Category: Culture

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Theatre

Haunted by the Border Readers

North East Bylines

Imagine sitting in a comfortable rural venue, lights turned low and a bar…and listening to stories being read to you by a wonderful and talented group of professional actors… That is what’s on offer this week in beautiful Northumberland…Humshaugh and Felton to be precise. Haunted is a delicious collection of ghost story readings for Halloween […]

A real buzz at the Angels of the North premiere

Louise Brown

North East Bylines had the pleasure of attending the premiere of series three of BBC’s ‘Angels of the North’  in Newcastle last night. This programme follows the lives of the staff at Sammy-Jo Pearson’s salon ‘Longlox’ in Gateshead. The series has now branched out to also follow staff at Pure Ink, a Newcastle tattoo parlour […]

International Dance Theatre in Billingham: The Summer Tour finale  

Robina Jacobson

  Pentland Primary School in Billingham hosted the two final performances of Balbir Singh Dance Company’s enchanting ‘The Two Fridas’ this month. Nearly two hundred of the school’s students aged between seven and eleven had the privilege of seeing a gem of performance art they will always remember.  ‘The Two Fridas’ dance-theatre Billingham International Folklore […]

Poetry Corner

The Cameron Manual On The Gaining Of Power

Harry Gallagher

Slick your hair back smooth, hold your arms wide open. Tell your fellow countrymen their beloved land is broken. Play on their grossest fears and promise wage increases, then take your shiny hammer and smash their land to pieces. When the fabric is dismantled from ceiling down to stanchion, wave a cheery farewell and retire […]

Review

The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker

Abbie Rutherford

The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker is a brutal yet strangely beautiful and visceral examination of child-on-child murder that simultaneously evokes repulsion and sympathy. It follows Chrissie, an eight-year-old child growing up in a poverty-stricken area with a mother who neglects her, and Julie, a young woman trying to bring up her daughter, […]

Poetry Corner

Corona Moon

Suzanne Fairless-Aitken

The corona moon opens a watchful eye over the flock, huddled in familial groups, dotted across meadows. Blossom snows down from ice-cream cones. Snow-covered flesh snuggles into snow-covered flesh. Lanolin comforted lambs feed from tupped ewes, drained at the close of day – all marked with loyal blue. The straw -haired farmer shepherds them into […]

Theatre

The Three Bears at Northern Stage: bring your teddies!

Carol Westall

Kitchen Zoo heads back into the deep, dark woods this autumn with The Three Bears, for under fives and their grown ups at Northern Stage. The show runs from 25 October – 13 November 2021. The Three Bears was created by Kitchen Zoo in 2018 in association with Northern Stage. It is directed by Capapie’s […]

Opinion

NI, GB, EU and why in the name of god this stuff matters when it shouldn’t…

Bill Corcoran

I was in Malta last week. A surreal experience with a Mediterranean climate, English spoken, fish’n’chips (and mushy peas!!) in a posh café in Valletta. In conversations with the friendly Maltese, the prevailing words, uttered quietly, once the polite language about shared history, culture and friendship had been done – “but Brexit….”; as if referring […]

PART 1Travel

Bridges, Brunel, Banksy and beauty in Bristol and Bath

Robin Tudge

Part 1 We wanted to stop off at the Cheddar Gorge, but Covid had somehow closed this down. Still, in Bristol, the SS Great Britain and Brunel Museum  on Spike Island is well worth the £18 entry for the ship, all three decks restored as per a 19th century voyage of emigrants, even the driving […]

The North East on Screen: Get Carter (1971)

Phil Coghill

The North East on Screen is a new series of articles that will look at films and TV programmes made or set in the North East of England. For our first article we will be looking at possibly the most famous, the 1971 crime classic Get Carter. Based on the novel “Jack’s Return Home” by […]

PART 1Travel

Locals, mining and “jam before cream” in Cornwall

Robin Tudge

“And the rule is jam before cream!” the café owner told me as she put the scones on the table. A diktat, or enabling me to avoid a faux pas? Or a loud declaration to locals within hearing that this café owner, sans Cornish accent, knew the norms. This was in the gorgeous little port […]

Angels of the North: interview with Bev and Sammy Jo

Louise Brown

I have just interviewed salon owner Sammy Jo and her ‘mamager’ Bev from the BBC series ‘Angels of the North’. This TV show follows the staff at their Gateshead Salon, Longlox, both at work and in their personal lives. This is a series I had genuinely watched throughout the depths of lockdown earlier in the […]

North East Ghost Stories Part 8

The ghosts of Chillingham Castle

Peter Lathan

Chillingham Castle, near Wooler on the English side of the Scottish Border, can lay claim to being not just one of most haunted stately home in the country but possibly the most haunted.

Black History Month

Representation Matters: a paradigm shift is needed

North East Bylines

Representation Matters is an upcoming event as part of Black History Month. The event is being organised by Loujane Alasi, who is Media Communications Officer for Success4All, an education charity based in Newcastle. Success4All is an education charity based in Newcastle. It prepares children and young people for a brighter future. Their Learning Hubs, Bus, […]

National Poetry Day

After Brexit

Claire Lynn

After Robert Southey’s The Battle of Blenheim It was an autumn evening, Old Kaspar’s pigs all slain, And he within his cottage walls Was staring out at rain, Beside him, languishing and green His little grandchild Wilhelmine. She saw her brother Peterkin Returning from the shops, Reporting aisles of empty shelves Where once were stacked […]

National Poetry Day

Poet’s Paranoia

Harry Gallagher

There are poets in front of you on the Poetry Escalator To Heaven. From dawn to dusk, non-rhyming, they climb aboard The Golden Stairway Of Acceptance. Their poems sing like hymns, like Arts Council bids you were too lazy to fill in. In your darkest dreams, they’re laughing at you, but that’s not really true. […]

National Poetry Day

Aut-toon Sonnet

Suzanne Fairless-Aitken

He always says ‘Just put a jumper on!’ – The thermostat war begins – Geordie-Mean-Time. Smells of burning pencils, crackles of nylon, Northumberland Street shows the seasonal signs. Skeletal, tinder leaves write windblown lines, In pleated polyester; patent-leather And wool-warm blazers, tape-measure tireless time. Freshers swarm the Bigg Market, denying weather. Glitt’ring schedules sparkle sequences […]

North East Ghost Stories PART 7

Haunted stately homes in the North East

Peter Lathan

The Stately Homes of England,Though rather in the lurch,Provide a lot of chancesFor Psychical Research –There’s the ghost of a crazy younger sonWho murdered, in thirteen fifty-one,An extremely rowdy NunWho resented it,And people who come to callMeet her in the hall.The baby in the guest wing,Who crouches by the grate,Was walled up in the west […]

Review

Post-pandemic comedy and female empowerment with Sarah Millican

Katie Maughan

Award-winning British comedian Sarah Millican is currently in Middlesbrough for her Bobby Dazzler tour, gracing Middlesbrough Town Hall with plenty of laughter. Sarah made the audience feel welcome on her first night in Middlesbrough, bringing everyone in to share their lockdown experiences and having a laugh alongside herself. For a night of relatable pandemic anecdotes […]

A right worrit…nothing like my mam…

Peter Lathan

I think it was on Twitter. I think it was, but I’m not sure. Not that it matters. Not really. Anyway, be that as it may, I read that those people who prefer to watch old TV series or films which they’ve seen before, rather than new, almost certainly suffer from anxiety. What a load […]

Poetry Corner

Sleep

Bridget Enever

I fold myself into bed snuggle in beloved duvet wrapped warm night time chrysalis Dreaming soft dreams on soft pillows soft warm body log like Some creatures sleep alert unhemispheric one eye sharp or else they fall or drown Some restless nights I sleep with half a brain to save myself from drowning Do alien […]

Blackadder at the People’s Theatre, Newcastle

North East Bylines

“To you, Baldrick, the Renaissance was just something that happened to other people, wasn’t it?” If there’s one thing we need right now, it’s a good laugh. So the People’s Theatre in Heaton tell us that they are delighted to oblige by bringing you the BBC comedy classic Blackadder II. As Blackadder strives to use […]

A fresh opening for Live Theatre

North East Bylines

Live Theatre, Newcastle reopened on Thursday 2 September and returning audiences are benefiting from a capital investment programme which has delivered significant improvements to the quayside venue’s ventilation and heating system. The works, part of Live Theatre Fit for 50 initiative to decarbonise the theatre, were supported using public funding by Arts Council England and […]

North East Ghost Stories PART 6

The Alnwick vampire

Peter Lathan

In the eleventh century our protagonist was a servant to Lord de Vesci of Alnwick Castle, a couple of hundred years before the Percy family bought it. It still remains in the Percy family and the current owner is Ralph Percy, the 12th Duke of Northumberland. But that’s irrelevant so let’s get back to the […]

Opinion

Should Middlesbrough be granted city status?

Scott Hunter

Middlesbrough mayor, Andy Preston, has been asking for suggestions why Middlesbrough should be granted city status. The informal opinion poll he commissioned in the town, predictably came back with the result that people are overwhelmingly in favour. After some reflection, I decided to contribute my opinion, but in so doing I think there is a […]

Poetry Corner

Project Here

Harry Gallagher

We can’t afford the heating and petrol’s being rationed suddenly telling the truth seems terribly old fashioned. The food isles are half empty, we’re all going on a diet, now Project Fear is Project Here those baying voices are quiet. Their vivid sunlit uplands, so alluring years before, are now as distant as the stars […]

Waves: exciting new music festival in Sunderland

North East Bylines

Independent today announces Waves, Sunderland’s all new multi-venue music festival. Waves will see artists from across the region perform on Saturday 6 November across five different venues in the city, including The Peacock, Independent, The Ship Isis, The Bunker and Live Lounge. Ben Richardson says: “We’re super excited to finally be launching Sunderland’s very own […]