Funny Way To Be Comedy – Rich Hall’s Hoedown, The Witham, Barnard Castle
Rich Hall has long been shining a light on the comic contrasts between American culture and our own. However, with US President Donald Trump continuing to cast a particularly dark shadow over the world, Rich’s no-holds-barred brand of humour can seem more relevant than ever. Judging from how the show has shaped up – in an improvisational way – earlier in the tour, this gig on 7th June could also see Rich spouting plenty about Barnard Castle – in song!
Lauren Laverne’s Great Northern Soundtrack, Sage Gateshead
One of Sunderland’s most esteemed daughters, radio DJ and presenter Lauren Laverne, will be curating a week of very Northern music. Manchester, Sheffield and indeed, Newcastle have all produced their fair share of musical giants – and from 22nd June to 1st July, concerts, talks and even art exhibitions will reflect the area’s proud musical heritage. The lineup of acts is set to include Nadine Shah, Roisin Murphy and Northumbrian piper and Sting collaborator Kathryn Tickell.
LEGO Timeline of Northern Innovation, Mining Institute, Newcastle
The North has a long history of creativity, culminating in such innovations as Stephenson’s Rocket, virtual reality, graphene and the Great North Run. So, what better medium than Lego – yes, the Danish building blocks – for use in visually representing those four examples and many more in this new exhibition? It will start on 22nd June, run until 9th September and feature over 40 models assembled by local Lego artist Steve Mayes.
Cooking With Elvis, People’s Theatre, Newcastle
There’s a thin line between comedy and tragedy, as you will be able to see for yourself when this Lee Hall-penned black comedy is staged from 12nd to 16th June. For £14 a ticket, you can watch the chaos that comically reverberates through the family of an amateur Elvis impersonator who suffers a paralysis brought on by a car crash. The play’s taboo-busting anarchy isn’t for theatregoers of a nervous disposition…
Kynren: An Epic Tale of England, Flatts Farm, Bishop Auckland
Since performances of Kynren were first staged in summer 2016, this theatrical spectacular has been thrilling North East audiences with its large-scale, open-air retelling of 2,000 years of human history, myth and legend. A thousand-strong cast and crew will bring Kynren back this summer – and the battles, stunts and pyrotechnics will be suitable for the whole family. The show will be delivered at least weekly from 30th June until 15th September.
Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger, Amazon Prime Video
In an issue of a Spider-Man comic back in 1982, Marvel gave on-page debuts to Cloak and Dagger, a young superhero duo with different but complementary powers. While Cloak can shroud his enemies in darkness, Dagger is capable of firing off luminescent daggers. However, behind their spectacular guises are two teenagers who also happen to share a romantic spark.
In the ‘80s, the characters grew in prominence as Marvel even gave them their own series, in which Cloak and Dagger would primarily aim to tackle the drugs trade rather than take on costumed supervillains. There’s a similarly dark tone to this new TV series, which UK viewers will get to enjoy on Amazon Prime Video on 8th June – only a day after the series arrives in the US. Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt will respectively play the eponymous leads.