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Review: North East Rising at Washington Arts Centre

Culture is a matter of perspective

North East Rising
WashingtonArts Centre
4th September 2014

An evening of poetry and music showcased some of the great talent that we currently have in the region. Alix Alixandra opened up with her songs about love and meeting up with her ex’s best friend on her ukulele. Gentle songs with poetic lyrics provided a reflective start to the evening. 

Alix was the calm before the storm as Jessica Johnson took to the stage with her vitriolic punk poetry. Topics range from what it must be like to be married to a comic like Jim Davidson, through drinking with a sister who doesn’t shy from a fight, to being married to a photographer who uses your house to photograph various girls. It may have been her first performance for 2 years but the verse flowed like a torrent. 

It was really pleasing to see a packed house experiencing the culture on show tonight and Rowan McCabe delivered an entertaining yet very personal journey around the North East. He segued the introductions into the poetic compositions to provide a seamless journey around the both the undesirable elements of the region and some of the highlights. Stotties and Tony the Fridge are celebrated whilst Cheryl Cole and dodgy company in a nightclub provide a counter argument to what is great about the region. Joseph Swan need not have a nightmare. Culture in the North East is in safe hands as long as talent like Rowan, Alix and Jessica can continue to perform in packed venues.

This review was written by Stephen Oliver for Jowheretogo PR ( Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook 

On tour:
Sunderland Independent Tuesday 16thSeptember
Northern Stage Tuesday 21st October
ARC Stockton Thursday 23rdOctober

The show will appear as part of Sunderland Stages at the Independent (27/28 Holmeside) on Tuesday 16 September, 7.30pm. tickets £8.50, £6 conc, £5  students are available from Arts Centre Washington, by calling 0191 219 3455 or online at

It then continues to Northern Stage on Tuesday 21st October, 8.00pm. Tickets are £7.50 / £5 (conc) and will be available from www.northernstage.comor by calling 0191 230 5151.

It will finish at ARC Stockton on Thursday 23rd October, 7.00pm. Tickets are £8.50 / £6.50 (conc) and will be available from or by calling 01642 525199.


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