The Late Shows

The Late Shows is an inspiring, after dark programme of events and exhibitions centering on the cultural venues in Newcastle/Gateshead that are usually closed during the evening. Two of our Newcastle Explore group performers - Joanne Wilkins and David Hill - attended the 2015 programme on 16 May and share their thoughts below:

Joanne Wilkins 

Well it's a couple of days away before we embark on our epic night out... Angie, David, Catherine and I were all going to meet up outside the Gateshead Old Town Hall at around 6pm but already Catherine has managed to volunteer herself in one of the Late Show Venues. Well she still had a hoodie with the Late Show printed on it so it would have been a waste not to use it....

Meeting David at 6pm, that was easy. Finding Angie wasn't - we tried to ring her a few times but without success. We hope she's okay.

David and I started at the Gateshead Old Town Hall and I think we were the first ones in the place. I had a lovely cup of tea; David didn't want tea. And we decided what we were going to sing. David decided to sing 'Crazy little thing called Love' I videoed it, he was fab. I sang 'I can see Deirdre now Loraine has Gone' ('I Can See Clearly now the Rain has Gone')! I tried to video mine, it didn't work...

David's opening line was 'if you like it tell your friends, if you don't my name is Lady Gaga'. I just asked if people had any eggs, tomatoes or rotten cabbages with them.

David played his ukulele and his harmonica as well as singing. I just sang but we both were met with applause and cheers so I guess it was ok. After singing we headed into the basement to look at the artwork and speak to some of the artists. I don't remember names but the art was interesting. We didn't get a chance to experience the theatre performance because we missed the start - too busy chatting to the artists...

We left there to be greeted by a beautiful double rainbow and the rain as we made our way over to Sage Gateshead where we dropped our bags and things off at the welcome desk then headed to the Baltic to see Catherine and the art work too. One of the exhibits just looks like my workshop when I'm busy in it. The Kittiwake talk was interesting though.

We headed back towards Sage but then decided to have a look in St Mary's Church next to discover they were making flat paper clothes to dress flat cardboard dolls. If you can remember them, the clothes have the little tabs on the side of them that you fold around the doll. We didn't  get photos of that but we did get photos of the retro paper cups that we made out of vintage wallpapers. Mine was 1970s washable wallpaper; David's was 1950s. Very relaxing experience - you should try it.

Once we'd completed our cups and removed all the glue from our fingers, we headed back to Sage ready for the next open mic session. Singers were accompanied by a superb pianist and drummer who managed to keep up with all the singers. There were some lovely voices there so I resisted the urge to put my name down. David, however, was on a roll and sung 'Teenage Dirt Bag'. Again he was great - so funny and entertaining - and again another rousing applause from the audience. After his great rendition, we were off to find our taxis as we just managed David's last song before they were due.

In every venue we went to, everyone was warm and friendly we were made to feel welcome by all involved. Thank you Late Show for this and for all the glow sticks - they were fab but the kids nicked them off me when I got home!

David Hill

Gateshead Old Town Hall: Myself and Joanne performed at the Open Mic night, was great fun.

East Street Arts: We looked at the art and I was impressed with the work on display

Baltic: Although this was not on our itinerary, it was good to see what else was around Gateshead. We saw the exhibition and the art on display we then saw the ‘kittiwakes’ on the balcony.

St Marys Heritage Centre: We had a go at making tea cups from vintage wallpaper although Joanne's was much better than mine.

Sage Gateshead: At the end of the evening there was a concert at Sage, amazing and I got up and sang in front of an audience with instrumental backing. Was wonderful.

Streetwise Opera provided a taxi home at 11pm. Brilliant night and I got two different glow sticks!