It’s hard to believe it’s nearly February already! And not only that, but Newcastle's cultural calendar is starting to fill up with excellent things to do.
With everything from the city's epic Chinese New Year celebrations to comedy from Bill Bailey and Sarah Millican and even a whisky festival, it's safe to say that February is going to be a busy month in Newcastle!
Chinese New Year, Chinatown
Centred on Newcastle’s Chinatown (one of only five such areas in England), Newcastle's Chinese New Year celebrations are always a riot of colour, sound, taste and sensation. Marking the start of the lunar year, the main event will be the parade on Sunday 11th, which this year will return to the heart of the city starting at Grey's Monument and winding its way along Blackett Street and Gallowgate and towards the Chinese Arch at Stowell Street. As usual, there’ll be dancers, performers, stalls and crafts, with the area around Stowell Street a hubbub of vibrant activity.
From 11th February, free
Bill Bailey, Utilita Arena
Bill Bailey has been one of our most popular comedians for decades now - a frequent and much-loved face on TV, the stage and in movies. His considerable musical skills add a unique flavour to his shows and he’s known for flights of surreal fancy mixed with a knack for finding joy in the everyday. His new show, Thoughtifier, looks at our relationship with machines and whether humans are in danger of becoming redundant, which might be bleak in other hands but with Bailey, it’s bound to be as funny as it is thought-provoking.
17th February, from £42.50
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World @ Theatre Royal
With International Women’s Day on the horizon, this new show based on the book by Kate Pankhurst (yes, a descendant of the suffragettes!) couldn’t be more timely. With a packed cast of stage favourites, the play sees a schoolgirl called Jade discover a Gallery Of Greatness in her local museum and learns about such amazing women as Rosa Parks, Mary Seacole and Frida Kahlo among others. Packed with excitement, education and songs, this is a must.
21st - 25th February, from £13
Sarah Millican: Late Bloomer @ O2 City Hall
Perhaps the biggest comedian to ever emerge from Tyneside, South Shields-born local heroine Millican started winning awards in the late noughties and has barely been off our screens and stages since. In her new show, Millican looks back on the quiet, friendless girl she used to be and wonders how she got from there to the woman she is today. You can expect big laughs, outrageous observations and some disarming honesty during this five-night (almost) hometown run.
20th - 24th February, from £44
Example @ NX
Straddling the division between chart pop and big-room house and techno, Example is one of the most high-profile names in dance with a string of big singles, acclaimed festival slots and massive sales. He’s promoting his We May Grow Old But We Never Grow Up album with a busy year of gigs and appearances and will no doubt sound magnificent through the NX sound system. Time to grab your rave airhorns.
8th February, £27.50
P*ssed Up Panto: Jack & The Beanstalk @ Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Another incarnation of the acclaimed P*ssed Up Panto franchise, this time the team are tackling another perennial favourite: Jack & The Beanstalk. Exploring the limits of pantomimes when kids aren’t around, expect fun, filth, satire, singalongs and audience participation as well as some drinking games. Not for children or the faint-hearted.
28th February, from £26
Spring Show @ Boulevard
With the Christmas season out of the way, Newcastle’s finest cabaret bar has announced its spring show, running from February to May. With beloved hostesses Danni Dee and Miss Rory joined by the spectacular Broadway Dancers back after a break, the Boulevard team promises ‘a night out like no other’ and we wholeheartedly believe they'll deliver.
9th February - 4th May, from £10
Evening Cookery Club: Valentine’s Chocolate @ Blackfriars
The various cookery clubs at Blackfriars are always popular (and sell out quickly) and this Valentine’s Day Special is bound to be especially in demand. Spend the evening in the wonderful surroundings of this history-laden restaurant learning how to make artisan chocolates to a professional standard, and take them him to your special one. The sweet treats include Salted Caramel, Peppermint Creams and Italian Meringue, and all materials will be provided.
14th February, £75
Newcastle Whisky Festival 2024 @ Newcastle Civic Centre
Back for another year and bigger than ever, this annual festival of whisky will showcase the good stuff from all over the world - from Edinburgh to India and a few places in between. Organised by session to avoid overcrowding, all of the exhibitors will be happy to give you a dram to sample and you’ll even get a Glencairn tasting glass. There’ll be masterclasses – details TBA – and the list of exhibitors is pretty impressive too!
24th February, from £26.50
Seconds Away! (Staged Reading) @ Live Theatre
This is a unique opportunity to see Jimmy Nail’s new musical play in its early stages, read by Nail himself and some of the cast, with songs performed by a band of local musicians including Ray Laidlaw from Lindisfarne. The play is written by legendary screenwriter Ian La Frenais and Nail has written the songs, telling the tale of Fighting Frankie Tanner, a Newcastle boxing champion looking back on his life and facing new challenges.
Performances from 6th - 17th February, £30
Paint & Sip Valentine's Tote Bag Workshop @ Hancock Gallery
Get creative this Valentine's season with a tote bag painting workshop at Hancock Galley. This loved-up edition of their Paint & Sip series of events invites guests to enjoy a glass of prosecco on arrival before decorating a canvas tote bag with a design inspired by love, friendship and empowerment. All materials are provided and you get to take your new tote bag home too - a perfect gift for your favourite on Valentine's Day!
10th February, £25
The Mystery of Dracula @ Alphabetti Theatre
Head to Alphabetti this February and investigate the supernatural folklore of Bram Stoker's classic novel Dracula with occult illusionist David Alnwick. Fusing theatre, magic and storytelling, this one-man show received rave reviews following its Edinburgh Fringe debut last year and is something that fans of literary horror will certainly want to sink their teeth into (vampire pun intended).
8th - 10th February, £10
With January behind us, it’s time to get back out there and make the most of what Newcastle has to offer. You might fancy yourself a budding chocolatier or want to get your hands in the air to some house anthems or many other things besides - and Newcastle has it all for you!