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Firing the imagination this October half-term in NewcastleGateshead

3rd September 2014

Categories: Latest News

Families seeking imaginative entertainment this October half-term are spoilt for choice in NewcastleGateshead as the award-winning Juice Festival returns, with acclaimed children’s writer David Almond in place as artistic advisor. 

The multi-arts festival (sponsored by Port of Tyne) for children, young people and their families takes place during autumn half-term (24 October – 2 November 2014) and features work created and performed by children and young people, as well as work, including premier performances,  by regional, national and international artists -

Taking inspiration from David Almond’s writing, festival highlights include Five Ring Circus, a youth circus who will be presenting their own interpretation of David’s book, The Boy who Swam with Piranhas. Taking place at Discovery Museum, Newcastle, The Fantastic Fairground of Fishy Feats (Wed 29 & Thu 30 October) uses the themes and characters from the book to create a brand new piece of circus theatre.

Théâtre Sans Frontières, one of the region’s leading theatre companies, will also be performing a brand new play based on David’s popular book, Heaven Eyes (Tues 28 & Wed 29 October). The adaptation tells the tale of three children who flee an orphanage, down the River Tyne, only to be rescued by a strange girl with webbed hands and feet named Heaven Eyes. This is the first time a stage version of this book has been performed.

Juice Festival is the highlight in a range of activities and events for children of all ages taking place across the destination this half-term, don’t miss:

Best for young children

Bleu: presented by Compagnia TPO (part of Juice Festival)
Dance City, Temple Street, Newcastle
Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October, 11am & 2.30pm
Tickets £6
Set sail for the Mediterranean... Follow Sailor as he embarks on a magical journey to the bottom of the deep blue sea; swim, splash, be carried on the wind and guided by the stars in this interactive and immersive adventure. This performance combines theatre, dance and technical wizardry to transport viewers into an interactive world of play.

Musical Rumpus (part of Juice Festival)
Gateshead Old Town Hall, West Street, Gateshead 
Saturday 01 Nov, 11.30am, 1.30pm & 3.30pm
Tickets £5   
Explore a magical underwater world of mermaids and monsters on a journey through the beautiful music of J.S. Bach. An interactive, immersive experience especially designed for very young ears.

Busy B’s at BALTIC
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays
Every Saturday & Sunday, 14:00 - 16:00
Hassle free, no need to book – just drop-in and get stuck in with activities for young artists inspired by the gallery’s exhibitions. Cementing itself as on of the UK’s most prestigious galleries by hosting Turner Prize 2011 and attracting a record 150,000 visitors, BALTIC showcases the best in contemporary art from across the globe with a changing programme of events and exhibitions.

Best for older children

The Big Juice Read: The Boy who Swam with Piranhas by David Almond
(part of Juice Festival)
Tuesday 28 Oct, 10am (Gateshead Central Library) & 2pm (Newcastle City Library)
Visit the fairground, marvel at talented performers, try your hand at circus skills and puppetry, enjoy a theatrical reading and pick up your own copy of The Boy who Swam with Piranhas and other books by award-winning author and Juice Festival Artistic Director David Almond.

Moving Stories – Children's Books from Page to Screen
Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books, 30 Lime Street, Newcastle
05 April 2014 – April 2015
Children £6 / Adults £7 / Family £19
This exciting exhibition showcases innovative and influential film and television adaptations inspired by children's books. All areas of the focus on different aspects of storytelling and plots and featured stories include Alice in Wonderland, The Gruffalo and The Borrowers, as well as fairy tales including Snow White, Cinderella and Shrek. Many rare and intriguing objects will be on display for the first time, offering visitors a unique chance to see manuscripts, illustrations, storyboards, costumes and film footage.

Best for teenagers

Gatecrash: presented by Zest Theatre (part of Juice Festival)
Theatre Royal, Grey Street, Newcastle
Saturday 25 October, 6pm & 8pm
Tickets £7
Sam’s having a house party. Nothing big, just a few close friends…at least that was the plan until you knocked on the door. Gatecrash the party of the year and become immersed in the action by controlling the night through interactive silent disco technology. Put on wireless headphones, grab a drink and get ready for an unforgettable night.

Art Jam 2014: Fantasy & Fairytales (part of Juice Festival)
Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays
Saturday 25 October (various times)
See world-famous street artist Inkie create a spectacular mural inspired by fantasy and fairytales, take part in workshops and watch amazing artwork come to life in the Co-Musica Arches behind Sage Gateshead – all for free!

Just Jam International: presented by Bad Taste Cru (part of Juice Festival)
Dance City, Temple Street, Newcastle
Sunday 02 November, Preliminaries: 2pm-5pm & Finals: 6pm-9pm
Tickets £8 / £10 / £15
B-Boys and B-Girls from all over the world compete against the UK’s finest for the coveted title of Just Jam Intl Champion. Feel the hype build through the preliminary rounds (£8), join the crowd for the finals (£10), or book for the full day (£15) for the ultimate Breakin’ Battle experience.

BODY WORLDS Vital: The Original Exhibition of Real Human Bodies
Life Science Centre, Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne
17 May – 02 November 2014 – catch it before it ends
Children £7.50 / Adults £12 / Family £29.50   
BODY WORLDS Vital celebrates the potential of the human body and the body in motion. The display in Newcastle is one in a series of first-of-their-kind exhibitions featuring a unique collection of authentic human plastinated specimens, including whole bodies, individual organs and transparent body slices. To date, more than 38 million people around the world have viewed the BODY WORLDS exhibitions. This is the first time Vital has been on show in the UK.

Where to eat

The Herb Garden
Arch 8, Westgate Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 1SA
For vegetarian’s (and carnivores alike!), The Herb Garden is Newcastle’s newest pizza kitchen – specialising in fresh, stone-baked pizzas. This enchanting restaurant provides a new and exciting twist on the classic pizza place, including space-age orbs of home-grown herbs used by the kitchen. They also serve a range of salads, steak and specials, perfect for diverse family palates.

Where to sleep

Sleeperz Hotel Newcastle
15 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE 
Sleeperz Newcastle places you at the centre of the city's multiple attractions; a brilliant new concept in compact city centre lifestyle hotels for the business and leisure traveller. They offer friendly service, stylish design and a comfortable night's sleep, all at great value prices. 10 family rooms sleep up to four with a queen sized double bed and bunk beds for younger family members, offering efficient use of space, comfort and style. Rooms start from £58.50.


For media enquiries contact:
Shelley Armstrong
Media & PR Manager
T. +44 (0)191 440 5739
M. +44 (0)7717 631 109

Notes to editors:
• The Port of Tyne is once again headline sponsor of Juice Festival, as part of its commitment to enhancing opportunities for young people -
• United by seven bridges across a spectacular riverscape, Newcastle (a city on the north bank of the River Tyne) and Gateshead (a town on the south bank) form a single, diverse and extremely vibrant visitor destination. World-class culture, vibrant nightlife, award-winning dining, inspiring heritage, fantastic shopping and acclaimed architecture are combined here like nowhere else, by the famous Geordie spirit which is symbolised by Antony Gormley’s iconic Angel of the North as it welcomes travellers to the area.
• NewcastleGateshead Initiative is supported by a board offering expertise from a range of sectors and professions. We also work with a wide range of partners, stakeholders and businesses, who share our ambition to inspire people to visit and to live, learn, work and invest in NewcastleGateshead.

o Our marketing & communications team works to promote and position NewcastleGateshead as a vibrant tourism destination, through targeted campaigns nationally and internationally. Our visitor information team helps ensure visitors have the best possible experience when they’re here, providing information and support.

o Our cultural programming team work with partners across the destination to bring together NewcastleGateshead’s cultural offer and deliver some of our most popular festival & events, including EAT! NewcastleGateshead, Juice Festival and the NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival.

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