From Dolly Parton classics to Adam Ant, Al Murray and Fenwick's window: 10 things to do this weekend

From Dolly Parton classics at 9 To 5 The Musical and Adam Ant to Willy Wonka at the region’s biggest Christmas window and a host of comedy nights, there’s plenty going on this weekend.

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 5:00 pm
Amber Davies stars in 9 To 5 The Musical at Sunderland Empire
Amber Davies stars in 9 To 5 The Musical at Sunderland Empire

We’ve rounded up 10 of the top things to do over the festive period.

The theme of this year's Christmas window at Fenwick in Newcastle has been revealed as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Audiences can join Charlie Bucket as he discovers the fifth and final Golden Ticket and journey with him through the famous fable. From juicing rooms and chocolate waterfalls to great glass elevators and the factory gates, the Fenwick Christmas window brings the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to life.
Dolly Parton's 9 To 5 The Musical is at Sunderland Empire until November 9. Based on the hit 1980 film, 9 To 5 The Musical tells the story of Doralee, Violet and Judy - three workmates pushed to boiling point by their sexist and egotistical boss. It stars Amber Davies who rose to fame after winning Love Island.

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Al Murray brings his show Landlord of Hope and Glory to Newcastle's Theatre Royal on Sunday, November 10. The show promotion reads: "A time of crisis, the world in chaos, the country divided as it has never been divided before. Questions have been asked and non-answered. What we need is one man, to step forward, one man with all the answers. Well you’re in luck, ladies and gentlemen - he’s here and touring the nation." Note: this performance contains strong language and adult themes.
From Billy Elliot to Close to the Coalhouse Door, When the Boat Comes In to The Pitmen Painters, now hear the songs and stories of The Pitmen Poets when they appear on stage at Durham Gala Theatre on November 9. After their sell out UK tour of 2017 the four Pitmen Poets return for their final tour in 2019. Ex-Lindisfarne singer and songwriter Billy Mitchell, Warhorse Songman Bob Fox, leading exponent of Tyneside song Benny Graham, and much-covered Durham songwriter Jez Lowe individually and collectively celebrating the triumphs, tragedy, humour and hard times of North-East England’s coal mining tradition in an evening of music, song and spoken word.
Join Tyneside legends Jason Cook and Carl Hutchinson for an intimate show at the Customs House, South Shields, on November 10, where they regale the audience with brand new gags, stories and general muck around. This show is limited to 100 tickets only so don’t delay in getting yourself a space at what promises to be an unmissable comedy treat. The show starts early at 5pm.
Following a world tour to sold-out venues throughout the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Adam Ant is on the road with his 2019 ‘Friend or Foe’ UK Tour which is coming to Sage Gateshead on Saturday, November 9. Adam Ant will play his landmark ‘Friend or Foe’ album in its entirety as well as classic chart-topping singles and personal favourites.
Lee Memphis King, Europe’s most successful Elvis Presley tribute artist, recreates the essence of the King at Billingham Forum on November 9. Over the last 10 years as Lee has toured his ‘One Night of Elvis’ he has picked up numerous accolades and has headlined and sold out some of the most prestigious venues across the UK and beyond. In August 2016 he completed a sell out concert tour of Israel, performing to over 8000 fans. In this latest production, Lee Memphis King portrays Elvis Presley at his peak celebrating the iconic Vegas Years’from 1969 – 1977.
The Beamish Model Railway operates within the grounds of the museum on Saturday, November 9 – starting at the Regional Resource Centre. Small charge applies. The volunteers at the railway operate the trains from 1pm until 4pm. Find out when the trains are running by checking their Facebook page. Note: the Beamish Cog Railway is operated by museum volunteers and all running days are subject to staffing and the weather.
Blow your own Christmas Bauble sessions are running at National Glass Centre in Sunderland on numerous dates. This experience offers the opportunity to work with molten glass at over 1100 degrees centigrade. During this workshop, you will create a beautiful glass bauble to hang on your Christmas tree or to give as a handmade gift. Using a variety of coloured glass you can personalise your design before blowing down the ‘iron’ to see your bauble come to life. Booking is essential.
Shakespears Sister announced their official reunion as a band, twenty-six years after they originally disbanded - and they play Sage Gateshead on November 10. Shakespears Sister’s debut album, 1989’s Sacred Heart was a top ten record and spawned the band’s first hit single, You’re History, which also went top ten. Even greater success followed with a second album, Hormonally Yours, in 1992; amongst its hit singles ‘I Don’t Care’, ‘Hello (Turn Your Radio On)’ and ‘Stay’, which remained at number one for eight weeks. The triumphs and accolades piled up: over a million albums sold, a Brit award for best video for ‘Stay’ and an Ivor Novello award for Outstanding Collection of Songs for the band’s second album, 1992’s Hormonally Yours. The pair went onto headline the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury in 1992 and supported Prince at Celtic Park at Prince’s personal request.