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Preview: A Christmas Carlol at Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House


Carl Hutchinson returns to the Tyne Theatre with a Christmas comedy show

A Christmas Carlol

Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House

Saturday 5th December 2020

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The Tyne Theatre and Opera House have announced a socially distanced Christmas comedy night, hosted by Carl Hutchinson, to take place on Saturday 5th December 2020.

Following his return to the Tyne Theatre in October with a sold-out socially distanced show, Carl is back at the Tyne Theatre for a third time this year with three hand-picked names from the UK comedy circuit to join him for this one-off night of stand-up.

Carl Hutchinson will be joined by three fantastic acts; Scott Bennett, Gavin Webster and Jojo Sutherland, who will all be performing some of their best material.

Carl has said; “I know a lot of people will want to know whether this is the same as my previous shows this year, but no, this will be something different. I’ll be opening the show and introducing the three acts who are some of the best comedy names in the UK at the moment. I’ll also be doing some of my own material (old and brand new) and telling stories in-between. Anybody can get in touch with me on social media and request a particular story if there is one they’d like to hear. I can’t wait to be back on the Tyne Theatre stage and hope to see you there!”

Tickets for 'A Christmas Carlol’ are now on sale and are being sold in socially distanced groups of two and four (within households/support bubbles). In addition to the socially distanced seating, the theatre is taking numerous other precautions to ensure the safety of their staff and audiences including the compulsory wearing of masks, and temperatures being taken on arrival. The full safety guidelines for the show can be found on the event page on the Tyne Theatre and Opera House website.

As an independent venue, the Tyne Theatre and Opera House relies entirely on ticket sales and donations to survive and keep the theatre’s 150+ year heritage alive. In addition to buying tickets for upcoming shows, you can also support the theatre directly by visiting their recently launched Crowdfunder campaign, looking to raise £30,000 to help secure its future after a dramatic loss of income as the result of Covid-19 restrictions.  


Tickets for this event are sold in socially distanced groups of 2 and 4. All members of the group must be from the same household or support bubble. For the full safety guidelines, please see the event page on the Tyne Theatre website before booking’: Tyne Theatre & Opera House.

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News: Award-winning Musical Theatre Makers across the UK join forces for new online “Marathon” Project


Award-winning Musical Theatre Makers across the UK join forces for new online “Marathon” Project

In 1904, the Olympic Marathon was a shambles. Running through lawless chaos, participants sweated towards an ever-receding finish line, desperately just putting one foot in front of the other. In 2020, the Olympic Marathon never happened. But the rest is pretty much bang on. 

Image: Alfie Jayden
Critically acclaimed musical theatre companies and artists including Burnt Lemon Theatre, Spitlip, Sheep Soup, The Letter Room, and Maimuna Memon are collaborating remotely on a new digital project: a musical ‘choose your own adventure’

Inspired by the 1904 Marathon - an infamous, surreal race beset by challenges, chaotic leadership and utterly unfathomable obstacles - they want to create a response to this year: the ‘marathon’ no-one chose to run

The Marathon Project will be a rallying cry against these desperate times, inviting musicians, theatre makers, artists from wherever they are to join a project that celebrates the ways we stick together, even as we’re apart.

First scratch material will be presented remotely at the Lowry’s Musical Rewrites, on the 10th Nov


The Marathon Project

During lockdown, 20 of the country’s most exciting new musical theatre creators have united - miserable, hopeful, and longing to do something that might help them and others - to collaborate for the first time in a completely unique and distanced way, and they’re asking the rest of the world to join them. 

The Marathon Project will be a musical choose-your-own adventure, playable entirely online, which explores the chaos, hilarity, tragedy and ultimate triumph of refusing to give up, no matter what. 

Now a few months into initial and self-funded R&D, the Marathon Project is launching today to gather more “runners” - more musicians, more makers, more remixers, coders, gamers- who might want to join them. They’re launching an initial sign-up here appealing to anyone interested in contributing, joining or simply championing the project. 

A first scratch performance of initial songs from the project is happening (in person or streamed live via at The Lowry Theatre, Salford, on the 10th November. 

Ultimately, the Marathon Project hopes to celebrate the best of humanity in the face of adversity - the community, the courage, the humour - whilst taking a critical look at what happens when the rulemakers are clearly just making it up as they go along. Oh, and it’ll be set to a banging soundtrack to boot. 


The Marathon Project is created by:

SPITLIP, based in London and Manchester

You know them for: multi-award winning new musical Operation Mincemeat, listed in the Observer’s Top 10 Shows of 2019 and winners of the 2019 Stage Debut Award for Best Composer/Lyricist .

We’re sick of not making stuff, we’re tired of waiting for someone else to give us permission, and now more than ever, we want to burst open what musicals are and who can make them. The blossoming musical theatre scene in the UK is exciting, passionate and inspiring, and goddammit, we’re not going down without a fight” - Natasha Hodgson, SpitLip. 


Burnt Lemon Theatre - multi-award winning musical theatre company and Pleasance Associate Artists. 

You know them for: Tokyo Rose has enjoyed sell-out runs at Edinburgh and New Diorama Theatre and has won New Diorama/Underbelly’s Untapped Award and Les Enfants Terribles Stepladder Award. The Half Moon Shania won Musical Theatre Review’s Best Musical Award. 

“Collaboration has always been a huge part of the creative process at Burnt Lemon Theatre, but never has it felt so important. The road ahead is far from clear. But with the combined ambition, risk taking and pure joy that comes with this project, a new musical like no other is at the finish line.” - Cara Baldwin, Burnt Lemon Theatre


Sheep Soup - Associate Artists at the Leicester Curve born out of the BAFTA award winning Television Workshop in Nottingham

You know them for: 5* show Mrs Green: The Musical, which enjoyed sell-out runs at Edinburgh Fringe, Nottingham Playhouse and the Curve; nominated for Stiles & Drewe New Song Prize 2019. Invited to Toronto to work with Come From Away Producers at Sheridan College

“Collaborating with artists and bringing interesting people and their work together is right at the heart of what Sheep Soup has always set out to do. We are thrilled to be able to join up with companies we admire and others we didn’t know much about at all… and make something really different and creative in the process” Nic Harvey, Sheep Soup


The Letter Room - a national touring company from Newcastle, committed to original musical theatre with Actor-Musicians. With special guests Oseloka Obi and Kaz Costello. 

You know them for: No Miracles Here, listed as one of The Guardians “10 Shows to See at the Fringe”

The Letter Room are thrilled by this collaboration. Whilst theatres are still dark and there are so many unknowns in the Arts, it fills us with hope to think about how 20 independent artists can come together and try something new.” - Stan Hodgson, The Letter Room


Artists from the BAC’s beatbox collective -  co-creators of and performers in smash hit beatbox musical Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster, listed in The Observer’s Top 10 Shows of 2018, and as seen on BBC 4. 

Preview: Arbuthnot and Dame Bella’s Christmas at South Shields Customs House


Panto Favourites Dame Bella and Arbuthnot Return in new Christmas Adventure


Arbuthnot and Dame Bella’s Christmas

South Shields Customs House

Friday 11th – Thursday 24th December 2020


The Customs House is delighted to announce they will put on a festive show this year. Arbuthnot and Dame Bella’s Christmas Adventure will have a limited run at the arts centre in  South Shields in December.

They’re back! Dame Bella (Ray Spencer) and Arbuthnot (Davey Hopper)

The show, which will also be filmed so families can watch again and again from home, will star Ray Spencer as Dame Bella and Davey Hopper as Bella’s hapless son Arbuthnot as well as a whole host of festive characters including the big man in red himself.

Back in August, it was announced that this year’s pantomime Rapunzel would be postponed at The Customs House until 2021. Ray, who as well as Dame is also The Customs House’s Executive Director, said at the time that the venue would try to put on some sort of Christmas show – even if it was at the 11th hour.

Ray said: “We are delighted that we can announce to you that we will present a Christmas show at The Customs House this year. Clearly the safety of our customers, staff and performers remain our paramount concern. We can’t do a lavish production this year, as we simply can’t recoup the investment with less shows and restricted audience numbers.  The show will be significantly different from our usual offer. There will be no schools’ performances. There will be no juvenile dancers from South Tyneside Dance Workshop. There will be no interval and the show will last approximately 75mins. It will run for less than two weeks with just 25 performances.

“However, what there will be is an entirely original score and script written by Davey Hopper and Jen Stevens, a joyous show with wonderful music which contains many of the usual elements of pantomime. Importantly, because of the limited run and reduced ticket capacity there will only be 10% of the usual number of tickets available.

“Tickets are being limited to just 6 per booking. I realise this will be hugely disappointing to many people because the big family outing to pantomime is very much part of families' Christmas traditions. However, we simply can’t ignore government guidelines and local public health advice.

“We anticipate a huge demand and know unfortunately there will be many disappointed families because of the numbers of tickets available. However, we will be producing a DVD of the show for those families who are unable to obtain tickets.”

Written by Davey Hopper & Jen Stevens, Arbuthnot & Dame Bella’s Christmas Adventure is an original Christmas musical adventure for families.

Two brothers, Santa Claus, and his brother Jack Frost, have gone their different ways. One is kind and caring, the other filled with jealously.

But on discovering one child, in Cooksonville, no longer believes in Santa, Frost sees his chance to freeze Santa and stop Christmas.

Can Arbuthnot persuade his cousin Dennis to believe? Can Roxy the Reindeer, Jerry the Snowman and Grace the Elf navigate the North Pole, And... Will Dame Bella get her stockings filled this Christmas?

Davey, is also directing the show, said: “We are all really excited to show you this brand-new musical!  It’s still got all the bits of panto you love. With one of the best casts and creatives ever assembled! Join us for this merry Christmas adventure!”

Capacity in the theatre has reduced to allow social distancing in household or support bubbles of up to six. The venue’s bar and restaurant remains closed, however refreshments can be ordered to be delivered direct to seats.

Tickets from £15 go on sale to Friends of The Customs House with priority booking from 10am on Monday 2nd November until 6pm on the 3 November after which the remaining tickets will go on general sale.

Tickets, DVDs and more information is available by visiting:


Review: The Show Must Go On at Newcastle's Tyne Theatre & Opera House

 Indeed, ‘The Show Must Go On’!

The Show Must Go On An Evening of Musical Theatre at Newcastle's Tyne Theatre & Opera House Each Sunday from 11th Oct - 29th Nov 2020 Tickets available from our affiliate Eventim UK: #Ad

Naima Jackson reviews the weekly show "The Show Must Go On" taking place each Sunday in the Bistro Bar of Newcastle's Tyne Theatre and Opera House.

Last Sunday, on what proved to be another inclement day at the beautiful coastline of North Tyneside, I was walking my gorgeous dog George, music merrily blasting in my ears through my headphones, enjoying my increasingly eclectic and eccentric iPhone collection of music set to the setting of surprise and delight that is ‘shuffle’.  After the usual shift from The Prodigy to Billie Holiday to Rimsky-Korsakov via Nick Drake and just a smattering of Manu Chau, two songs came on that gave me pause for thought: ‘Tell Me on a Sunday’ by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, and ‘Freedom’ by George Michael.

You see, this summer, I had been hoping to take my daughters Rose and Poppy to London for the first time, and ‘take in a show’, as it is de rigour on such occasions, and I had been supposed to play as many gigs as possible in my own band ‘Spelks’.  But of course, Covid happened, and so the latter did not; and just as my heart panged for the missed opportunity of seeing a West End production with the girls, and I listened to George (the singer, not the dog) singing his way to freedom, the line “I think it’s time I stopped the show”, had a new poignancy attached, and the longing I felt to see for a live musical performance stopped me in my tracks.  

But life can also offer us golden moments of synchronicity, even in these dark times, and when I checked my Facebook newsfeed that afternoon, I noticed that my good friend and colleague John Hopkinson had posted that he was to perform with others in ‘The Show Must Go On’ at The Tyne Theatre Bar that very evening.  Ten minutes later, having tracked down the offspring to their various favoured posterns (the eight-year-old outside on her scooter with the kids from our street, the 12-year-old indoors playing some new-fangled online computer game with her friends from school), I had the thumbs up from the youngest, Poppy, to book us a table for two to see the show live at the Tyne Theatre Bar that evening (unfortunately, Rose is of an age where if at least one of her friends won’t be there, she’d rather not be anywhere – not very easy to manage right now as you can imagine, but there will be a next time in the future when we can do just that).  

Now, as anyone who has spent even the briefest of moments in my youngest daughter will attest to, she has a flair for the dramatic herself: she is forthright and fearless to the extent that she is perennially entertaining and often hilarious, and she loves an excuse to dress up and be out where the grown-ups are.  So, one fancy polka-dot frock and demands that I maintain a constant flow of ket (Geordie for sweets) and hot chocolate to see her through, we set off for what proved to be a wonderful evening of live entertainment that delighted us and everyone else fortunate enough to be there – both in the theatre and watching the live-stream broadcast from home.  

The evening ran perfectly: on arrival we donned our face masks, were directed to sanitise our hands and had our temperatures scanned (Pops loved the drama of that moment) and were directed to the final table for two in the house – on the front row, right next to the stage area, so we had a fantastically unobstructed view of the evening’s entertainment.  After being served at the table with a bottle of beer (for me), a hot chocolate, a mix-up bag of sweets and a massive bag of Chocolate Buttons for Poppy (she gave me five, then licked the rest to make sure I didn’t take any more), the show began at 7pm prompt, introduced with enthusiasm and panache by Liam Olsen, dressed in a very dapper three-piece suit (a personal favourite of mine to wear on formal occasions also); he opened with ‘This is the Moment’ from ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ by Anthony Warlow, and the power of his delivery, the timbre of his voice and the real showmanship inherent therein, instantly brought a smile to our faces, and there we were, for the first time in many, many months, finally at a live performance that already promised great things.  After a hearty welcome to all present, physically and virtually, and a smooth slip out of his jacket later, he sang ‘Heaven on Their Minds’ from ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber to an audience whose faces absolutely lit up with delight, support and gratitude to be together once more in a place we all love.

Next to entertain us was Steph Peacock – in a fabulous dotted frock that wasn’t dissimilar to Poppy’s own (Poppy was suitably impressed, and she adored her beautiful long red hair and curls too), accompanied by John Hopkinson on piano.  They proved to be a winning combination, and the extra dynamic of live musical accompaniment by such a talented musician as John is, really brought even more pizzazz to Steph’s performance of ‘Journey to the Past’ from ‘Anastasia’ by Stephen Flaherty and ‘No Good Deed’ from the musical ‘Wicked’ by Stephen Schwartz (which would have been on our shortlist of possible musicals to see in the Big Smoke this summer) made suitably atmospheric by the production teams’ switch to the eerie green lighting that is the trademark of Oz and all that is associated with it.  The audience, Poppy and I all loved it.

Following Steph’s performance, warmly applauded by all present, John Hopkinson remained on stage, and surprised and delighted us with a real gear-shift into two of his original tracks: ‘What I Want’ - a heart-wrenching exploration of the all-too-human dichotomy between what we want in life, and what life and society tells us we need.  It was such an apt choice for John to premier this song at a time when we are all trying to cope with cravings for society and the performance arts, in a regime of escalating lock-downs that keep us from many of the people and things we love and care for.  The poignancy of the theme flowed perfectly into his next track, ‘Once More’, written, as he told us, about these very circumstances that we are in.  The melody and lyrics resonated with a reassuring reminder that we will be together once more when these Covid times are behind us, in ever more enjoyable and sociable ways than we could be that evening at the Theatre Bar.  Both songs were performed with the warmth and professionalism that is the mark of the man, and were welcomed with hearty applause (and a couple of cheeky wolf-whistles from stage-left); before John finished his solo performance with ‘I Won’t Send Roses’ from ‘Mack and Mabel’ by Jerry Herman – a personal favourite of mine for all it’s promise of practicality, whilst slipping helplessly into romance in the spaces between the lyrics and the lilt of the melody, and finally, he promised us that he would “camp it up a little” with the wonderful ‘Cabaret’ by Kander and Ebb and immortalised by the legendary Liza Minelli – a wonderful way to finish the set with an uplifting note on which to welcome the next performer, Markus Sayers Franklin.

Markus is a real larger-than life performer, who absolutely transported us with his rendition of ‘Not My Father’s Son’ from ‘Kinky Boots’ by Billy Porter and Stark Sands.  The emotion with which he performed that track segued perfectly into his next song-choice, ‘Purpose’ from ‘Avenue Q’ by Jeff Whitty, which he should have been performing in this summer, accompanied by one of the fabulous muppet character-props that were a real winner with Poppy – as was his promise that she song wasn’t too rude for her young ears (she was the youngest member of the audience, and she loved getting a mention).  Again, Markus’ talent was palpable and transformative, are those of us fortunate enough to be in the live audience (and at home I am sure) were with him heart and soul in every note and word.

Poppy loved Markus’ set, but she was also delighted to see that the next performer was another young female for her to aspire to and take wardrobe tips from: Bridget Marsh, accompanied by the inexhaustible John Hopkinson on piano once more.  Her choice of ‘Sunset’ from ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ was an instant hit with us all (and with my daughter in particular, we have been watching the film of the musical at home this week off and on most days – Poppy would make a perfect Audrey one day, so she tells me, and I don’t doubt that for a second).  Her second and final song was ‘Wizard and I’, again from ‘Wicked’, delivered with the power and perfect dark melancholy that is called for by the story, and with an equally epic performance by John on the keys (seemingly all of them at once at moments and all in precisely the right order of course),  We were all suitably impressed with this winning combination of tracks and professionalism, and so we were all set for the return of two of the earlier acts, Markus, followed by Liam to close the show with the same polish and aplomb that he had opened it.

Markus’ second set consisted of ‘Sunset’ from ‘Sunset Boulevard’ again by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, another firm favourite of mine and the audience also.  Once again, Markus hit the perfect note of longing and depth in his performance, and we were with him to the last breath in his moving rendition of the ache to perform and be a star in the ruthless world of Hollywood - a near-impossible dream echoed painfully by the currently difficulty for artists to perform and survive in these Covid-days.  His final track, ‘Build a Wall’ from ‘Shrek’ – in which Markus had played the lead in recent, full-stage-performance-friendly times – was a perfect note on which to end his final set, that left us all contemplating the walls that have been built up between the audience and performers given current lock-down guidelines that look unlikely to change for the better any time soon.

By the time Liam Olsen retuned to the stage for the final time, we were all suitably buoyed-up and the audience felt like a real part of the show, so it was with the familiarity of old friends that we laughed along with his commentary on the necessary adjustments of the microphone from it’s tall-setting from Markus to one that suited his own stature.  His final tracks, ‘Til I Hear You Sing’ from ‘Love Never Dies’ by Webber and Ramin Karimloo and ‘Bring Him Home’ from ‘Les Misérables’, again hit the perfect note for the event, and indeed, we all felt back at home in the theatre once more.

All in all, the show was an absolute delight, 10/10 for Jonathan Mellor and all the team The Tyne Theatre putting this on in spite of the complications inherent in the task, for the performers, their performances, and the technical and hospitality crew that made such a perfect night for us all.  Fortunately, for us all, if you didn’t make this show, this was by no means a one-off, and there will be several more live performances that will be simultaneously broadcast-live to come.  So, do yourself, the arts and the love of community a favour, and come along to ‘Start the Show’ yourselves.

Review by Naima Jackson

Tickets: The Show Must Go On An Evening of Musical Theatre at Newcastle's Tyne Theatre & Opera House Each Sunday from 11th Oct - 29th Nov 2020 Tickets available from our affiliate Eventim UK: #Ad


News: Bringing the stars back to Stockton - 11 shows announced


Bringing the stars back to Stockton 

Situated in the heart of Stockton High Street, Stockton Globe first opened its doors in 1935 and it re-opens again in 2021.

Jo Ager, General Manager, Stockton Globe explains: “We’re ecstatic to reveal today the amazing names that we are bringing to Stockton Globe when we re-open next year. The people of Stockton know the history of the venue, but what we have planned for the future will make everyone, everywhere, sit up and take notice.

“This is the start of something really special; as we move forward, we will continue to focus on music, comedy and family-based performances and bringing the best in the business to our stage.”
Here are the shows that have been announced so far along with ticket links from our affiliate ATG Tickets. By using these links we will receive a small payment from ATG Tickets which helps us to cover the costs of running the North East Theatre Guide.

Diversity - Connected
Stockton Globe
Wednesday 2 June 2021
Tickets: #Ad

After nine sell out UK tours, over 600,000 tickets sold, and countless television and live performances Diversity have announced one of their biggest UK tours to date.

Last year marked 10 years since Diversity took the nation by storm when they won the third series of Britain’s Got Talent. Over the past 10 years thanks to the overwhelming support of their fans and the British public they have continued to wow audiences around the world with their innovative live tours and performances. They celebrated this incredible achievement with a critically acclaimed sell out 48 show UK tour, Born Ready.

This tour is set to be even bigger, and as Diversity promised their fans on the Born Ready tour, they will continue the legacy of Diversity and never let anyone tell them they cannot achieve something. To take them into the new decade of Diversity, Ashley has created a new show, Connected, which centres around the world of social media, the internet, and the digital era we now live in, but more importantly how this connects us all.

Creator and choreographer Ashley Banjo said of the forthcoming tour, “Every year that goes by, and every time we get to create a new touring show, I cannot believe we are still lucky enough to get to do this. But even after all this time, we are still growing, and this new decade and new chapter for Diversity is sure to be something even more special than the last. I truly do believe that we are all connected in more ways than one and I cannot wait to bring this to life on stage.”

Ashley Banjo has returned to the judging panel for his third series on ITV’s primetime show Dancing on Ice, the final airs this Sunday on ITV with fellow Diversity member Perri Kiely competing for the winner’s trophy. Ashley has also hosted, choreographed and starred in the BAFTA nominated The Real Full Monty (2017-2019) and International Emmy Award, Broadcast Award, and Royal Television Society award winning The Real Full Monty: Ladies Night (2018) and (2019). Ashley’s show Flirty Dancing on Channel 4 completed its second hit series last December.

Fellow Diversity member Jordan Banjo is currently hosting the second series of BBC 1’s prime time show The Greatest Dancer.

Strictly Presents: The Power of Dance
Stockton Globe
Thursday 24 June 2021
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2021 will see a brand-new show from the Strictly Come Dancing family touring the UK - Strictly Presents: The Power of Dance. Featuring the spectacular professional dancers Janette Manrara, Dianne Buswell, Amy Dowden and Neil Jones, together with two special guest stars who will be announced soon.

Directed and choreographed by former Strictly professional dancer Trent Whiddon and his wife and dance partner Gordana Grandosek, this tour will give each of these incredible performers the opportunity to tell something of what it is to be a dancer via stunning choreography and beautiful storytelling.

Adam Kay - This is Going to Hurt (Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor)
Stockton Globe
Thursday 1 July 2021
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Absolute sell-out Edinburgh Fringe 2016-18, Soho Theatre 2017, UK tour and Duchess Theatre 2018. Award winning comedian Adam Kay shares entries from his diaries as a junior doctor in this ‘electrifying’ (Guardian) evening of stand-up and music.
Age guidance 12+

Paloma Faith
Stockton Globe
Saturday 9 October 2021 #Ad

This is a new Paloma Faith, an artist who has retreated within herself and found not the careful, polished veteran of show business, but the 22-year-old art student being led by her own creativity.


An Evening with The Waterboys
Stockton Globe
Tuesday 12 October 2021
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Few bands have as great a live reputation as The Waterboys. From their mid-1980s "big music" period through the influential mix of Celtic, gospel and country on their classic Fisherman’s Blues tours, The Waterboys have consistently blended tightness, inspiration and improvisation to reach heights of performance few other acts can.

Led by mercurial and brilliant Scottish guitarist/vocalist Mike Scott, the 2020 version of the band features the established line-up of Memphis keyboard great "Brother" Paul Brown, Irish electric fiddler Steve Wickham, ace British drummer Ralph Salmins and funky Irish bassman Aongus Ralston.

The popular reach of Waterboys music has never been greater. Their songs have been performed by artists as varied as Prince, The Killers and U2, all of whom have performed their classic The Whole Of The Moon; and Fiona Apple who masterfully recorded the song last year; Ellie Goulding, who scored a top 3 UK hit with How Long Will I Love You; indie rockers The War On Drugs, Dawes and The Mystery Jets; and classic singers Rod Stewart and Tom Jones. The Whole Of The Moon also featured in last year's smash Netflix film Let It Snow and top HBO series The Affair. Waterboys music shows no sign of fading, and the best place to experience it is played by the originators in a concert hall. Come and feel the fire!

Steve Hackett - Genesis Revisited
Stockton Globe
Friday 15 October 2021
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Off the back of his most successful solo tour yet, selling over 30 thousand tickets for his 2019 UK dates, Steve Hackett has announced that his 2021 World Tour will feature the whole of the 1977 Genesis live album Seconds Out in full, plus more!

Seconds Out was the hugely successful double album recorded on Genesis’ 1977 concert tour together with The Cinema Show, from their 1976 tour, and featured Steve Hackett on guitar alongside Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks and Phil Collins who had taken on the role of vocalist.

Chris Ramsey
Stockton Globe
Friday 29 October 2021
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Having filled venues across the country including The Newcastle Metro Arena, twice, “Ramsey has the potential to be a mainstream hit, a cult favourite or almost anything in between” (Sunday Times), so don’t miss your chance to catch him live on stage while you can.

Recently seen hosting two series of his very own TV show The Chris Ramsey Show and Chris Ramsey’s Stand up Central (both Comedy Central), he has also been a regular face on many major comedy shows including Celebrity Juice (ITV2), 8 out of 10 Cats (C4), Live at the Comedy Store (Comedy Central) and Virtually Famous (E4) to name a few.

Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra
Stockton Globe
Thursday 11 November 2021
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Musical master of ceremonies Jools Holland and his much loved Rhythm & Blues Orchestra return with their Autumn/Winter UK tour. Renowned as one of the UK’s most popular tours, now in its 25th year, the shows will this year feature many special guests.

Previous special guests who have performed with Jools on his UK tours include the likes of Lulu, Joss Stone, Roland Gift, Melanie C and most recently Marc Almond who released a joint album with Jools in November 2018, ‘A Lovely Life To Live’.

The House & Garage Orchestra
Stockton Globe
Saturday 13 November 2021
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The House & Garage Orchestra are the ultimate live celebration of UK House & Garage. An expanded live band with Brass and String sections re-imagine your favourite House & Garage tunes. Following a slew of sold out performances around the UK, they're set to make their Stockton debut in 2021.

Expect to hear Flowers, Movin' Too Fast, Please Don't Turn Me On, Closer Than Close and more, all performed by the original vocalists that made them timeless. Following a slew of sold out performances around the UK, they're set to make their Stockton debut in 2021. Special guests & more to be announced soon - do not miss out!

Midge Ure
Stockton Globe
Sunday 14 November 2021
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Midge Ure has a career that spans over 40 years – from his ‘pop band’ beginnings, “almost” joining the Sex Pistols, the electronic ground-breaking work with Visage (Fade To Grey is still voted #1 in its genre across Europe), via the mainstream success of Ultravox to the twists and turns of his solo releases.

In 2015, Midge Ure and semi acoustic duo, India Electric Company, successfully presented the Breathe Again show in the UK, and across Denmark, Germany and Italy as a 20th anniversary retrospective. It was the first time that Midge featured an album in its entirety, and it proved to be a successful format.

Midge enjoyed touring with the boys so much that when he decided to perform the 1980 Tour, Vienna and Visage over 2019 and 2020, they were the natural choice to augment his long time drummer, Russell Field.

Jon Richardson - The Knitwit
Stockton Globe
Saturday 20 November 2021
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Will the recycling be put out on the right day? Who is going to smooth over the top of the margarine? How many lights are on upstairs when everybody is downstairs? Watch Jon pretend that these aren't his foremost concerns as he leaves home on his first tour since the last one.

John Bishop - Right Here, Right Now
Stockton Globe
Friday 26 - Saturday 27 November 2021
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Comedy superstar John Bishop is coming to the Stockton Globe with his highly anticipated brand-new stand up show – Right Here, Right Now. This will be John’s eighth stand up show and it is shaping up to be his best yet.

John has achieved huge success with a number of his own comedy, entertainment and documentary shows including- John Bishop’s Australia (BBC1), John Bishop’s Britain (BBC1), John Bishop’s Only Joking (Sky1), The John Bishop Show (BBC1), The John Bishop Christmas Show (BBC1) and John Bishop’s Gorilla Adventure (ITV1). More recently John Bishop’s Ireland for ITV1 and four mammoth series of the critically acclaimed John Bishop: In Conversation With… which saw him chatting, one to one with some of the World’s biggest, household names.

News: Call out for North East musicians to help celebrate Unsung Heroes in song

 Call out for North East musicians to help celebrate Unsung Heroes in song

Queen’s Hall Arts have commissioned international multimedia artists Davy & Kristin McGuire and North East musician Bridie Jackson to create Unsung Heroes - a brand new augmented reality gig co-created with the local community.

Communities in and around Hexham have nominated their Unsung Heroes, sharing stories about the everyday people who have inspired them, and now Bridie is looking for North East musicians to take part in the next stage of the project.

Bridie Jackson - Photo Nick Pierce

Bridie explains, “For me, writing songs is all about capturing stories that would otherwise be lost so it’s a real joy to write about these Unsung Heroes who have made a difference in their local community, and until now, not received the recognition they deserve. We’ve had some really heartwarming nominations and now we’re looking for local people with a passion for music to get involved. While it’s not a professional gig and you don’t need to be able to read music, it would be great if you had some live performance and studio experience because they’ll be recording the songs I’ve written and then performing them on camera.

Once the songs have been recorded, the musicians will be filmed performing in front of a green screen for an augmented reality app being developed by the McGuires. Audiences will be able to experience a ‘mini gig’ wherever they are simply by pointing their camera phone at a postcard which will make the musicians pop up to perform the songs on a ‘postcard stage’.

Kristin & Davy McGuire - Photo: Together & Sunspell

Last month, Davy & Kristin McGuire won the Innovation Award at the 2020 Museums + Heritage Awards for ‘A Night at the Mansion’, using audio-visual projections to delight visitors to Yorkshire’s Harewood House museum and bring its collections to life. For Unsung Heroes, they will use augmented reality so audiences can experience a pop up music performance from the comfort of their own home. The McGuires said, ”In this time of isolation where people can't go to gigs, we thought it would be a good idea to transport the gigs to the people. Tabletop Rock will be an augmented reality app where musicians will be shrunk down to the size of a coffee cup and perform to people directly from their kitchen table. We are really excited to be working with Bridie and Queen’s Hall Arts on this first of a kind project.”

Musicians should send a short video of themselves performing, plus a paragraph explaining why they want to get involved to by Friday 6 November. Audition videos can also be submitted on social media using #UnsungHeroesHexham and tagging @QueensHall 

Musicians of all ages in all genres are welcome, and individuals, duos or ensembles of up to four people can apply as long as they’re from the same household or bubble.

As well as a smartphone app which will allow people to access the mini gigs from wherever they are, there will also be an interactive exhibition at the Queen’s Hall in Hexham and Unsung Heroes will tour in 2021. 

To find out more visit 

Preview: The Kids Are Alright at the Byker Estate & on Digital livestream

The Kids Are Alright - A new site-specific show coming to Byker

The Kids Are Alright

Byker Estate & Digital livestream

Monday 9th - Tuesday 10 November 2020

Following a series of pop-up outdoor performances on the iconic Grade II* Listed Byker Estate in Newcastle this summer, Northern Stage is working with Encounter and Fuel to bring a new site-specific show to residents in November.

The Kids Are Alright explores the extraordinary grief of losing a child. At a time when we are all experiencing loss and grief in multiple and varying ways, this project aims to provide a space to explore those feelings safely and with lightness and humour.

The Kids Are Alright - Janet Etuk + Carl Harrison
Photo:  Jen Malarkey

Originally created for the stage, The Kids Are Alright has been reimagined as an outdoor performance for socially distanced audiences in housing estates across London and Newcastle. The story, characters and visual world are centred on the estates where the audience lives. Filmed with mobile phones and broadcast directly through Facebook, The Kids Are Alright is a uniquely intimate, accessible and safe live performance experience.

The show will be performed at various locations around the Byker Estate for residents to experience from their homes, balconies or gardens while listening on headphones. There will also be a digital livestream.

Writer Lee Mattinson said, “Having worked in Byker over the last two years I’ve really got to know residents, so I can’t wait to bring The Kids Are Alright to its streets. To reimagine the show for a community I’ve come to feel so at home in is a joy. Not only does this new site-specific version dance the same dotted line between comedy and tragedy as the original stage production but there’s something delicious in creating a live performance exclusively for residents on the Estate.”

Lee Mattinson

Northern Stage has a long term commitment to working in Byker. The company’s main rehearsal space is next to Byker Primary School and Northern Stage plays a lead role in the Byker Children and Young People’s Partnership (BCYPP), a pioneering initiative comprised of almost 50 organisations working together to raise aspirations, enrich lives and achieve social change.

When the UK went into lockdown earlier this year, the Northern Stage team quickly adapted to meet the changing needs of residents - working in partnership to help deliver food parcels and activity packs, and regularly speaking to isolated members of the local community. This led to the Doorstep Music project – 48 pop up music performances over the summer, and Northern Stage Young Company co-creating eight brand new audio experiences for Byker and beyond made with the local community. Northern Stage was also one of the partners involved in Byker’s Best Summer Ever, funded by StreetGames, Byker Community Trust (BCT) housing association and Newcastle City Council. More than 150 children, young people and their families took part in a range of activities each week throughout August across four outdoor locations on the Estate.

Jill Haley, Chief Executive of BCT, which owns and manages 1,800 homes on the Estate, said, “Community investment and partnership working is at the heart of the Thriving Byker Strategy. Since 2018 when it was implemented on the Estate, a whole host of other community partners have come together to support BCT and the Council by sharing our vision for a thriving Byker. Through our pioneering and unique collaboration, we have delivered lots of exciting events and activities for residents of all ages to participate in and enjoy. Northern Stage is an active partner in the Byker Children and Young People’s Network and have been engaged by supporting the delivery of programmes here on the Byker Estate. Following the success of the pop-up outdoor performances over the summer, I know our residents will be just as keen to watch this latest production.”

Northern Stage Participation Director Jill Adamson said, “We’ve been working in Byker for three years now, and although it's been a difficult year for everyone, having to adapt what we do and think differently has given us the chance to really get to know local residents. We’ve cooked and shared food together, danced on doorsteps together and created new work together so we’re really excited to share this new site-specific show from Fuel and Encounter with the Byker community.”

Byker residents can watch The Kids Are Alright at 5pm and 8pm on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 November. The event is free and headphones will be given out prior to each performance along with hot food provided by Food Nation. The free livestream will be available to watch at 5pm on 10 November at