What to expect from the new season at Arts Centre Washington

Ross Millard

Ross Millard

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Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, a show which blends music with story-telling will form one of the highlights of the autumn season at Arts Centre Washington.

Spawned from the Cultural Spring project to boost the uptake of arts in the area, Putting the Band Back Together features Ross Millard from Frankie & the Heartstrings; Maria Crocker from The Letter Room theatre company and Alex Elliott from Northern Stage .

A scene from Key Change

A scene from Key Change

Part riotous gig and part-storytelling, it’s based around the thousands of guitars and other musical instruments that are gathering dust in people’s bedrooms and haven’t been strummed in years.

Exploring the emotions within people’s relationship with music, the show won rave reviews at this month’s Edinburgh Fringe festival.

Now Washington audiences will get the chance to see the show when it’s performed at Arts Centre Washington on September 22.

It’s one in a number of top shows heading to the Fatfield venue this autumn.

Other highlights of the theatre programme include Fish Eye (November 17), a dark comedy about nosiness gone wild which tells the tale of a nosey neighbour who takes things too far when she starts spying on the people on her street.

Meanwhile Key Change (November 26) is an award-winning play based on the real life stories of women in prison. Written and made in the North East, the show has most recently been performed in New York.

There’s also plenty of theatre for children and families to look forward to including Penguin! Elephant! (October 1), a hilarious new children’s show about celebrating differences for anyone who’s ever waddled like a Penguin or stomped like an Elephant.

And The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (October 27) focuses on a young boy who fulfils his dream when he meets a real life wizard.

Live music is also in plentiful supply. Double take as Roxy Musique (September 17) pay tribute to Washington’s own son Bryan Ferry and Blackmore’s Blood (November 19) replicate the talent and sound of the former Deep Purple and Rainbow lead guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore.

The arts centre also home to the award winning Davy Lamp Folk Club, with upcoming acts including Martin Simpson (November 5) and Anthony John Clarke (December 3).

Also look out for local up and coming bands such as El Cid (November 25) who will be gracing the stage for the centre’s unsigned bands night Hothouse.

If you want to take part in the arts the centre has a vast array of classes and courses to get involved in. For adults there is watercolour classes,

community choir, amateur dramatics plus dance and exercise classes on offer.

For children, there are art classes, youth theatre (including a brand new youth theatre for 13 – 19 year olds) and even a samba drum circle.

At the end of the year, this year’s Christmas show will be Santa’s Little Helper (December 5-11), a funny festive adventure suitable for children aged three and over.

For more information on all Arts Centre Washington events visit www.artscentrewashington.co.uk or call 0191 561 3455.