Play Hard

What’s on in the North East in November 2022

From big boyband returns to the start of Christmas panto season, November’s cultural calendar has plenty of cracking events in Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham and Northumberland.

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 11.11.2022




7pm, 17th November

Newcastle University Students’ Union

MUNA shot to worldwide fame with their global smash-hit ‘Silk Chiffon’ – which featured vocals from none other than Phoebe Bridgers – but we’re convinced the secret of these alt-pop magicians lies in how they can make even the most ironic and, often, self-deprecating lyrics so darn catchy.


Sea Girls

7pm, 20th November

The Middlesbrough Empire

Four-piece pop-rock outfit Sea Girls have spent their summer playing festivals like Glastonbury and Benicassim, but now they’re out on their road again in their own right. Expect wall-to-wall bangers.





25th – 26th November

Utilita Arena, Newcastle upon Tyne

Channelling ultimate boyband vibes, the UK’s biggest-selling album group of the 21st century are enjoying nothing short of a sensational return to music. Get ready to belt out all Westlife’s greatest hits – ‘Swear It Again’, ‘Flying Without Wings’, ‘World of our Own’ – as well as fresh pop anthems from their new album Wild Dreams.




Where is Mrs Christie?

2.30pm & 7.30pm, 19th November

Alnwick Playhouse  

In 1926, Agatha Christie’s crashed car was found abandoned, sparking an extensive police hunt. She was discovered 11 days later at a luxury hotel in Harrogate, claiming to remember nothing about the event… Liz Grand stars in this one-woman show, delving into this mystery and exploring the possible reasons behind the obscure occurrence.


White Christmas

28th November – 3rd December

Sunderland Empire

This modern adaptation of Irving Berlin’s classic rom-com musical stars The Wanted’s Jay McGuinness alongside Dan Burton as all-singing, all-dancing veterans Bob and Phil, who fall for the Haynes sisters and create an epic festive show for a very special Vermont lodge owner.





29th November – 15th January

Theatre Royal, Newcastle

It’s that time of year again (oh, yes it is!) – Christmas panto season is upon us and Newcastle’s Theatre Royal promises one of the best. Expect enchantment, laugh-out-loud jokes and even some street dancing from BGT finalists Flawless.




Christmas at Life

Until 27th December

Life Science Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne

Enjoy the ultimate Christmas experience at the Centre for Life. Think live shows, a trip to the planetarium, a glow-in-the-dark Christmas card workshop and a solve-along Santa mystery using UV light – not to mention a whirl around their magical open-air ice rink, too.


School Prints Revisited

Until 20th January, 2023

Old School Gallery, Alnmouth

The School Prints are beautiful, hand-drawn colour lithographs that were published in the 1940s and became known for their display of post-war optimism and cheeriness. Admire the original prints on display along with a modern interpretation at the Old School Gallery.




‘Lucie Rie: The Adventure Of Pottery’

Until 12th February, 2023

MIMA, Middlesbrough

20th century ceramicist Lucie Rie created a career for herself as an independent female potter in an industry which was then dominated by men. In this exhibition, you can see more than 100 of her pieces and gain insight into her ground-breaking practice across six decades.




Strictly Ballroom

14th – 19th November

Darlington Hippodrome

Based on Baz Luhrmann’s award-winning film, Strictly Ballroom: The Musical is directed by Britain’s best-loved TV judge, Craig Revel Horwood, and stars fellow Strictly Come Dancing favourite Kevin Clifton alongside BBC’s Eastenders’ Maisie Smith.




The Nutcracker

7.30pm, 25th November

Middlesbrough Theatre

Crown Ballet comes to the UK to enchant you with their delightful production of The Nutcracker – a charming and kindly fairy tale is one of the jewels of Tchaikovsky’s repertoire. This ultimate fairy tale, where goodness and beauty triumph, is a seasonal favourite for a reason.




Sarah Millican

8pm, 24th November

Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Newcastle upon Tyne

In this, Sarah Millican’s sixth international tour, you’ll learn what happens when your mouth seals shut, how to throw poo over a wall, trying to lose weight but only losing the tip of your finger, a surprisingly funny smear test and how truly awful a flotation tank can be.




Justin Moorhouse

8pm 3rd December

Alnwick Playhouse

Justin’s new show may contain yoga, getting older, Madonna, shoplifters, Labradoodles, middle-aged cyclists, the menopause, hating football fans but loving football, not drinking, funerals, Captain Tom, self-improvement, ruining a sexual position and electric car charging spots used by doggers.




Winter Wonderland

17th November – 24th December

Newcastle Racecourse

Newcastle’s biggest winter fair is back and promises another year of festive fun for the whole family. From adrenaline-filled rides to authentic street food and mulled wine, Santa’s Grotto and an open-air ice rink, there’s something for everyone.


Christmas Craft Fair

10am, 26th November

National Glass Centre, Sunderland

There’s nothing that puts you in the festive spirit quicker than a Christmas fair. Visit this one at the National Glass Centre to see handmade crafts from local and regional makers.




Festive Beauty Masterclass

3pm, 27th November

Gino D’Acampo, Newcastle

Join The Beauty Box Studio for a festive makeup masterclass to get you ready for Christmas party season. Watch a 90-minute makeup demo by the experts followed by a Q&A… all while enjoying bottomless bucks fizz, tasty seasonal canapés and a beauty goody bag to take home.

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