Over four nights in March, a new free event aims to bring magic to visitors to Newcastle city centre, with a series of events taking place across the Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland in the lead up, where a celestial Story-Weaver is said to have been called down from the stars.
The programme will culminate in a dazzling festival finale in Newcastle city centre from Thursday March 10 – Sunday March 13, with projections, fire and music inspired by local stories and landscapes from across Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside.
Events use large scale projection, atmospheric imagery, sound and fire, with the intention of capturing the character, beauty and diversity of the region and igniting the audience’s imagination.
For more information on North of Tyne, Under the Stars, visit the festival website.
Connecting the events, which have been taking place across the region since February, is the Story-Weaver, a mysterious and magical visitor called down from the stars to travel the region, seeking the connections, fables, facts and characters and drawing together the threads to spin a new mythology for the North of Tyne.
The result will be presented in Newcastle city entre in the four-day finale, with an enormous zoetrope powered by the inventiveness of our region at the Great North Museum: Hancock, to a collection of ethereal ghostly creatures and mythical beasts and an ever-changing magic carpet of intricate patterns playing out across the city’s buildings and streets.
Produced by Pinwheel and DAT Events and commissioned by the North of Tyne Combined Authority, events welcome visitors of all ages to engage in the experience. The core story has been developed by a collaborative team of artists including Newcastle based projection artists NOVAK, composer Roma Yagnik, Director Simon Sharkey and Designer Robin Peoples.
North of Tyne Major Jamie Driscoll said: “Stories give us a sense of who we are and where we belong. They bring us together and build community bonds. Storytelling has always been a fundamental part of being human.
“The North East has a rich heritage, and every community has its own story to tell and North of Tyne’s Under the Stars storytelling events will weave together the stories from places across our region.
“This is the first event of its kind in our region. What an opportunity to show why the North East is such a special place and showcase the fantastic talent we have here.”
Katy Fuller, Creative Director at Pinwheel said: “I am thrilled to finally be able to present this magical story, which is being brought to life by the most talented group of artists. From the events across the region, to the work we are doing in schools, to the finale in Newcastle, our aim is to captivate audiences with this love letter to their region, mixing the real and the mythical and firing up the imagination.”
Coun John-Paul Stephenson, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for Public Health and Culture, said: “The cultural sector has experienced a really tough time during the Covid-19 pandemic and like most industries is really having to work hard to get back on its feet. I’m sure these events, bringing together some of the best and brightest creative minds from our region and further afield, will be an excellent addition to our cultural offer.”