Wednesday, 28 May 2014

@IAmChrisRamsey coming to #BarnardCastle @funnywaytobe comedy club Aug14

Sitcom star will bring his latest show to the Parish Hall for one night only

Following a sell-out tour of the UK, Hebburn star Chris Ramsey comes to Barnard Castle for one night only. 
Ramsey, who played lead Jack Pearson in the hit BBC2 sitcom, will head to the intimate Parish Hall on Thursday 14 August for a special performance of his latest show, The Most Dangerous Man On Saturday Morning Television.

The event, organised by Funny Way To Be Comedy Club, comes just two days before Ramsey takes the show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for a limited, eight-night run.
Peter Dixon, of Funny Way To Be, said: “If I’d been told four years ago when we set up Funny Way To Be Comedy that one of the country’s top comics would ask to perform in Barnard Castle a couple of days before a major run at the world’s leading comedy festival I would not have believed it. 
“This is an incredible opportunity to see a leading theatre show in a small intimate rural venue.”
Chris’ latest stand-up show explores what happens when you say the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time.
After being ‘sent off’ the Soccer AM sofa last year for misbehaving, the former Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee wonders whether he really is ‘the most dangerous man on Saturday morning TV’.
Tickets for the show, priced £15, will be exclusively on sale to audience members at Funny Way To Be’s upcoming shows, starting with Craig Campbell’s tour show at The Witham on Saturday 24 May.
Tickets will also be available to purchase at Imran Yusuf and Kai Humphries’ double-header at The Jersey Farm Hotel on Wednesday 11 June.

Any remaining tickets will then go on general sale at 10am on Thursday 12 June via

Friday, 23 May 2014

Lost For Words (Please Don't Tell Me Please Don't Say) - OFFICIAL

Preview: Fame The Musical at Darlington Civic

         It’s Gonna Live Forever

Darlington Civic Theatre presents a brand-new production of

FAME: The Musical - like you’ve never seen it before
Monday 9 to Saturday 14 June

A dynamic, all-new production by Bill Kenwright - re-imagines and re-mixed for 2014!

Based on the Oscar-winning musical film and hugely successful TV series, FAME – THE MUSICAL will take you on a hi-octane rollercoaster ride through dizzy heights and crashing lows as a group of star-struck wannabes embark on their quest for the ultimate accolade – fame.

At the world famous High School for Performing Arts New York, young talented hopefuls undertake the journey of their lives. Ambition, triumph, heartbreak and romance conspire to steer them off course, and the pressure is too much for some. But these kids are determined to live forever and as they rocket through breathtaking dance routines and show stopping tunes FAME is the feel-good sensation that you will never forget!

Bursting with dynamic dance routines and unforgettable songs, including Play a Love Scene and Fame, FAME has enjoyed seven West End runs since premiering in the USA in 1988 and continues to be performed all over the world.

‘Pure Dance Dynamite’  The Express

‘A Feel-Good Triumph’  Mail On Sunday

‘Sensational’  The Daily Express

‘Breathtaking’  The Independent

Evenings 7.30pm, Matinees Thu 2pm, Sat 2.30pm
Tickets* Opening Night £19.20, £20, £21.20, £22.80
Tue, Wed, Thu 7.30pm & Sat 2.30pm £24, £25, £26.50, £28.50
Fri & Sat 7.30pm £26, £27, £28.50, £30.50
Thu 2pm all seats £18
Schools £12.50 plus 1 free with every 10 booked
U16s £16
Discounts available
Free post-show talk on Wednesday

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit

*plus per ticket £1 restoration levy

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Music at the Dolly Peel on Bank Holiday Weekend.

A Tasty Combination of Alex Dobson and Real Ale
 on Sunday 25th May - Bank Holiday Weekend

Alex will be playing a combination of covers and his own original songs, old and new, at the Dolly Peel in South Shields. The music starts at 8.30 pm but allow yourself time to relax with a pleasant drink before that. The bar boasts a range of tasty real ales and if the beer is not your thing there are plenty of other beverages to refresh you. After all, it's a bank holiday the next day, but enjoy your beer responsibly, of course.

Of the real ale, the Dolly Peel says, "Remember you can have a taste of any of our ales before buying a pint. We have been awarded the Cask Marque to show our ales are of a consistently high quality. Stored, chilled and pulled to perfection." This sounds like our kind of pub!

Alex Dobson has been busy writing new songs but you can get a taste of his music  in his videos for Kites and Louder . Alex also has a talent for making a well-known song very much his own, with his inimitable vocals and skilful use of the guitar and one of those loopy pedal things. This will be a great way to spend your Sunday evening so make a date with Alex Dobson and the Dolly Peel.

Alphabetti Soup at the Dog and Parrot 19/05/2014

A Simply Souper Evening

A night to discover the answers to such mysteries as: "What is purple?" and "What happens when a gay lad from the country moves to the city and comes out as , shock horror, vegan?"

Phil Ogg took full advantage of the intimate surroundings and attentive audience with his folksy pastiche filled with the calm remorse of relationships that have gone sour. Phil's long relationship with the acoustic guitar showed in his artistry with the instrument.

Asa J Maddison, stepping in to cover an absent comic's slot and starting in a Jesus Christ pose, explained emphatically that he is NOT the second coming, despite his appearance. He gave a full, loud, energetic poetry performance that flew off the stage and drew the audience in. However, nothing prepared us for the sublime madness of Jeff Potts, who captured the tyranny of the mad world we live in with a full-on act that had some people flinching, in a good way.

Dominic Berry brought us a study of relationships from a lad brought up in the country. You can buy his book of poems "One Man Struggling to Fit In" from Flapjack Press. His spot finished with a member of the audience playing the part of an ex that had caused so much hurt. This was an amusingly awkward way to perform a poem!

Next on was Jennie Pascoe. Poetry often results in the innermost feeling of the performer being laid out before us. With Jennie we got the many reasons not to have children and why Gran was best, in a heartfelt set.

Finally we were treated to a play. "For The Weekend" was written by Ben Dickenson and performed by Liam Tweddle and Roberta Stewardson. This was a short skit looking at the often volatile dynamics of a night out and long-distance relationships.

In addition to all the entertainment there was a pop-up T-shirt stall from Influx Clothing, selling very individual, nicely designed shirts. Of course though, this being an Alphabetti Soup event, there was also soup as part of the deal. lovely. The next Alphabetti Soup event is on the 23rd June. Watch the Youtube promo video.

Words and Pictures by Stephen Oliver and edited by Joanne Oliver

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The #Geordiehangover "The Stagg Do" Movie World Premier





You’ve all heard of “The Summer Of Love” - now brace yourselves for “The Summer Of Stagg!”


A raucous new Geordie comedy feature film, The Stagg Do, ( will receive its World Premiere at Newcastle’s o2 Academy, Westgate Road on 26 June, 2014. This will be one of several screenings planned in venues throughout the UK.


The Stagg Do was shot entirely on location in the North East of England and features well-known North East actors Bill Fellows (United and Wolf Blood) and Craig Conway (The Descent and Doomsday). Two non-actors from Walker, Martin Paterson and Andrew Stagg, star in the lead roles of this bawdy, low-budget comedy which is being touted as the Geordie ‘Hangover’.


The Stagg Do follows two lifelong mates from Walker, one of whom is about to get married to a ‘posh bird’. Best man, Pob, wants to give the groom, Staggy, a night to remember at the legendary gentlemen’s club The Cock’s Inn. Unfortunately, the bride-to-be forbids a traditional stag do. The compromise is a camping trip with the proviso that her uptight father, “The Judge”, goes along to supervise. Unfortunately for them the Judge is quite the raconteur, once he brings out his acoustic guitar they resort to desperate measures.


The director, American-born James DeMarco, a Gateshead resident for sixteen years who wrote the screenplay after collaborating on the story with Paterson, has gone to great lengths to capture the authenticity of the Geordie dialect and humour which he has experienced during his years of living in the North East.


“The irony of calling this authentic when it’s written by an American isn’t lost on me,” said DeMarco. “I’ve always found it odd only to see stereotypical Geordie characters on TV after you’ve hung around with the real people who are so much funnier,” he said. “From what I’ve seen, it’s not all doom and gloom - Geordies know how to have a good laugh and enjoy life.”


The filmmakers have strived to maintain authentic regional accents and much of the dialogue wound up being improvised on set, giving the film an almost punk rock feel.


“Yes, we have considered using subtitles,” said DeMarco. “Who knows, maybe we can be the first English language film to use subtitles for an English audience.”


The soundtrack features an eclectic mix of songs from a host of local unsigned bands. I'm pleased to say one of the songs was licensed from Sync Panther, the new Northeast sync agent.  The filmmakers are self-releasing and plan to hold other screenings in various venues throughout the UK. Tickets for the World Premiere go on general release on 19 May and are available from or the o2 Academy Box Office: 0844 477 2000.


Monday, 12 May 2014

Review: Peculiar Disco Moves "Lost For Words" Launch gig 09/05/2014

Time Travelling Treats

The Mining Institute is becoming a favourite venue of mine. Whether in the large stain glass windowed library or the small room we were in, the Institute has a number of interesting old rooms and is well worth a visit. This room was particularly suited to this launch party, due to its "large living room" feeling and the handy adjoining, reasonably priced bar.

First on was Ani Sandwith, a young singer songwriter with a lush bluesy voice, an ability to write good tunes and very busy piano fingers. Ani can be heard playing as a part of Michael Blackwell's band and so will be involved in the recording of his album as well as her own new EP.

So What Robot came on and blasted through a number of their older and newer tracks including their latest single In Love With Love with their usual enthusiasm winning themselves a few new fans in the process. This was developing into a really fun evening. 

Peculiar Disco Moves have been gracing stages with their eccentric style for the last 4 years. This performance proved to be their best in a bunch of recent gigs and festivals. The band has really developed their style as  a group that enjoy taking to the stage and putting on a show. Alix (piano/vocals), Pav (guitar/vocals), Proud (bass/vocals) and the all new Meghann (synth/vocals) dished up the trademark harmonies with extra gusto this night.  A special costume change for the new single Lost For Words was a pleasant surprise, and there was a special appearance of the expertly designed (cardboard) "Peculiar Time Mover" time machine from the video.

The night continued with chatting in the ante-room bar, this was a truly great gig and the mood was bubbling. 

Peculiar Disco Moves are soon to be seen at The Headlander Festival on 21st June,  The Ripley Music Festival  13th July am and whizzing back up to Northumberland the same day for the Woodhorn Festival in the evening. More dates are to be announced. Download Lost For Words from the band's Bandcamp

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