Shows not to miss this season at Arts Centre Washington

The Gunge Show.
The Gunge Show.
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A new year and a new season full of theatre, dance, music, exhibitions, comedy and films at Arts Centre Washington.

The February half term show Mavis Sparkle (February 24) is a cosmic production that mixes magic, illusion, animation and laughter that encourages people to follow their dreams and reach for the stars.

The Creative Brain

The Creative Brain

The Gunge Show (March 18) is a comedy game show for children aged five-plus and families. At the end of the show the losing captain will get gunged!

Grab your lyric sheets and prepare to sing your socks off as you teach your little ones some songs they’ll never forget at Sing-a- long Yellow Submarine (April 29), which will be followed by a 1960’s style family rave. There will be rainbow face painting, bubbles, hula hoops and the opportunity to make your own psychedelic headwear.

The Owl and the Pussycat (April 12) is a brand twist on the classic Edward Lear Poem.

The Creative Brain (April 21) takes children aged five to 10 through a fun, silly adventure into a world of stories to meet a cast of unexpected characters.

Expect laughter and slapstick as well as pantomime nonsense along the way.

Highlights of the theatre programme include:

l Heaven Eyes (February 8), an adaptation by the acclaimed children’s author David Almond. Mysterious, heart-breaking and humorous in equal measure, the show is suitable for ages nine-plus.

l The gender defying Two Man Show (February 16), where two women play two women playing two men. RashDash Theatre present the show, which was a massive hit at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

l Ventoux (March 16) is the most fearsome mountain encountered on the Tour de France. It is also the story of Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani – whose drug-fuelled race there in 2000 was the greatest cycling had ever seen.

l In May the University of Sunderland’s drama students take over the theatre for the month long ‘Sunfest’. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet will be on the menu alongside plays by the likes of Brecht.

As well as theatre, there’s also comedy and music on the menu.

Stand up comedy is in plentiful supply with the return of the family’s favourite funny man (and occasional disco dancer) Patrick Monaghan with That 80’s Show (March 31). As well as the return of The Grinning Idiot Comedy Club (April 7) and a solo outing from local comedy legend Steffen Peddie (February 3).

Young dancers will be strutting their stuff in the ‘Pulse’ dance showcase (March 25) and young artists can show off their talent as part of the Youth Arts Exhibition (from February 3).

Music-wise, look out for a tribute to ELO and 10CC (February 11).

The arts centre is also home to the award-winning Davy Lamp Folk Club, which takes place on the first Saturday of every month, upcoming acts include Bob Fox (March 4), Kieran Halpin (May 6) and Vin Garbutt (June 3).

For details visit www.artscentrewashington.co.uk