Play Hard

After-dark culture crawl The Late Shows returns to Ouseburn, Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead this weekend – here’s what’s on

From a silent book disco to a farmyard hootenanny, a trip back in time to Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror and sneak peeks into brand new cultural developments, behind-the-scenes studio visits and pottery classes, there’s something for everyone…

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 12.05.2022

Our favourite free, late-night culture crawl is back!

Every year during The Late Shows, museums, galleries, studio collectives and landmark historical buildings come together to offer visitors special, one-off events – including hands-on workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, performances and parties – to encourage us all to do something cultural with our evening.

Having won awards for its innovation and inclusion, it’s easy to see why The Late Shows attracts around 30,000 – 40,000 visitors across the weekend. But if you fancy knowing just what to expect before you make the trip on Friday 13th May, Saturday 14th May or both, then you’re in luck – because we’ve already scouted out the itinerary to bring you our pick of the programme…

IN THE OUSEBURN VALLEY…

The Biscuit Factory

Friday only; 7pm-11pm

Stoddart Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 1AN

From the studio to the stage, join The Biscuit Factory for an evening of cultural happenings. Join artist Megan Randall to mould and shape ceramic forms; get involved in an experiment in making urban venues friendlier on your brain; dance like no-one is watching at the Silent Book disco with a curated playlist from Forum Books, and tour the gallery to uncover flash-mob Shakespeare with actors bursting into short performances courtesy of People’s Theatre.

End your evening on the roof terrace for food and cocktails beneath festoon lights.

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Ouseburn Farm

Ouseburn Road (off Lime Street), Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2PA 

Friday only; 7pm-11pm

Join the Ouseburn Farm gang for a farmyard Hootenanny – with live music, farm food and maybe even some line dancing. Yeehaw!

Local bands will be playing in the farmyard to give visitors a taste of Americana while they enjoy a barbecue using Ouseburn Farm’s own produce wherever possible. Then, the farmyard will turn into a good ole’ barn dance with straw bales, strings of lights and dancing.

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Cobalt Studios

10-16 Boyd Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 1AP

Friday only; 7pm-11pm

Taking ‘Escape’ as its theme, Cobalt Studios invite you to an evening of many facets.

The Shunyata Improvisation Group offer you escape into their distinct, acoustic music and will provide opportunities for members of the audience to step on stage and join them. Artist projections offer unexpected moments of escape in unlikely places; and, later, escape into three very diverse genres of music with the silent disco, which runs until late.

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Northern Print

Stepney Bank, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2NP

Friday only; 7pm-11pm

Join Northern Print, in collaboration with Muddy Fingers Pottery, to experience the magic of Raku. A selection of pots and tiles will be available for you to decorate using stencils and metallic crackle glazes.

Firing will take place between 7pm-9.30pm. Suitable for all ages, this is a free, drop-in, outdoor workshop (subject to availability) and the gallery, shop and studio will be open throughout for browsing. 

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Tyne Bank Brewery

375 Walker Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 2AB

Friday only; 7pm-11pm

Immerse yourself in the world of print and the history of Dance music this Late Shows at Tyne Bank Brewery.

From looking to nature to inspire textural prints and getting stickering using a risograph to trying your hand at a little silk screen printing, enjoy indulging your creativity before delving into the fascinating history of a musical genre that has shaped the North East’s cultural landscape.

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The Time Bandits

The Cluny, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2PQ

Friday only; 7pm-11pm

The Time Bandits are a professional team of historical costumed interpreters and re-enactors, who are dedicated to bringing history to life in the North East and beyond.

Join them and follow in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper, as the Ouseburn is transformed into London’s Whitechapel during the 1880s. Follow ace sleuths Holmes and Watson as they attempt to unravel the bizarre and ghastly series of murders that are occurring even as you tour the streets. Can you do better than Holmes and Watson in unmasking the Ripper?

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IN GATESHEAD…

Academy of Music & Sound

191 High Street, Gateshead NE8 1AS*

Saturday only; 6pm-10pm

The Academy of Music & Sound provides full time education from Level 3 to Masters degrees in music performance and technology.

During The Late Shows, experience live performances from their students and staff before taking the opportunity to try your own hand at playing anything from the guitar and bass guitar to the drums, or even grab a mic and sing.

*No wheelchair access

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BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

South Shore Road, Gateshead, NE8 3BA 

Saturday only; 6pm-9pm

Enjoy the unrivalled experience of exploring BALTIC’s new spring exhibitions at night – including the Vasseur BALTIC Artists’ Award exhibition by Laleh Khorramian, Ima-Abasi Okon and Fernando García Dory; take part in a mindful art workshop in Front Room, led by a BALTIC artist, and visit the special residents in a Kittiwake tour. Or simply drop-in and relax at the beginning or end of your evening with a free hot drink and snacks. 

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Orbis Community 

65 High Street, Gateshead NE8 2AP*
Interchange Centre, West Street, Gateshead NE8 1DD

Saturday only; 6pm-10pm

Check out the latest addition to Gateshead’s cultural scene. Orbis Community is a multi-site project bringing together the creative businesses of Ampersand Inventions, Atlas North East, Vane gallery and a whole lot more. 

See exhibitions, open studios, buy a work from local makers and artists, or take part in a workshop and take away your own creation. A night of creativity with something for everyone! 

*First floor of 65 High Street is accessible by stairs only. 

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IN NEWCASTLE CITY CENTRE…

Discovery Museum

Blandford Square, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4JA 

Saturday only; 7pm-11pm

Release your inner Strangers Things child at Newcastle’s famous museum of science, industry, history and social justice, with an evening of retro fun – complete with ‘80s inspired music, games and challenges. Bar and refreshments are also available.

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The Common Room 

Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SE

Saturday only; 7pm-11pm

Experience and participate in music, performance, creative challenges and crafts at The Common Room – a historic Grade II-listed building, formerly known to many as The Mining Institute.

The building is steeped in the history of invention and great ideas: explore innovation and your own curiosity, with a creative mini-mission from Unfolding Theatre; be inspired by the Wood Hall’s stained-glass windows and get crafty; be part of the band and sing-along at the speakeasy. Then, sit back and relax with refreshments in café bar, 5|Quarter.

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Newcastle Cathedral 

Mosley Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1DF*

Saturday only; 7pm-11pm**

Visit Newcastle Cathedral to experience their magnificent Lantern Tower in all its glory under the evening starlight.

The Cathedral team will be running Tower Tours throughout the evening and will also be screening their Tower Tour film for those who aren’t able to make the trip up the tower.

*Tower not wheelchair accessible

**Booking required

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The Pattern Shop 

Sussex Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3PE*

Saturday only; 7pm-11pm

Don’t miss this one-off chance to view the Pattern Shop building – one of Newcastle’s hidden heritage gems, situated at the heart of the Stephenson Quarter.

This building has been off-limits for decades, but with its restoration now in progress, they’re inviting visitors to a sneak preview tour and drink with the team behind the project. Archival images will help tell the story of how Robert Stephenson’s locomotive designs revolutionised the railways and put Newcastle on the map as a centre for innovation and creativity.

For insurance purposes this event is only suitable for 18+.

*Limited wheelchair access

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Side Gallery 

5-9 Side, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3JE

Saturday only; 7pm-11pm

Dedicated to delivering the best in documentary since 1977, show solidarity and march down to the Quayside to join the campaigners, activists and striking women at Side Gallery. Be part of the action via the Protest Portraits Photo Booth and tell the team what you care about, and you’ll receive a free photobooth portrait print to take home and share online.

Don’t forget to check out KILL THE BILL! while you’re there – a joint exhibition about campaigning, protest and activism in the region and beyond by Gary Calton, Isabela Jedrzejczyk and Amber Films.

FIND OUT MORE

 

 

 

Life Science Centre 

Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4EP

Saturday only; 7pm-11pm

Explore Life science centre at twilight; wonder at Gaia – the mesmerising, glowing, seven-metre replica of Planet Earth; take an easel and create your own masterpiece, inspired by an astronaut’s view from space; see the brand-new live planetarium show; and get creative with silk banner painting, bug hotels and other hands-on activities in the Making Studios.

Pay bar available, some activities have limited capacity so are subject to availability on the evening.

FIND OUT MORE

The Late Shows will run from Friday 13th May to Saturday 14th May.

To view the full programme, visit The Late Shows’ website or follow the event on Facebook and Instagram.

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