Category: Performance

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Theatre

Exciting reopening at Queen’s Hall, Hexham

North East Bylines

Queen’s Hall Arts Centre in Hexham has announced it will reopen this month with an exciting programme featuring live music, some of the biggest names on the UK comedy circuit, theatre and family shows. Queen’s Hall Artistic Director Katy Taylor said: “The staff team, trustees and volunteers are pleased to be able to welcome back […]

Review

Onward: a lovely Disney Pixar experience

Katie Maughan

Disney Pixar’s Onward hit the streaming platform Disney+ in early 2020. The film is centred around brothers Ian and Barley as they attempt to cast a spell to bring back their late father for 24 hours. The spell fails, and they have to set off to find the components they need to try the spell […]

Sing out! A tribute to Nanci Griffith

Anya Cook

“Sing Out!” Nanci signed in my book as I caught her leaving a gig at Bristol’s Colston Hall in 2000; gracious, kind and very human. She was simply lovely. I did well that evening, acquiring a poster too as the promoters were switching materials. I saw her again at the Royal Albert Hall with the […]

Review

Free Guy

Phil Coghill

Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is just an average bank teller going about his life, when he discovers that he’s really a non-playable character in a Grand Theft Auto-esque open world video game called Free World and that the game’s creator Antwone (Taika Waititi) is going to delete the server within a couple of days. While the […]

PART 3

Daytime TV: rubbish and repeats

Peter Lathan

My first contact with daytime TV was when my mother had to go into a care home. At first we used to visit her in her room but as her mobility became more restricted and she had to use a wheelchair and relied on the staff to push her around (she was well over 90), […]

Durham Miners’ Gala: Little Big Meetings and the truth about Thatcher

Julie Ward
Durham miners banner

Boris Johnson’s crass comments praising Margaret Thatcher for closing the pits in the 1980s and wrongly attributing her with green credentials have been roundly condemned by leading figures connected to the Durham Miners’ Gala. It is the second year running that Gala organisers have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel the iconic ‘Big Meeting’ due […]

Review

Julie and the Phantoms: a unique Netflix show

Katie Maughan

Julie and The Phantoms is a unique musical Netflix series, directed by Kenny Ortega who has worked on films such as High School Musical and Dirty Dancing. The series revolves around teenager. Julie, who is grieving the loss of her mother. Julie(Madison Reyes)  had given up on music, until she met Luke (Charlie Gillespie), Reggie […]

The People’s Theatre, Newcastle, re-opens

North East Bylines

The People’s Theatre had no idea when they closed in March 2020 that they would be gone so long, but the spirit of the People’s  has stayed alive and well. Members have supported each other online with events including Zoom quizzes and play readings, as well as fundraising activities. The People’s Theatre has continued to […]

PART 2

Daytime TV: Dead comedians’ channel

Peter Lathan

OK. Yes. I do watch a fair amount of daytime TV. I admit it. I never used to, but self-isolation / shielding / lockdown forced it on me. And it’s not all nightmare-inducing; some of it is fun. So what do I watch? Well, mainly Gold (or, as I prefer to call it, the Dead […]

The world in a weekend: parade in Billingham

North East Bylines

Who is up for a ‘mini’ Parade of Nations through Billingham Town Centre on Saturday 14 August? This is part of The World in a Weekend event being staged in the town from 13-15 August. The event is being organised by the Billingham International Folklore Festival of World Dance and supported Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. The parade […]

Roundabout comes to Byker

North East Bylines

Throughout the summer Northern Stage has been inviting people to get Out on the Toon, with free outdoor events across the region to reconnect artists and audiences in their local neighbourhoods, and a pop-up outdoor theatre in Leazes Park offering free theatre, comedy, music and family shows.  Roundabout Now from 12-15 August, Paines Plough’s Roundabout comes to Harbottle Park […]

Review

Superstore: a fun yet emotional Netflix series

Katie Maughan

Superstore is one of Netflix’s most recent hits, a sitcom about the lives of a team of floor workers in a supermarket chain. With humour similar to that of popular series like Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn 99, the show turns a mundane day job into a hilarious series with relatable quirky characters. Grounded in […]

Poetry Corner

The watermelon

Suzanne Fairless-Aitken

When we were young they just went to waste, a bit too exotic for council-estate tastes. From the tropics to the suburbs via Bookless & Co. we loved lifting them up and letting them go, smashing to the ground the sound made us smile, ruby entrails smeared on faces TISWAS style. Sitting on the doorstep […]

Ladyboys of Bangkok at Middlesbrough Theatre

Katie Maughan

The Ladyboys of Bangkok graced Middlesbrough Theatre on 12 July for an exciting night of music and glamour during their Flight of Fantasy 2021 tour. Due to social distancing, the show was split into multiple performances over a few nights. Audiences remained socially distanced and were required to wear masks. It was a different experience […]

The unfinished play in South Shields

Peter Lathan

In 2012 I was asked to direct a revival on my first play ever to get a professional outing (on tour in 1975, no less!), a version of The Mysteries, as a community production for the Customs House in South Shields. It featured amateur actors and choir with a professional production team and we performed […]

Dear Gareth

Anne Greaves

Dear Gareth, I’m not a fanatical football fan, I got into it fairly heavily during Euro 1996 and afterwards, then gradually lost interest again, partly because of all the money to be honest and then other things just took over. But every time a big competition comes round you find yourself getting interested again, and […]

Happy birthday North East Bylines!

Scott Hunter

One shrewd editorial policy at the outset set the tone which was that, while those involved in setting up the project shared an interest in politics, Bylines was interested in everything. No boundaries were set on the scope of its content. As a result, Bylines publishes a range of material much more diverse than any regional newspaper: poetry, international affairs, profiles of local sporting legends, it’s all in there.

Poetry Corner

Sweetheart

Harry Gallagher

Sweetheart; a poem by Harry Gallagher about sexual harassment and revenge

PART 2POEM ON A STRING

Quo vadis

Ursula Troche

I’ve now got Indefinite
Leave to Remain!
What are you
leave or remain?
I mean what do you think
Leaver or Remainer
what’s left, what remains?

The Two Fridas in Ushaw, County Durham

Jane Neville

“We are just bursting with anticipation and excitement with the prospect of bringing The Two Fridas to such a breath-taking array of cultural venues this Summer starting off with Ushaw: Historic House, Chapels & Gardens.”

Poetry Corner

Proverbial

Suzanne Fairless-Aitken

Remembered rhymes whispered on winds,
with tradition and superstition skimmed,
Morality forged in iron-aged bones,
where Smithys extract swords from stones.

#WeDemandBetter rally at Grey’s Monument

North East Bylines

“When Brexit is done or undone, we all have to live together and individual friendship and experience will always triumph over politics… I hope.the right wing will always be better at playing the divide and conquer game; we need to trump that with what we’re good at. Friendship.”

PART 1POEM ON A STRING

This land

Ursula Troche

Here I am, with my sordid status symbol, settled status, now set in my place and this land that isn’t mine   this land is your land, it isn’t my land, in Cumbria and all over the island from the Epping Forest to the North Sea Waters this land wasn’t made for all of us, […]

Poetry Corner

Ribbon of dreams

Suzanne Fairless-Aitken

Scalloped pink-velvet rises,
Dolby surrounds and amplifies
Widescreen expands,
the trailers begin,
children prattle,
folks shuffle,
couples conjoin in love-seats,
and the stranger in C7 is not alone.

Home Time with Wideyed in County Durham

Julie Ward

Home Time is the collective’s latest community photography project, bringing together images of life in lockdown from across County Durham, captured on disposable cameras by a diverse range of people, some of whom live in care homes. The results of this crowd-sourced project are now being exhibited in large-scale format on exterior walls of public venues. This is nothing if not innovative!

Review

Raiders of the Lost Ark: 40 years on

Phil Coghill

Ford does not play Indiana (or Indy as his friends call him) as an invincible superman. He gets hurt, is physically outmatched by his opponents, and barely gets out of some situations by the skin of his teeth. Indy is also far from a clear-cut hero.