What's On

Your guide to everything in North East

Culture Awards 2013: Kate Fox's poem plus photos from the event

Performance poet and Journal columnist Kate Fox wrote a bespoke poem featuring all 36 Culture Awards finalists. Read the poem below

Journeys into the past,

into the future,

Into the light, into the dark

from Christianity's cradle

to St James Park,

from the Scottish border

to Marden Rocks.

The nominations start

with Paul Alexander Knox


showing how societies change

when industries disappear,

Sunderland’s Bangladeshi people revealed

in We Are All Brothers Here.

Paranoia-purveyor Swedish Cecilia Stenbom’s

travelled far,

lived in Iceland, Finland and Scotland

got on The Case in Berwick with Nordic Noir.

watercolour-experimenter William Tillyer,

the most famous British artist

people have never heard of,

a philosopher-painter's perspective

in a 75th birthday MIMA retrospective

asking hard questions of paint,

making representational art tartars

feel faint.


Dancer-director Vivien Wood’s “Exile”

powered from Dance City to Holy Island

via Durham Cathedral

in passionate, collaborative style

asked where can you go when you lose home?

The November Club’s answer was Wallington Hall,

for the emotional evacuees

revoiced in Operation Pied Piper,

Lady Mary Trevelyan answering their call.

Homeless alcoholics found a home at the Live Theatre-

not funding-cut artists upset at losing their money-

but Paddy Campbell’s Wet House-

with a moving, true and funny



from debut-performer nominee,

actor Joe Caffrey,

Painter Pitman.

Travelling troubadour, honest song man

Martin Longstaff of The Lake Poets

has gigged all over the country from Sunderland,

and if you want another fragile, honest voice

in the North East we’re spoilt for choice.

See also Kathryn Williams who threw a Heart Shaped Stone

from instant classic album Crown Electric

to land on Radio 2 (and the Rovers Return jukebox).

If you caught her Sylvia Plath-inspired poems

at Durham Book Festival

you wouldn’t have been sorry

and did I mention?

she heard her song on Corrie.



are quirky playwriter Allison Davies

Weather to Fly

looked at people wondering who they were and why.

Northern Stage graduates The Letter Room

took that indie, collaborative theatre attitude

to Edinburgh,Bestival and Latitude.

in “The Man who Thought the Moon

Would Fall Out of the Sky”

and- if you were just thinking that mentioning

meteorological phenomenon in your title

would get you a newcomer nomination

I’ll have a try-

the third nominee is Pop Recs

where Frankie and the Heartstrings

stuck their necks out.

Finding no record shops

to sell their record in

they knuckled down

to open their own

in their home town.

To caffeinate,


host performances

& innovate.



For writers-

another nod, the second today

for Paddy Campbell’s The Wet Room- his debut play.

A Geordie Adrian Mole

is created in Young Adult hit “In Bloom”

a flying flowering for dynamic young adult Matthew Crow

and a gritty conspiracy thriller “Gladio”

the first novel after Steve Chambers

twenty five years world-creating

for everything from Casualty to Byker Grove.

and he’s done more for writers education than Michael Gove.


Angelically singing curators

Bridie Jackson and the Arbour

strapped their mandolin and their moog on,

to make a night at the museum

more melodically magical

than an average film starring Steve Coogan

The Discovery Museum’s new gallery

Destination Tyneside

channels local pride,

animates the lives

of people who moved here,

making sure their struggles

and stories don't disappear.

For those who now call

the North East home,

much to recognise in the

History of the North East

in a Hundred Objects

from the first windscreen wiper, to a friction match

and Catherine Cookson’s dictaphone.


Arts and Business

when culture and commerce meet-

Pop Recs Limited

from the hardworking band,

who’ve made a stand

on Fawcett Street.

Live Theatre and Port of Tyne-

making waves with sell out shows

aboard for Michael Chaplin’s Tyne.

and Wideeyed Collective and SCA-

photographers of social issues

teaming up with manufacturers of tissues.


The Arts Council Award nominees

Bad Taste Company’s devilish dancers

selling their Speakeasy souls in Faust,

had national audiences in and out of doors

begging for more

Souter Lighthouse’s Foghorn Requiem

saw musicians and boats

create a melancholy withdrawing roar

echoing from ship to shore

and Second Moon’s a lunatic work

showing the longest journey in real time as it’s unfurled

-moon rock shot from the Science Festival in Newcastle

all the way around the world.

Track it via a free app,

give all these innovative works a clap...


Because our journey is now in the home straight.

The best of each regional event.

Wish you’d been there if you missed them,

reminisce if you went.



Evolution Emerging

like a thousand at the Ouseburn

Evolution’s little sister

where you might spot a future Culture Awards headlining turn.

Forty years of publishing, poetry and purple from

local lit legend Pete Mortimer

celebrated in a festival by the sea-

featuring Melvyn Bragg, Ian Mcmillan- oh, and me!

Then from the Iron Age-

head for One Night in Gateshead- where else but

here at Sage.

Accordion, fiddle, cloggers, street dance

attended well,

breathed into life

by bag-squeezing diva Kathryn Tickell


Berwick Media Arts Festival

used Nordic roots to make itself the place

to be seen-

border town become cinema screen.

Rewind five hundred years to border disputes

and Flodden 1513

in Branxton,

or the vote might go

to Morpeth's campaigning

daughter Emily Wilding Davis

with Emily Inspires,

horse-trampled suffragette,

would she think enough

has altered yet?


The National Glass Centre’s

redevelopment relaunch and reopening

after six months

earned respect

and a space to reflect.

As did Glittering Potter Grayson Perry

whose Vanity of Small Differences

came to Sunderland and Channel Four,

asked- relevantly for a culture awards ceremony-

what taste is- and who it is for.

While The Social saw documentary photographers,

lens- livers, international image givers

turned their clear eyed gaze

on their work in the region

for a month of days.


In Durham

Hetton Silver Band Hall

travelled brick by brick

to Beamish,

they took it all!

Welcomed with a collier’s carnival.

Also coming home-

the gem-studded pages

of the Lindisfarne Gospel

Durham laid on

operas, dance, a Lindisfarne cake off,

over a thousand events

and a hundred thousand people saw it

before the British Museum had to make off

with it again

and Vogue photographer,

surrealist storyteller’s Tim Walker’s


blended feathers and ticking

as often as the Bowes Museum’s mechanical swan.




Teesside saw

world-maker Daniel Bye cast his eye

and ear over Stockton’s unheard stories,

whispered glories

forgotten ordinaries and sudden strange.

Said you’re part of history

so it’s something you can change.

In Darlington they didn’t skimp on art,

heart or taking part.

Twenty seven thousand people

at the first, free national

Festival of Thrift

giving short thrift to those who said

it couldn’t be done,

was only for the likes

of Boden-botherers in London.


Last but not least-

after all that journeying,

a Middlesbrough project

asked a lot and had much to give-

celebrating everything from Temenos to the Transporter

Middlesbrough's treasures from the serious

to the silly

Roseberry Topping to

the Mayor to Amelia Lily

ten thousand entries showed


North Easterners

do indeed

Love Where You Live.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer