Play Hard

What’s on in the North East this February

From the latest gigs and theatre performances to stand up shows, art exhibitions and festivals, here are 24 events you’ll want to book tickets for stat.

Written by High Life North
Published Today



Grey Tapes

Alphabetti Theatre, 11th February

Grey Tapes is a beat-maker and producer collective who endeavour to keep live electronic music truly live – avoiding clicks, sequencers or backing tracks in favour of real musical instruments and live samples. So, everything you hear is played manually by a finger, an arm or leg to create music which traces the lines between hip hop, trip hop, jazz, electronica and everything in between.

Tickets: PWYF


Jodie Nicholson

The Cluny, 12th February

Inspired by her dad’s love of prog rock, songs that place you in the moment and artists who change sonically with each album, former HLN Meets the Musician Jodie Nicholson seeks to challenge her singer-songwriter core of delicate melodies and soft instrumentation in every live performance.

Tickets: £10.00


ABBA Disco Wonderland

O2 Academy Newcastle, 19th February

With a magical mixture of non-stop back-to-back ABBA hits, you’ll be transported right back to the golden era with live DJ performances, theatrical actors and so much more. It’s the greatest ABBA disco on the planet!

Tickets: £10.25




Self Esteem

Wylam Brewery, 27th February

The incredible Self Esteem brings her experimental pop brilliance to Wylam Brewery at the Palace of Arts for a show to remember.

Tickets: £18.50



Utilita Arena, 27th February

Following the release of his critically acclaimed UK #1 sophomore album, We’re All Alone In This Together, Dave has announced a huge 2022 UK arena tour – and the Utilita Arena in Newcastle is on his list.

Tickets: £41.10




Wolf Alice

O2 City Hall Newcastle, 28th February

Playing headline shows for the first time since 2018, Wolf Alice perform songs from their brilliant third album, Blue Weekend – the follow-up to 2018’s Mercury Prize winning album, Visions Of A Life.

Tickets: £37.50




Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Sunderland Empire, until Saturday 19th February

Spectacularly reimagined using the latest theatrical innovations, this beloved ‘tale as old as time’ will be brought to life on stage like never before…

Tickets: £20.00




Blood Brothers

Darlington Hippodrome, 1st – 5th February

Written by Willy Russell, the legendary Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with fateful consequences.

Tickets: £38.00


The Monocle

Gosforth Civic Theatre, 5th February

The Monocle, by Rendez-Vous dance, is inspired by the secretly notorious 1930s Parisian lesbian club Le Monocle. In here, the air is thick, warm and wavy with secrets and sensuality…

Tickets: £14.00





Northern Stage, 10th – 11th February

From the creator of the hit show Black Is The Color Of My Voice comes a new story about the 20th century African American experience. Against a powerful soundtrack of original music and traditional gospel and blues, two women – 42 years apart – become involved in the struggle for civil rights.

Tickets: £10.00

Drag Me To Love Bonnie Bonettes Live Theatre Newcastle

Drag Me To Love

Live Theatre, 10th – 12th February

So, imagine this: You’re 14 years old and you’re a drag queen. It’s golden stilettos, ripped fishnets, shoulder pads and neon bobs. It’s expression. It’s glamour. It’s power. It’s Doncaster, 2009…

Tickets: £10.00




Come What May: The Ultimate Tribute To Moulin Rouge

Playhouse Whitley Bay, 16th February

Featuring Strictly Come Dancing’s sensational Robin Windsor and a cast of top West End performers, Come What May will transport you back in time as the children of the revolution take you on a thrilling non-stop journey into the sexy, disreputable, and glamorous underworld of Paris.

Tickets: £28.20


Animal Farm

Theatre Royal, 22nd – 26th February

George Orwell’s world-famous fable tells the story of a revolution and its aftermath. Re-imagined by an award-winning creative team, Animal Farm is a dynamic, daring and contemporary take on a timeless story.

Tickets: £10.00




Working Class: Revisited

Stockton ARC, until 19th February

Featuring the creative works of 15 North East based creatives, this mixed media exhibition considerers a wide range of ideas, including a celebration of working-class culture, a criticism of the discrimination faced and honest discussion about both the struggles and joys of a working-class background.

Tickets: Free




Chemical City

MIMA, until 24th April

This large, thematic exhibition focuses on the legacies of chemicals production in the Tees Valley, with artists’ painting, sculpture and film tracing the impact of 20th century manufacturing on the people and places of the North East.

Tickets: Free

Portrait of an Artist Laing Art Gallery Newcastle

Portrait of an Artist

Laing Art Gallery, until 26th February

Portrait of an Artist is a new exhibition from renowned art dealers, Liss Llewellyn. Comprising over 85 oil paintings, drawings and prints, the exhibition offers audiences an opportunity to step into the inner world of the artist, shedding light on their personal lives and creative processes.

Tickets: £7.00




Raymond Briggs: A Retrospective

The Bowes Museum, until 26th February 2023

Raymond Briggs: A Retrospective is the first ever exhibition dedicated to the author-illustrator behind some of the most popular and influential children’s books and graphic novels ever published – including The Snowman (1980) and pioneering graphic novel, Ethel & Ernest (1998).

Tickets: Free




Siobhan Phillips: Live and Unhinged

Middlesbrough Theatre, 4th February

Siobhan Phillips wowed audiences as the only female finalist in Britain’s Got Talent 2019. Described as “the love child of Peter Kay and Victoria Wood”, her hilarious self-penned songs really struck a chord with the nation, who could totally relate to a selection of her observational daft ditties.

Tickets: £16.00




Fern Brady: Autistic Bikini Queen

The Stand Newcastle, 22nd February  

Following a sold out tour across Europe and Australia in 2019, and her most recent BBC stand up special Power & Chaos, Fern Brady brings her fifth solo show, Autistic Bikini Queen, to Newcastle.

Tickets: £14.00


John Bishop

Utilita Arena, 24th February

Comedy superstar John Bishop is coming to Utilita Arena with his highly anticipated brand-new stand up show – Right Here, Right Now.

Tickets: £38.00




Let’s Go Kilo

Boiler Shop, 30th January

Ok, so we know this isn’t a February event, but we really didn’t want you guys to miss out on this. At Let’s Go Kilo you can shop tonnes of sustainable, vintage, retro and branded fashion for just £20 per kilo – so bags at the ready!

Tickets: £2.00




Anarchy Street Food Market

Anarchy Brew Co., 19th – 20th February

Back with popular demand, the Anarchy Brew Co Street Food Market returns this February with a handful of Newcastle’s best popup food stalls. All accompanied by 10 taps of our freshly brewed craft beer to wash it all down!

Tickets: Free


Newcastle Whisky Festival 2022

Newcastle Civic Centre, 26th February

The Newcastle Whisky Festival attracts the finest distillers from as far afield as India, Japan, the USA, as well as right here at home. Simply ask for a dram and get ready to have your mind blown…

Tickets: £53.44




Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Festival

Venues across the North, until 23rd December 

To celebrate 1,900 years since the building of Hadrian’s Wall, venues all across the North along the whole length of the wall will be hosting a variety of events and activities during this year-long festival.

Tickets: Vary




For more listings of events, performances, activities and exhibitions across the North East, visit High Life North’s What’s On calendar.

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