Light up your glow stick – it’s the Late Shows!

Cream of the cultural crop

The Late Showsare on again this weekend in Newcastle and Gateshead. Now celebrating their 10th year – there’s always something quirky and new to explore without fail at venues right on my doorstep. here in Newcastle. Down at the Ouseburn valley it’s art galore with all the studios open and some new artists and their works to discover that I hadn’t seen before.

Padded people portraits

Padded portraits, yarn bombed furniture, Marilyn Munroe made out of a clippy mat!
I loved Ailsa Matfin’s delicate Sea Glass jewellery. Silver rings and necklaces and bracelets with pale polished mysterious opaque colours. The glass comes from old locally made bottles and jars shattered and worn into smoothness by the sea and then washed up on our East Coast beaches.

Dreamy Sea Glass jewellry

The Ouseburn City farm was open as usual with its cute organic gardens and super patient urban farm animals. The animals put up with prodding and chattering people and children with remarkable grace and tolerance. There was a fine bit of fiddling going on in the herb garden and some plants and things for sale too.

Fiddling to the foliage

In the Biscuit Factory art gallery there was lots of lovely art to buy or maybe just to look at. I have a particular penchant for the delicious hand made lampshades on display in the interior shed. At the neighbouring smaller gallery – the Holy Biscuit – we were given some iced gems upon arrival – which are a  kind of biscuit I guess. They had an intriguing display about local maps illustrated from the perspective of different types of people. For students it was all about bars, take aways, cash points and libararies. For homeless people it was where they had slept rough, found a good meal or a helping hand.

Luscious lamp dressings

We pottered around through the rather chilly May evening to see Labyrinth which was billed as a ‘cabaret style show featuring a unique blend of circus, fire, danger and comedy.’

Big bubbles

We did see some some very large bubbles being blown and a fire eater who scared the rather feral children who were roaming around a bit, seemingly unsupervised. The lady who juggles fire was graceful and quite watchable and then there was a man in an orange boiler suit and white mask who manipulated a crystal ball. Not sure what that was about. We left as the fire eating man next proceeded to balance things on the ‘table of doom.’ Mildly amusing – but it wasn’t Vegas.

Fire filly

The Late Shows are always a bit of a mixed bag but I do very much like the concept of things being open late which are normally closed. Even more stuff is on again tonight – the circus show in the Mining Institute was amazing last year and Gateshead also joins into the fray with a swinging sixties fashion show in The Shipley Art Gallery and an exhibition in the BALTIC about digital ethics. Not sure what those are either..
Tours of our lovely bridges and the fascinating Victoria tunnels which run underneath the city to the river are always very popular and the Newcastle Tango society are runing a free taster session with wine and snacks! What’s not to like! Don’t miss the Late Shows and prepare to be surprised!

Of course it is!