Art Centre’s programme of fun for all the family

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Theatre, music, comedy and visual arts combine under one roof for a jam-packed programme at Arts Centre Washington.

This autumn sees the launch of a family friendly programme introducing theatre for families on Saturdays and in the school holidays, including Puppetship’s Sparkle and an adaptation of the popular children’s book by Oliver Jeffers, How to Catch a Star.

Also organised to coincide with the nationwide Family Friendly Festival in October, Luna is a beautiful performance created by children’s theatre specialists Theatre Hullabaloo.

This is all made possible by Arts Centre Washington’s membership of the North East Children’s Theatre Consortium, which brings high-quality theatre for children into the region from around the UK and the world. Suitable for a teenage audience, Time for the Good Looking Boy comes to the arts centre at the end of November.

It’s a cautionary tale for urban youth with an original rap soundtrack that promises to send shivers down your spine.

For adults, the theatre assortment includes real tales of the NHS in Floating.

A light-hearted lecture on the perils of consumerism in Amy Mackleden’s Retail and a moving account of a mother dealing with her son’s deployment to Afghanistan, in Every Mother’s Son.

The Arts Centre also welcome Apples and Snakes with their Amuse Bouche, an evening of informal spoken word performance.

Live music is also in plentiful supply.Look out for Peter Peverley’s Acoustic Barn. This monthly musical soiree is a twist on the traditional buskers’ night. Expect plenty of laughs, a live music quiz and an end-of- evening jam.

Hothouse is the centre’s monthly unsigned bands’ night and this season acts include Head of Light Entertainment, Foundries, Carved Lies, The Pursuit and Lauren Doyle.

This Hallowe’en, Dkstudios presents a special fright night featuring Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunch Box, Zombiehater, The Creep Void and Enter Lexicon – fancy dress is mandatory.

The arts centre is also hosting the award-winning Davy Lamp Folk Club every Saturday night, whose up-coming acts include Allan Taylor, Bob Fox, Billy Mitchell, Vin Garbutt plus many more.

The Grinning Idiot Comedy Club returns to the centre in October with a great line-up including John Maloney, Mike Milligan and a young impersonator Cal Halbert, who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent.

In the Gallery, the arts centre is one of many venues in Sunderland involved in The North East Photography Network’s celebration of photography – The Social.

The Christmas offering is a new show for families – One Snowy Night – based on the well-known children’s book by Nick Butterworth. This production for children (plus their families) promises to be a magical alternative to pantomime.

The year is rounded off with a massive Monster Ceilidh Bash on New Year’s Eve – get your tickets fast as last year’s event sold out quickly.

* For more information on all Arts Centre Washington events visit or Tel. 219 3455.