Play Hard

What’s on in the North East this November

A ground-breaking photography exhibition, spicy street food, odes to Bowie, a curious arts festival, Mr 50 Cent himself and the start of the Christmas light trails – November is poppin’.

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 04.11.2023


Curtis 50 Cent Jackson Utilita Arena Newcastle upon Tyne The Final Lap Tour

50 Cent

18th November

Utilita Arena, Newcastle upon Tyne  

Emmy and Grammy award-winning rap legend Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson stops off in Newcastle this month during his global tour in celebration of the 20th anniversary of his game-changing debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’.

Tickets: from £108.15 

The Belgrave House Band: David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars Maltings Berwick upon Tweed

The Belgrave House Band: David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

18th November

Maltings, Berwick upon Tweed

Ziggy Stardust holds its place as one of the most impactful albums of all time. Intrepid and impulsive, Bowie’s androgynous alien alter-ego has touched millions of hearts around the world. Join The Belgrave House Band as they celebrate this magnificent musical achievement at the Maltings this month.   

Tickets: from £18.00

The Orielles Pop Recs Sunderland

The Orielles

24th November

Pop Recs, Sunderland

Since forming in Halifax over a decade ago, The Orielles have journeyed from lo-fi DIY indie origins to inspired avant-pop. They hit the stage at Sunderland’s Pop Recs in support of their new album, Tableau.

Tickets: from £16.50  



Calendar Girls The Musical Darlington Hippodrome

Calendar Girls – The Musical

21st – 25th November

Darlington Hippodrome

Bill Kenwright brings another brand new production to Darlington, written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, that reimagines the classic story of the Calendar Girls. Following the death of a much-loved husband, a group of ordinary women in a small Yorkshire Women’s Institute are prompted to do an extraordinary thing…

Tickets: from £18.50

Sister Act The Musical Sunderland Empire UK Tour

Sister Act

27 November – 2nd December

Sunderland Empire

All our prayers have been answered, as our favourite nun on the run – Deloris van Cartier – comes to Sunderland’s stage direct from London. Featuring an original score inspired by Motown, soul and disco, this musical is sent from above. 

Tickets: from £13.00

Gosforth Civic Theatre Is Curious

Gosforth Civic Theatre Is Curious

30th November

Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne

Be among the first to experience brand new works in development by LGBTQIA+ artists based across the North East. Enjoy a night of fascinating performances, be curious for the night and help raise vital funds to support Curious Arts.

Tickets: £12.00



Bridget Christie Northern Stage Newcastle upon Tyne

Bridget Christie

15th November

Northern Stage, Newcastle upon Tyne

Bridget Christie is hot, but not in a good way. The 51-year-old, critically acclaimed stand up leaks blood, sweats, and can’t ride the motorbike she bought to combat her mid-life crisis because of early osteoarthritis in her hips. It’s a menopause laugh-a-minute with a confused, furious, sweaty lady who is annoyed by everything.

Tickets: from £24.00

Ross Noble Jibber Jabber Jamboree O2 City Hall Newcastle upon Tyne

Ross Noble

16th – 18th November

O2 City Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne

Jibber Jabber Jamboree marks Ross Noble’s 21st solo stand-up tour. To celebrate, he invites you to join him for an evening of the sort of inspired nonsense that has cemented his place as the supreme master of stream-of-conscious, freewheeling stand up.

Tickets: from £24.00 

Angela Barnes Hot Mess Queens Hall Arts Centre Hexham

Angela Barnes

29th November

Queens Hall Arts Centre, Hexham

Angela Barnes (Mock The WeekLive at the Apollo8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown) has good intentions. But trying to live your best life, as it turns out, is really bloody hard. Stand-up, stories and jokes from “a gloriously down-to-earth, straight-talking and extremely funny comic” The Guardian.

Tickets: from £17.00 



Glass World National Glass Centre Sunderland Peter Bremers

Glass World

Until 10th March

National Glass Centre, Sunderland

In recent years, the National Glass Centre has developed a permanent collection that includes work by artists from 30 different countries. This exhibition presents a wide selection of the works held in this collection and celebrates the international reach of artists working in glass now and throughout history.

Tickets: Free

Electrik Sheep x Baltic Takeover BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art Newcastle upon Tyne

Electrik Sheep x Baltic Takeover

10th – 12th November

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle’s original cult store and gallery – who has shown the likes of Banksy and Faile – is back with a limited takeover of the Baltic. Electrik Sheep are transforming the old flour mill into a world of street art, where you can explore original artwork and exclusive merch from 30 street artists.

Tickets: Free 

Yevonde: Life And Colour – Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle

Yevonde: Life and Colour

11th November – 20th April

Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne

This new exhibition is the largest showcase of work by trailblazing British photographer, Yevonde Middleton, who spearheaded the use of colour photography in the 1930s – capturing famous faces like George Bernard Shaw, Vivien Leigh and Princess Alexandra.

Tickets: £8.00  



Argie Bhaji Wylam Brewery Newcastle upon Tyne

Argie Bhaji

10th – 11th November

Wylam Brewery, Newcastle upon Tyne

Bombay Nights, the ultimate curry battle, returns. As winter beckons, it’s time to spice up our lives with a wonderful, wicked gathering of South Asian vendors battling it out to win your hearts, stomachs and votes.

Tickets: Free 

Newcastle Christmas Light Switch On Metro Radio Grey Street Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle Christmas Light Switch On

14th November

Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

The much-loved traditional festive curtain-raiser returns, as Metro Radio’s breakfast show hosts, Steve and Karen, once again lead this fun-filled evening of songs, games and live music as Newcastle’s city centre Christmas light display is officially switched on. The city’s Christmas market also returns later that same week.

Tickets: Free 

AGLOW Christmas Lights Trail Auckland Castle Bishop Auckland


22nd November – 31st December

Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland

AGLOW promises to be one of the most spectacular Christmas light trails in the North East, with 17 illuminations and some of the largest light installations in the country bringing the night sky to life above the historic Auckland Castle.

Tickets: from £19.50

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