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News: A new year and a new season at Arts Centre Washington

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A new year and a new season full of theatre, dance, music, exhibitions, comedy and films at Arts Centre Washington
This Spring season for selected shows in the theatre and dance programme
Made Up
audiences are being asked to ‘pay what you decide’.   You can book your tickets as normal, then decide after watching the show what you think the price should be, so you really have nothing to lose!

Pay What You Decide shows include ‘Stowaway’, a story about a man from India who finds himself on an extraordinary journey; ‘Made Up’ a heart-warming play about friendship and the faces that we show to the world; and ‘Launch Day’ a brand new piece of contemporary dance inspired by our shipbuilding heritage!

The Town Meeting
      Other highlights of the Theatre programme include ‘Baby Love’ – set in the 1960’s club land of the North East, this love story is packed full of great sixties songs.  ‘The Town Meeting’ is an interactive piece of theatre, where you play the part of a town resident and help make the biggest decision in the town’s history!  ‘The End of the Pier’ is a brand new comedy from award winning
Washingtonplaywright Neil Armstrong.  A music hall double act have been married for 25 year, but their only desire now is to kill each other!

In May
The University of
Sunderland’s Drama students take over the theatre for the month long ‘Sunfest’.  Shakespeare’s The Tempest and King Lear will be on the menu alongside more contemporary plays by Sean O’Casey and William Wycherley.

As ever the centre has a fantastic offer
Three Keepers
of great theatre for children and families, who can watch two super heroes overcome their rivalry at a Tadpole catching competition in ‘Tadpoles’, visit Flounder Rock Lighthouse and its comical ‘Three Keepers’ or take in ‘The (Almost) Complete History of Britain’!

Stand Up Comedy is in plentiful supply
The Suggestibles
with the return of the family’s favourite funny man (and occasional disco dancer) Patrick Monaghan and his new show ‘The Disco Years’.  As well as the return of The Grinning Idiot Comedy Club the arts centre also hosts debut gigs for The Suggestibles and their famous improve-comedy show and cult Tyneside comedian Gavin Webster.

Young dancers will be strutting their stuff in the fantastic ‘Pulse’ dance showcase and Young Artists can show off their talent as part of the ‘Youth Arts Exhibition’. 

There will also be copious amounts of live music.  Look out for tributes to 
ABBA - As Good as New
ABBA - As Good as New, Ultimate Bowie and VertigoU2.  The arts centre is also very proud to be home to the award winning Davy Lamp Folk Club which will now be taking place on the first Saturday of every month, upcoming acts include Greg Russell + Ciaran Algar, The Paul McKenna Band, Bruce Molsky plus many more.  Also taking the stage will be one of Sunderland’s finest up and coming musical talents ‘Social Room’ following from the success of their debut single SR7.

Alongside all of that the centre plays host to activities, classes and courses for all ages and abilities to take part in the arts.

For more information on all Arts Centre
Washington events visit call 0191 219 3455.


The Mighty Doonans
Saturday 9 January, 7.30pm, tickets £7
The Davy Lamp Folk Club are kicking off the new year in great style, with a visit from the immensely talented – but a bit mental -  Jarrow mafia!

Far from the Madding Crowd
Wednesday 13 January,
1.30pm, tickets £3
Film - In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors.  Stars
Cary Mulligan


Friday 15 January 7.30pm
Saturday 16 January 2pm + 7.30pm
Friday 22 January 7.30pm
Saturday 23 January 2pm + 7.30pm
Friday 29 January 7.30pm
Saturday 30 January 2pm + 7.30pm
Tickets £4

Washington Theatre Group present their popular annual pantomime.

Youth Arts Exhibition
15 January – 27 February
A celebration of the talented young artists who live in our city.  Schools, college, youth groups and individuals aged 11 – 20 have all been invited to submit work. 


Thursday 4 February,
7.30pm, £8.50 / £6 (online) / £9.50 / £7 (box office)
Theatre - Squirrels pulls no punches and takes a long, hard look at how some young people who are experiencing mental illness are being left to fend for themselves.

Arts & Craft Fair
Saturday 6 February 10.00am – 4.00pm, Free admission
With extra crafts and activities celebrating Chinese New Year. Plus a variety of stalls selling products created by local and regional artists and crafts people

Chris & Kelly While
Saturday 06 February, 7.30pm, £tbc
The Davy Lamp Folk Club welcome back the mother and daughter duo. Two amazing  singers!

The Journey
6 Feb – 12 March
A selection of paintings by local artist Chris Graham

A Royal Night Out
Wednesday 10 February,
1.30pm, tickets £3
On V.E. Day in 1945, as peace extends across
Europe, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret are allowed out to join the celebrations. Stars Emily Watson

Saturday 13 February, 11am + 2pm, Tickets £6.50 / £22 (family, admits 4)
A tadpole catching competition challenges a superhero duo to overcome rivalry and harness their strengths. Working as team, can they save the world…together? Theatre for children aged 5+

Patrick Monaghan – The Disco Years
Friday 19 February, Tickets £12 / £10 (conc), Doors 7.30pm
The family’s favourite funnyman (and occasional disco dancer) is on tour across the
UK with his brand new stand-up show!   As seen on ITV’s ‘Splash!’ ‘Fake Reaction’, ‘Show me the Funny’ and ’Celebrity Squares’

Pulse 2016

20 February, 7.00pm, pay what you decide
Celebrating Youth Dance across the North East as local dance groups take to the stage for this regional heat. 

ABBA - As Good as New
Friday 26 February,
7.30pm, tickets £14.50 / £13 (conc)
A theatrical tribute to the greatest pop act in the world!  Abba's music is as vibrant today as it was back in the seventies and Gimme Gimme Gimme have been performing their tribute to the band for over 14 years.

The Town Meeting
Thursday 3 March,
7.30pm, £8.50 / £6 (online) / £9.50 / £7 (box office)
Interactive Theatre. You become a resident, and assisted only by a shambolic Junior Planning Officer, you will be forced to make the biggest decision in the history of the town!

Arts & Craft Fair

Saturday 5 March -
10.00am4.00pm, Free admission
 Mother’s Day Special - craft workshops for children while mum can be pampered! Plus a variety of stalls selling products created by local and regional artists and crafts people

Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar

05 March 2016 7.30pm 

The Davy Lamp Folk Club present the two-time BBC Folk Award winners.

Mr Holmes 
Wednesday 9 March, 1.30pm, £3     
An aged, retired Sherlock Holmes, deals with early dementia, as he tries to remember his final case and a woman, the memory of whom still haunts him.  Stars Ian McKellen  

Thursday 10 + Friday 11 March, 7.30pm, Pay What You Decide
Stowaway is a story about a man from
India who finds himself far from home and adrift from everything he knows.  It is the story of an extraordinary journey in search of an impossible future. 

Geordie, Mackem Magick - Sophie Lisa Beresford
17 March – 5 June
Exhibition by Sunderland-based Sophie Lisa Beresford who sees astonishing beauty in the everyday, and finds magic and wonder in the most ordinary places.

Stitch in 9 – A Decade of Stitch
18 March – 30 April
The North East based Embroidery and Textile group celebrate their tenth year with this exhibition

Open Day
Saturday 19 March 11am – 4pm, free
Join us to celebrate our new, improved arts centre. Over the past year Arts Centre
Washington has been undergoing a transformation and today we throw open our doors to share our building with you.  Join us for workshops, see our exhibition or wonder round our studios inhabited by a number of local creative businesses.

The Suggestibles
Saturday 26 March, 7.30pm, £8.50 / £6 (online) / £9.50 / £7 (box office)
You supply the suggestions. They supply the laughs!  If you like ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’ you’ll love the Suggestibles. Their two-hour improv-comedy joyride, made-up of spontaneous scenes, stories, skits and songs all based on audience suggestions

Three Keepers
Wednesday 30 March,
11am + 2pm, Tickets £6.50 / £22 (family, admits 4)
Three Keepers: a silent comedy for all the family about duty, bravery and biscuits.  Theatre for children aged 6+

Social Room + Ski Monarchs + Support
Friday 1 April, Doors
8pm, Tickets £4,
A showcase for the best new rock and indie bands in the area.

Arts & Craft Fair
Saturday 2 April - 10.00am – 4.00pm, Free admission
Easter Fair making Easter gifts and activities including ‘Find the Hidden Easter Eggs’. Plus a variety of stalls selling products created by local and regional artists and crafts people

The Paul McKenna Band

Saturday 02 April, 7.30pm, £tbc
The Davy Lamp Folk Club present “The best folk band to have come out of
Scotland in the last twenty years”

The (Almost) Complete History of Britain

Wednesday 6 April, 2pm + 7pm, Tickets £6.50 / £22 (family, admits 4)
The Pantaloons presents  historically hysterical show packed with songs, sketches and silliness.  For children and families aged 8+

Ultimate Bowie
Saturday 9 April,
7.30pm, tickets £10
Paying tribute to the work of this global super-star, in a show that is visually stunning including the whole of ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’. 

Play Dough
Thursday 14 April, 10.30am + 1.30pm, Tickets £6.50 / £22 (family, admits 4)
Play Dough is a playfully interactive game show where you can play with 10,000 real pound coins! For children aged 7+

Baby Love
Thursday 21 April,
7.30pm, £8.50 / £6 (online) / £9.50 / £7 (box office)
A love story set in the North Eastern club-land of the 1960’s, Tom Kelly’s new play is packed with humour and great sixties songs, sung live!

Mike Milligan + Peter Brush + Nicola Mantalios Lovett  + MC Lee Kyle
Saturday 23 April, Tickets £10, Doors 7.30pm, first act 8.30pm
The Grinning Idiot Comedy Club presents some of the best stand ups on the circuit

Launch Day
Thursday 28 April, 7.30pm, pay what you decide
Kelly-Abbott Dance Theatre presents a celebration of the North East in all its industrial glory inspired by the paintings of Alexander Millar.

My Generation

Friday 29 April, 7.30pm, Tickets £8 / £6 (conc)
A nostalgic 60s show featuring the popular hits from the Peace and Love Generation. Featuring songs from The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Searchers, Hollies and more

Arts & Craft Fair

Saturday 7 May - 10.00am – 4.00pm, Free admission.
Spring themed crafts and workshops including Story telling sessions for children. Plus a variety of stalls selling products created by local and regional artists and crafts people

School Days
13 May – 25 June
An exhibition of photography by fourteen year old Lilly Thompson from Sunderland.


Saturday 14 May,
7.30pm, tickets £10
Recreateing the sound and feel of a Live U2 Concert.

Sunfest… New Blood
Thursday 5 May + Saturday 7th May, 7.30pm, Tickets £7.50 / £6 (conc)/ £5 (
Soon to be drama graduates will be picking an exciting contemporary work that showcases their performing skills and creative talent.

Sunfest… Juno and the Paycock
Thursday 12 + Friday 13 May, 7.30pm, Tickets £7.50 / £6 (conc)/ £5 (NUS)
In this modern classic, playwright Sean O’Casey mixes drama and pathos with robust humour as he creates a vivid depiction of Irish working-class life during a bloody civil war.

Sunfest… The Plough and the Stars
Saturday 14 May, 7.30pm, Tickets £7.50 / £6 (conc)/ £5 (NUS)
Sean O'Casey's masterpiece paints a vivid portrait of a city and a nation in turmoil during the Easter Rising in Dublin 1916.

Sunfest… The Country Wife
Thursday 19 May + Saturday 21 May,7.30pm, Tickets £7.50 / £6 (conc)/ £5 (NUS)
A play reflective of a new era—the "Restoration"—which followed an eleven-year period of harsh Puritanical rule under Oliver Cromwell, by William Wycherley. 

Sunfest… King Lear
Thursday 26 May, 7.30pm, Tickets £7.50 / £6 (conc)/ £5 (NUS)
By William Shakespeare - A kingdom is divided on a whim, a King loses first his family, then his throne and then his mind.

Sunfest… The Tempest
Saturday 28 May, 7.30pm, Tickets £7.50 / £6 (conc)/ £5 (NUS)
By William Shakespeare, when a powerful sea-tempest shipwrecks Prospero’s former adversaries, they are tricked and tormented by magic to hilarious effect.

Made Up
Thursday 2 + Friday 3 June, 7.30pm, Pay What You Decide
Made Up is a heart-warming play about friendship and the faces we show the world by Birmingham’s internationally acclaimed Stan’s Cafe.

Arts & Craft Fair
Saturday 4 June - 10.00am – 4.00pm, Free admission
Summer crafts and workshops including Story telling sessions for children. Plus a variety of stalls selling products created by local and regional artists and crafts people

State of the Nation
Thursday 9 June, 7.30pm, £8.50 / £6 (online) / £9.50 / £7 (box office)
Operating Theatre, blends poignant drama and urgent debate to determine how we see the most vulnerable in society.   State of the Nation combines all three plays previously performed at the arts centre, For the Best, Sitting Room and Squirrels.

Gavin Webster - The World Tour!
Saturday 18 June,
Tickets £10, Doors
7.30pm, first act 8.30pm
Cult Tyneside comedian Gavin Webster brings his legendary stand up show to Washington, plus support from Matt Reed

The End of the Pier
Thursday 23 June, 7.30pm, £8.50 / £6 (online) / £9.50 / £7 (box office)
A brand new comedy from award winning Washington playwright Neil Armstrong.  A music hall double act have been married for 25 years, but their only desire now is to kill each other.  

Njörðr - Tim Brennan
25 June – 10 September
Exhibition by Sunderland-born Tim Brennan his work reflects on what it means to have a ‘sense of place’.

Arts & Craft Fair

Saturday 2 July – 10.00am – 4.00pm, Free admission
Celebrating American Independence Day. Plus a variety of stalls selling products created by local and regional artists and crafts people

My Pet Monster and Me

Saturday 16 July, 11am + 2pm, Tickets £6.50 / £22 (family, admits 4)
Join us down on the farm for adventures with Sophie and her new friend George, the most lovable baby monster in the land!  For children aged 3+

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