All the Best Shows to See and Art and Exhibitions to Visit in the North East this April
Comedy, challenges, and creativity to put a spring in your step - we really do have something for everyone to get involved in this month
MARTY & THE PARTY
Northern Stage, Newcastle
0191 230 5151
Northern Stage are having a party, and you’re invited for giggles and nibbles. Everyone has their dance moves at the ready and Marty is heading along in the hopes of making new friends. Multi award-winning Milk Presents and Derby Theatre tell this charming story which is perfect for children.
TOMATOES TRIED TO KILL ME BUT BANJOS SAVED MY LIFE
Across the North East
Following success at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, this show tells the inspirational true story of Keith Alessi, a well-known CEO in North America who two weeks after quitting his high-flying job (to pursue his dream of banjo playing) was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer (caused specifically by heartburn caused by tomatoes). Performed by Keith himself, this award-winning true story of overcoming obstacles and the healing power of music is now touring the North East and Cumbria, presented by CaroleW Productions.
ETAL ARTS FAIRS
12TH APRIL & SELECTED DATES THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
Etal Village Hall
The Tin Shed has organised a series of art fairs at Etal Village Hall where you can browse the work of local artists. At their fair this Easter expect to see work from photographer Carol MacLeod, illustrator Jane Braithwaite and jewellery designer Trish Turnbull among others.
Spanish City, Whitley Bay
Spanish City’s Comedy Night is back by popular demand. In association with Felt Nowt Comedy, the lineup includes Comedy Store headliner David Hadingham, last year’s Edinburgh Festival Best Show nominee Lauren Pattison and the brilliantly funny John Gibson, and it’s hosted by Gavin Webster.
CLEVELAND 4 PEAKS
This year, Stockton-based autism support charity Daisy Chain are celebrating their 20th anniversary. Join #TeamDaisyChain for the Cleveland 4 Peaks and tackle the peaks of Roseberry Topping (320m), Captain Cook’s Monument (324m), Codhill Heights (296m) and Highcliff Nab (300m) in less than eight hours, if you’re up for the challenge.
MATTHEW BOURNE’S SLEEPING BEAUTY
Newcastle Theatre Royal
0191 232 7010
Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty is celebrating 10 years since its premiere at Sadlers Wells with a nationwide tour, which is stopping by Newcastle. The award-winning show is a magical tale of fairies and vampires and good vs evil. The unmistakable score by Tchaikovsky brings everything together, from stunning sets and costumes to dramatic lighting, in this gothic romance.
MISSING WOMEN & WITH DINAH
UNTIL 28TH MAY
Auckland Castle and Bishop Auckland Town Hall
Auckland Castle displays 13 portraits by Francisco de Zurbarán, of Jacob and his 12 sons – but the women in their lives go unrecorded. Inspired by these missing women, five groups of young people from Bishop Auckland and five professional artists have created collaborative exhibitions, giving the women a voice and allowing a platform for self-expression.
FROM 10TH MARCH
Deep Horizons is a combination of sculpture, drawing, painting, installation, ceramics, photography and moving image from the last 50 years. They’ve been developed through a series of conversations exploring various themes, including history and time, geology and land, memory and dreams and how we record the past. A number of the pieces displayed have never been seen in a public gallery before. Expect to see art from talented artists including Bernd and Hilla Becher, Chiara Camoni, Ellen Gallagher, Theaster Gates, Emily Hesse, Lonnie Holley and John Stezaker.
FIONA CRISP: WEIGHTING TIME
FROM 1ST APRIL
Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens
0191 561 2323
Weighting Time is an exhibition which will take place across two venues. A display will take place at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens until June and one will open in May at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art. Both with explore 30 years of work by British artist, photographer and filmmaker Fiona Crisp. At Sunderland Museum, you’ll take a look at Fiona’s photographic works and be offered the chance to explore her long-term engagement with the framing of a ‘view’ in visual as well as philosophical terms.
The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle
0191 261 1103
North Yorkshire-based embroidery artist Olga Prinku created the concept of flowers on tulle embroidery in 2016 and published her first book on the method in 2021. You might have seen her artwork on Channel 4’s Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas, but it’s also been featured in a wide range of exhibitions. Don’t miss this chance to see it up close this spring.
BIG NORTH TATTOO SHOW
29TH & 30TH APRIL
Utilita Arena, Newcastle
The biggest tattoo show in the North returns to Newcastle this spring. It offers tattoo lovers the opportunity to discover around 300 of the best artists in tattooing right now, all in one place. You can get tattooed on the day, find inspiration for a future tattoo or watch the world’s best tattoo artists create masterpieces. There’ll also be live performances, art installations, fire shows and surprises from Newcastle’s Hard Rock Café, so don’t miss out on the fun.
NORTHUMBERLAND OPEN 2023: WILD NORTHUMBERLAND
Woodhorn Museum, Ashington
Housed in Woodhorn Museum’s Workshop Galleries, the annual Northumberland Open is the largest exhibition of its type in Northumberland. Thousands of visitors will have the opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice award as part of this exhibition. The theme for the Open Exhibition this year is Wild Northumberland – inspired by Northumberland’s wild and unique landscapes, wildlife, weather and people.