Play Hard

Plan ahead: 6 exciting events to enjoy online

The shows must go on(line)… By Jenny Brownlees

Written by High Life North
Published 24.11.2020


24th–26th November

Literary fans won’t want to miss this star-studded event, with proceeds going to an amazing cause. From today (24th November), charity Freedom from Torture is hosting a star-studded, three-day virtual literary festival, focusing on the theme of resilience. You’ll join the likes of Thandie Newton, Juliet Stevenson, Caleb Femi and Lee Child as they perform readings and discuss the theme, inviting an audience from all over the world to accompany them. A silent auction is also running alongside the event, with top prizes on offer – including a chance to have a character named after you in upcoming novels by Margaret Atwood, William Boyd and Jonathan Coe. Other prizes come from top industry names, including Quentin Blake, David Nicholls, Ian McEwan, Louis de Bernieres, Philip Pullman, Bernardine Evaristo and more.

Tickets are on a donate-what-you-can basis, with all funds going directly to support victims.

Find Out More


25th November

Bestselling author Philippa Perry (‘The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read’) and Flo Perry, author of ‘How to Have Feminist Sex’, come together for a fun, thought-provoking conversation to celebrate their new joint venture: ‘Couch Fiction: A Graphic Tale of Psychotherapy’, written by Philippa and illustrated by Flo. The event is part of Salon’s drive to get us together, chatting about big ideas and topics that affect us all. Pour a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy.

Tickets are £7, with the option to buy the book and go ‘front row’ and pose a question directly to Philippa and Flo.

Book Now


26th November

Heidi Skudder – aka The Parent & Baby Coach – has started weekly online sessions over Instagram for new mums and parents. Heidi has helped over 2,000 families globally with sleep, routine, combination feeding, reflux and weaning. She has also supported many celebrity mums and their babies, including Made in Chelsea’s Binky Felstead, Christine Lampard and Stacey Solomon. A baby sleep expert and qualified baby massage therapist, Heidi explains, ‘I know from my clients that many new parents really struggled during the first lockdown. A lack of support and being unable to see and spend time with friends and family made it a very difficult and lonely experience. I want to give new parents some of those experiences that you would normally have out and about in groups, that have been taken away from us due to the impact of COVID-19, and to create a regular session where mums and parents can feel supported.”

Sessions are free to attend and run every Thursday from 10.30am.

Find Out More


29th November

Newcastle City Council are offering a variety of virtual yoga sessions for those missing their regular classes, or newbies wanting to give the calming practice a go. Here, you can enjoy a 60-minute class with instructor Mia Velez. If you are a beginner, don’t worry – this class is open to all abilities. As well as being a wonderful escape for the mind and body, benefits of yoga include improved sleep and injury prevention. Plus, this class is completely free for all to enjoy. Now stretch those limbs and breathe!

Entry to the class is free. Session runs from 4pm–5pm.

Book Now



2nd December

Design and decorate your own Christmas wreath from the comfort of your own home, with the luxe materials needed being handily mailed to you in advance. Hosted by expert florist Hayley McDonald, this intimate class is the perfect opportunity to do something festive, relaxing and together with like-minded people for some much-needed fun. The 2 hour, 30 minutes workshop is sure to fill you with Christmas spirit, and leave you with a beautifully-decorated wreath for your home.

Tickets cost £60, including materials. The session runs from 7pm–9.30pm.

Book Now



Newcastle’s Lit & Phil presents five specially-produced concerts by some of the regions’ most talented professional musicians for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. You’ll delight in offerings from baroque cello and violin duo Miriam Nohl & Marguerite Wassermann, jazz piano/sax duo Paul Edis & Graeme Wilson, classical violinist John Garner and a player of historic keyboards, John Treherne MBE. The series will culminate with a suitably-special finale concert by two extraordinary local pianists, Alison Gill and Yoshie Kawamura.

Having first aired in October, the entire series is now available to stream for free now, with a donation optional.

Watch Here

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