Make My Week


A ferris wheel against a clouded sky
From MGM classics on Tyneside to a festive fairground in Teesside, plus Christmas by Candlelight in the Tyne Valley, there’s a cornucopia of Christmassy events across the North East this week

Christmas is that time of year when everything gets overly nostalgic. You want to watch all your favourite Christmas films, wear ridiculous jumpers and believe in a mysterious, magical man in a red suit. Homing in on this nostalgia, the Magical Middlesbrough Festive Fairground has traditional games and rides for all – a helter skelter, ferris wheel, swing carousel, hook a duck, bottle bowling, and a tin can alley. You can find it in Centre Square in Middlesbrough from 10am–7pm during the festive season.

It takes some talent to get an entire orchestra named after you, which gives you an indication of just how good John Wilson (who conducts the John Wilson Orchestra) is. He’ll be conducting his troupe through a riproaring performance of the MGM back catalogue at Sage Gateshead – prepare to sing along to Singin’ in the Rain, Annie Get Your Gun, Show Boat and more.

Lily and the Snowbear opens at Arts Centre Washington this week, and it’s the perfect stage show to get the kids in the Christmas spirit. This heartwarming tale of a brave little girl’s friendship with a lost bear features puppets, enchanting music and lots of snow, making it a more exciting alternative to digging out that Elf DVD for some mid-week entertainment.

After this last weekend, we’re very much in the primary stages of the Christmas tingles: we’ve had our first mulled wine of the season, we’ve watched It’s A Wonderful Life, and Radio 4 has been replaced by the Bublé Christmas album as our 6am alarm. So, we’re in exactly the right frame of mind for the Royal Northern Sinfonia’s Baroque Christmas by Candlelight performance – as if that weren’t evocative enough, it’s at Hexham Abbey.

Published in: December 2017

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