt. rock, punk, alt. pop, folk and singer-songwriter genres, and will include sets from acclaimed vocalist Steff Mundi, bluegrass artists Errant Moose, soulful singer-songwriter Annie Griffiths and fast-rising alt. rock artist India Arkin, plus there’s shoegaze rock from Hannah Robinson, dreamy grungy psychedelia courtesy of Labyrinthine Oceans, feel-good intelligent indie from Komparrison, distinctive and danceable indie songwriter and producer Cortney Dixon and DJ Alannah Lamb.
Saturday 22nd June @ South Shields Amphitheatre

Image: Hannah Robinson

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