Commissioned by Northern Stage as part of Out On The Toon

Neighbourhood Events  Where To Find Us

As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, we're inviting you to get Out on the Toon this summer, starting with a series of free outdoor events to reconnect artists and audiences in their local neighbourhoods throughout June.

10 North East theatre makers have been selected to create work in 9 of our region’s 12 local authorities, breathing new life into the places and spaces that have been the backdrop to their lockdown, celebrating the diversity of our region and bringing communities together through immersive live performances, dance, story trails, short stories, films, live music and spoken word.

Times and locations will be added over the coming weeks so check back here for updates - we hope you're able to join us Out on the Toon soon!

Neighbourhood Events

Mam Tackles the Climate Crisis

Written and directed by Tracy Gillman
Performed by Jackie Lye

62 Middle Street, Consett, County Durham, DH8 5QE (on the corner of Parliament Street and Church Street)
Performances will take place at the top of the steps, outside the door of the church

Thursday 24th June: 11.30am, 1pm, 3pm

Friday 25th June: 11.30am, 1pm, 3pm

Saturday 26th June: 11.30am, 1pm, 3pm

Mam Tackles the Climate Crisis is a solo monologue in which Mam engages passers-by with her frustrated attempts to recycle everything, including her relationship with her daughter.

Mam is sitting on the steps of the church knitting carrier bags, telling her story. She cannot deal with recent events, working two jobs and all the recycling she has to do. Her daughter Maisie, who has recently had a baby and wants to get married soon, thinks Mam is just making a lot of unnecessary fuss. Can the climate crisis bring them closer together again? Or will Mam stay on the church steps forever? Will Maisie get the wedding dress she has dreamt of or something quite different and what will they call the new baby? 

More information here.

Tub Time: Unplugged

Northern Creations and Novo Productions

Directed by Jake Smith
Performed by Rachel Stockdale

Tynemouth Longsands (near Crusoe's), North Tyneside
Friday 4th June: 2.30pm, 3pm, 3.30pm, 4pm
Saturday 5th June: 3.30pm, 4pm, 4.30pm, 5pm
Sunday 6th June: 2.30pm, 3pm, 3.30pm, 4pm

Rub a dub dub… look out for the tub!

Tub Time: Unplugged is an ode to our favourite lockdown pastimes and a look to the future! Feel free to chat with theatre-maker Rachel Stockdale about lockdown hobbies, bathroom renovations, weight gain during the pandemic and how you plan to emerge from the past year.

The bathroom door will be open to 12 households who will get to experience an intimate piece of theatre, in response to Rachel’s favourite pastime of FaceTiming in the bath.

Look out for the lass in the bath! 

More information here.

The Weebles

Creative concept: Mark Maughan
Writer: Lee Mattinson

Littlehaven Beach, South Shields
Launching on 9th June - check back for more updates

The Weebles invites you to Littlehaven Beach, South Shields, where one North East community is slowly waking up. After a year in which many of us have felt rooted to the spot, meet the twenty-two statues that make up Juan Muñoz’s Conversation Piece and find out what’s on their mind as we swing back into action.

Eavesdrop into their world through your headphones to meet the walk and talk group without a voice, the backwards-thinking parents who can’t begin to spell ‘queer’ and the young woman whose world transforms when she finds a Fitbit, to name a few.

Join the Weebles as we reflect on our disappearing-reappearing society with an ensemble of audio stories about old tensions, new beginnings and a man called John whose absence connects them all.

Listen to The Weebles throughout June on location at Littlehaven Beach, South Shields, going live on the 9th June 2021 here. Click back then for the link.

Performers: Charlie Hardwick, Trevor Fox, Sarah Lewis Obuba and Nick Blakeley.

Content advice: contains some strong language and adult themes including references to gender dysphoria and homophobia.

More information here.

a case in point...

Creation, choreography, performance and production by What's That Dance Company (Megan Brown and Jenny Chrisp)
Music by Annie Griffiths

Live stream/live recording by Meta4 Dance Company

Addycombe Terrace, Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne
Saturday 12th June, 2pm

A case in point... An estimated 1.5 million young women lost income since the start of the pandemic

A case in point... Mothers were 23% more likely than fathers to have temporarily or permanently lost their jobs during the pandemic and 14% more likely to be furloughed

A case in point... Women perform 76% of the total hours of unpaid care work globally

A case in point... In the UK, 77% of frontline workers are female with a 17.3% gender pay gap with their male counterparts

A case in point... is a dance duet performed with women of Heaton. What's The Dance Company stand together with women in their community to challenge the shocking statistics of the increased inequality women have faced because of the pandemic. They want to raise awareness of the ongoing fight celebrating the strength and resilience of local women.

Thanks for the Chat

Theatre Space NE

Tue 1 Jun - Wed 30 Jun
Sunderland City Centre
Mowbray Park, Sunniside, Borough Road, Keel Square and Minster Quarter
All day, in your own time. No need to book.

Theatre Space NE and Sunderland-based writer James Whitman created Thanks for the Chat - based on conversations with Sunderland residents, reflecting back on the last bit of normalcy before the first national lockdown.

Capturing moments of humour, sadness and hope, these conversations have formed a collection of short monologues and duologues which can be accessed via the company website. Tied to relevant locations in Sunderland City Centre this collection of short films and audio stories capture the mood of the city before it all changed. By downloading them to your phone and viewing them in the locations which inspired them, or by watch them from the comfort of your sofa, they will help you to reconnect with your community and their voices.

More information here.

Black Femme Priority

Created and performed by Georgina Lance

Tower Cafe, Leazes Park, Newcastle upon Tyne

There are 6 performances across 2 days:

Sunday 20th & Monday 21st June, 12noon, 1.30pm & 3pm

Georgina Lance's piece Black Femme Priority is a movement-based visual performance focussing on the relationship of Black Womxn, with nature and movement as a medium for healing and liberation.

The piece has been inspired by personal experiences throughout the overwhelming events of the lockdown and during the Black Lives Matter protests where the circulation of brutalised Black bodies was very triggering and traumatic for many Black womxn, including Georgina.

This stressful period incentivised Georgina to re-examine how important it is for Black Womxn to prioritise caring for their own mental health, and how quintessential movement and nature has been for personal wellbeing and self-care.

Content advice: contains sensitive themes, references to racism, Black Lives Matter protests and police brutality.

More information here.

Story Trails: Adventure on Your Doorstep

Kitchen Zoo

Saltwell Park, Gateshead
1 Jun - 31 Aug
Heading out into the park for your daily stroll? Listen closely and you might find some familiar stories you didn't know were there! Three bears plodding through the wood. Little Red Riding Hood skipping off to see her Granny. Three little pigs building three little houses. Do you know what happens next?

Join Kitchen Zoo for a stroll through some well-known stories, re-imagining your local landscape as one for adventures!

Age recommendation: children aged 3-7 years (and their grown-ups)

Chewin' On A Brick

Written and performed by Scott Turnbull

Stockton High Street and Riverside, Stockton-on-Tees
Times and dates TBC. Check back for updates.

"Are you talking to me, or chewin’ on a brick? Either way you’ll lose your teeth."

"This is what a lad in our class said to my teacher on our first day at secondary school. When people ask me about where I'm from, I tell them this story. I’m proud of it. The story. The town. The people. For their charming vernacular and dark sense of humour."

Award-winning actor Scott Turnbull tells a series of semi-autobiographical tales about growing up in Stockton-on-Tees, interspersed with hand-made animations, black comedy and magic realism. 

Content advice: contains strong language.

Age recommendation: 12+

More information here.


Bordello Collective

Saturday 19th June, 12noon
Elvet Bridge, River Wear, Durham

Saturday 26th June, 12noon
Navigation Way side of Tees Barrage, River Tees, Stockton

Saturday 3rd July, 12noon
Tyne Green (near the main river bridge) River Tyne, Hexham

“The sound of chimes and singing voices echo in the distance. Down by a river three strangely attired beings sing of the past and of the present, of stillness and of change.”

Weaving together spoken word, ritual and song Verto is a series of site-specific theatrical interventions along the three main rivers of the North East. Offering the witness gentle disruption that provokes a re-imagining of space and a re-energising of ourselves.

Water is the source of life, it is unendingly part of a cycle, perpetually held in motion no matter how silent or still that motion may appear. The performances will trace circular walking routes, beginning and ending in the same locations on publicly accessible riverside paths.

Staged as circular pilgrimages Verto offers an antidote to our current situation and prompts a gentle provocation to reconnect with ourselves and the world.

More information here.


Written and Directed by Danielle Slade
Peformed by Charlotte Ryder
Puppet made by Georgia Hill
Produced by Susan Mulholland

Bill Quay Farm, Gateshead, NE10 0UE

Wednesday 23rd June
10.30am - 11am, 11.15am-11.45am, 12pm - 12.30pm, 1.15pm - 1.45pm, 2pm - 2.30pm

Orville The Owl, the littlest owl in Chestnut Forest, is about to embark on his first flight. His feathers are prepped, his hoot hoot is tuneful, but there seems to be a small problem… Orville is scared. Of the dark. Of the light. Of going outside. Of … well, everything. This is a job for Edwina, the forest’s one and only member of the owl appreciation society. Edwina hopes to help Orville overcome his worries and fears of what the big wide world may hold and help him soar. We’re inviting young children to help Orville on his way this summer. 

Join us at Bill Quay Farm this summer for a special little story about the big wide world.

Content advice: deals gently with anxiety

Age recommendation: children aged 3-5 years (and their grown ups)

Accessible for pushchairs (some uneven ground in the forest area).

Each performance will be BSL interpreted by Caroline Ryan.

More information and booking here.

The Neighbourhood Events are part of our Out On The Toon programme funded by the Weston Culture Fund. 

Where To Find Us