Category: TV & Radio

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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 […]

Five great summertime films

Phil Coghill

What time is it? Summertime. From romantic dramas to rousing adventure stories, many a film has used the season as a backdrop. Here are five of the best: Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot (1953) French comedian Jacques Tati directs and stars as the clumsy Hulot (cited by Rowan Atkinson as an influence on his Mr […]

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

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.

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.

Party city: memorable moments in the Toon

Peter Benson

I enjoyed my scenic walking route to the hotel on the Gateshead quayside close to the Baltic. The shops pubs and restaurants were all busy and everywhere signs of life and vitality were evident. The scenes reminded me of pre- lockdown days.

Film premiere in the North East this week

North East Bylines

This week sees the North East premiere of a brand new film. The Constant Sea is the first page-to-screen project by Newcastle based writer and director, Margaret Frayne, who also features in the film. Film locations include Seaton Sluice and Newcastle.

Escape by TV

Peter Lathan

It’s like comfort food, I suppose. It’s safe, doesn’t create any anxiety, and that’s what you want in what are anxious times.

Live music returns to Sunderland!

Yvonne Wancke

With gigs returning to The Bunker for the first time in over 30 years, Motorhouse Studios cementing themselves as one of the regions best all encompassing recording spaces and Independent set to open its doors again in May this really is a celebration of live music, with the thriving Sunderland scene ready to explode once again this Summer. The stream will be available to watch via the Motorhouse Studios page on Facebook and YouTube.

Climate change catastrophe!

Robina Jacobson

[The earth has been lent to us] “for our life; it is a great entail. It belongs as much to those who follow us as it does to us, and we have no right by anything we do, to involve them in any unnecessary penalties, or to deprive them of the benefit we have in our power to bequeath.”

Theatre

Culture Recovery Fund grants (round 2)

Peter Lathan

Arts Council England has announced 2,272 grants totalling £261,582,823 to arts organisations to help them recover from the ravages of the pandemic. Distribution across England w

Poetry Corner

Reclaim the night

Harry Gallagher

She came in peace to reclaim the night,
with her sisters, a candle and a thimble of hope,
which wept itself out under flashing blue lights.

“Fair is foul and foul is fair”: lessons from the Bard Part 2

Nicola Tipton

Dunsinane becomes darker than hell itself. The porter declares, “But this place is too cold for hell. / I’ll devil-porter it no further.” Scotland is also increasingly described metaphorically as sick and diseased – just as the UK is, once again, being dubbed ‘the sick man of Europe’. The nation hosts a nightmare Covid-19 scenario, the economy is in a grievous state, and our national debt is eye-wateringly high.

“Dammit man, what are we fighting for?”: a paltry £400m ascribed to Arts regeneration in The Budget

Suzanne Fairless-Aitken

In real terms £400m is a proverbial drop in the ocean and so our cultural capital as a society is in real danger of ultimately being lost to those who can afford it, be allowed to contribute to it and therefore own it. Without arts or culture our worldview narrows – because they give us the vital experience of knowing thoughts beyond those in our own heads and famously enable us to ‘walk around in someone else’s shoes’ (To Kill a Mockingbird).

Music

Sophia’s new single brings her sound to a new level

Yvonne Wancke

Filled with confusion, unanswered questions and mixed emotions, Stay explores the journey to revealing how you really feel. Sophia explains: “the track describes a certain feeling, when you’re in a situation you never want to leave, you just want to forget everything else, lay all your feelings on the table and stay in that place forever.”

A potted history of youth culture

Stephen Lambert

Since the late 1990s we’ve seen a multiplicity of conflicting groups and styles ranging from young people involved in acid house parties with its repetitive beat and new drugs such as blues and ecstasy to Goths dressed in black and white makeup and into art drawn predominantly from middle-class backgrounds. Recently ‘Rap’, ‘Emos’ ‘Skaters and the much maligned ‘Chavs’ as noted by Owen Jones have appeared on the social scene.

Review

It’s a sin

Suzanne Fairless-Aitken

Once or twice in a generation an era-defining TV series comes along, and Channel 4’s It’s a Sin is a contender for just that. The five-part drama. set in London between 1981 and 1991 to an iconic -pumping soundtrack of Lennox, Blondie, Queen, Erasure, Almond and of course the title track – moves us along with a group of gay friends through their wild parties and ultimate journey of self-discovery while they explore their sexuality and emerging careers.

Review

Asian Dub Foundation – a force for solidarity and internationalism

Ade JBones Van Vliet

Emerging as a sound system concern and then band, Asian Dub Foundation have fused a wide variety of music styles (including, dub reggae, drum ‘n’ bass, punk, ragga, electronic and traditional South Asian genres), in a highly original, dynamic and incendiary manner, that has won them plaudits for over two decades. Seen as one of the most exciting of all live acts during this time, ADF, though not one dimensional or simply a ‘political band’, were never ones to shirk from tackling contemporary issues head on (capitalism, exploitation, racism, domestic violence, climate change…). One of their members even refused to accept an MBE some years back.

International day for disabled people: the need for an inclusive approach

Julie Ward

In 1984 I found myself running an arts and disability agency for the north of England, and encountered the tail-end of the mass segregation programme that had resulted in millions of people with mild to severe physical and mental disabilities being locked away in large institutions, forced to do menial work for pocket money and with little say about any aspect of their lives. The arts activities that my organisation ran often opened up deep emotional scars from years of abandonment, disregard and abuse. Paintings, poems and performances were littered with powerful symbols of imprisonment and freedom.

Tynedale Transformed: the second Sunday throughout winter

Yvonne Wancke

Following its festival launch, Tynedale Transformed is now holding a series of events throughout the winter called The Second Sunday, where they will hold events around a particular issue. The topic on Sunday 8th November is,” From the High Street to the Villages; Keeping our Communities alive”:

Music

Sunderland indie rock band releases new single

Daisy Windsor

Plastic Glass is no stranger to the local live scene, having played sold out headline shows at venues such as Think Tank (Newcastle) and Independent (Sunderland) as well as supporting indie outfits The Snuts, The K’s and The Pale White. Now working with nationally acclaimed promoters Scruff of the Neck and This Feeling, the Sunderland four piece are travelling further afield, having already played shows in Leeds, Glasgow, Carlisle and Manchester this year before being cut short.