We are in total post-Fringe blues and moping about the colder weather setting in however with the darker nights comes loads of great arts things happening in the North East. We’ve put together our not-so-short, shortlist of things to go to and see in the North East.
Live Theatre introduced us to the wonders of contemporary theatre and its programme never fails to disappoint. This season we are most looking forward to:
- Don’t Forget the Birds, brought to you by award winning theatre company Open Clasp. Following on from Key Change, Don’t Forget the Birds explores the impact of a prison sentence on one mother and daughter’s relationship and what comes next following the mother’s release from prison. If Key Change is anything to go by Don’t Forget the Birds is set to be raw, eye-opening and likely a little emotional. You can catch it at Live Theatre from 20th-24th November, for full tour dates head to Open Clasp’s website.
- Stand and Be Counted Theatre, the UK’s first ‘Theatre Company of Sanctuary’ granted to them for their dedication to supporting those seeking sanctuary in the UK are bringing a production to the North East. Where We Began sounds to be a perfect example of that work, a theatre production exploring where we come from and how this shapes us. We are excited for this music filled, multi-lingual experience. Where We Began is running at Live Theatre 20th-21st visit their website for full tour dates.
Durham Book Festival
We love Durham and love it even more in October when Durham Book Festival descends upon the cosy city and this year’s programme is looking better than ever. We’ve listed our top picks:
- Living in the Age of Anxiety is a specially commissioned monologue by playwright Tamsin Daisy Rees exploring the anxiety behind grief and the unlikely friendships we might make to help this. Catch this at Palace Green Library on 7th October 3:30, tickets and more information available here.
- We have Lucy Mangan’s Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading on order and cannot wait for it arrive. Our lives are shaped by the stories we are told, they help us make sense of the world around us. We grew up in Narnia and Hogwarts and dreaming of having Matilda’s skill to move things with her eyes. For this reason, we are very excited to hear from Mangan at Durham Town Hall on 13th October at 4:30pm.
- If you, like us love a bit of crafting and feminism get yourself along to Zine Making with Lois Burke at Palace Green Library on 14th October at 2pm.
- Lucie Brownlee: The World Above sets to take us through the impact of mining on the women and girls of County Durham across three generations. We are excited to hear the much-awaited other side of the mining story – the female side and you can too at Redhills on 7th October at 5:30pm.
Northern Stage has a particularly packed season coming up and we struggled to narrow down our must-see list as we would quite like to see EVERYTHING, however we struggled on to come up with this:
- We love Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones and quite enjoyed the film adaptation brought to our screens in 2010. So, naturally we can’t wait to see how the heart-wrenching story of Susie Salmon will be adapted to the stage by Bryony Lavery.
- Ballet Lorent have been bringing stunning ballet productions to the North East and beyond for the last 25 years and this year will bring us After Dark, a true celebration of their work. A cabaret style evening, After Dark will exhibit original dances, photos from the archives and new pieces inspired by most loved productions. After Dark is looking to be a fitting celebration for a fabulous company, not to be missed at Northern Stage from 7th-10th
- None of us particularly want to think of the complications on the horizon as our families begin to age, leaving us all a bit shocked when we are faced with big decisions to make about elderly care. Bedsocks and Secrets will take a look at one family dealing with this exact issue.
- Blokes, Fellas, Geezers comes to Stage 3 on 15th November, a one-man production exploring working class masculinity and how you work out what kind of man you want to be.
Arc Theatre Stockton
- A pay what you decide production, Occupation, takes a look at the experience of local disabled people. Occupation looks to be a show that gives a voice to those who are often silenced in society. Featuring a community choir, Occupation is a show not to miss at Arc Theatre on 26th September.
- Two women, one first aid course and the road, Thunder Road is a story of friendship on an epic road-trip. We are not 100% sure what to expect from this but it sounds right up our street and is on at Arc Theatre on 11th October.
We love Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt, an autobiography detailing the trials and tribulations of working in the NHS as a junior doctor and we cannot wait to see the man himself at Gala Theatre. Kay is raising all important awareness of the immense pressures put onto newly qualified staff and the crippling impact this can have on life outside of work. Kay is coming to Gala Theatre on 15th October.
Arts Centre Washington
#SimplySay is a charitable event coming to Arts Centre Washington for one night only on 11th October raising important funds to support bereaved parents and raising awareness of pregnancy loss. #SimplySay will showcase two short plays exploring parents’ experience of loss and grief, stories that so desperately deserve to be told.
So that’s it! You’ve had our round-up of the autumn arts in the North East that we are most excited about, good luck deciding what you are going to see!