The must see gems of Geordie-land

Incoming Culture Editor Carys Rose-Thomas provides first hand insight into the hidden cultural hotspots in Newcastle.

Carys Rose Thomas
25th September 2018
Image: Maya Wallis

The North-East is home of many notable cultural landmarks such as the Baltic, Sage and Angel of the North. However, there are some other lesser known cultural gems to be found in The Toon. Behold, your Marauders Map of Newcastle’s Culture.

1) Star & Shadow Cinema

This independent community cinema and arts space has just relocated to a brand spanking new location by City Stadium Park in Ousebun this summer. Not only is Star and Shadow a cinema, they also have a bar, gallery space and hold gigs. Perhaps you and your pals should take a night off in Freshers and instead of having a movie night with 15 of you crowded round one laptop screen on someone’s singe bed, head down to Star and Shadow for an evening of funky filmy goodness.

Star and Shadow can be found on Facebook at ‘Star and Shadow Cinema’ and on Twitter, @StarAndShadow

2) Alphabetti Theatre

Another venue which relocated recently, moving from New Bridge Street near Northumberland Street to St James Boulevard near Digi, is Alphabet Theatre. Alphabetti is a fantastic independent theatre in Newcastle which showcases and creates original work by emerging artists. They also run great courses for those interested in theatre such as their ‘WRITE SOMETHING’ workshops. With many shows having a pay what you feel entry, Alphabetti provides a nice place for poor lowly students to go and still enjoy various cultural niceties such as comedy, theatre and music without worrying about the often crippling costs of tickets.

Alphabetti can be found at

3) The Stand Comedy Club

A venue which is probably more well-known than other venues is The Stand, home to Newcastle’s finest comedy shows. However when you’re floating through life in your university bubble, blissfully unaware of most of the world around you, it can be easy not to spot venues even as notable as The Stand. Upon entering the club’s ground floor bar you are taken down stairs to a dimly lit basement awash with primary colours. The Stand really do know how to programme a venue, with every show having you in just as many pieces as the last one. A particular highlight which can be seen there are The Suggestibles, a comedy group who improvise sketches based on suggestions from the audience. They’re there the second Monday of every month, and are not one to be missed.

The Stand can be found at

4) The Jazz Cafe

If after a week of Freshers you’re sick and tired of boozing your way up and down Bigg Market, head down to the station and on Pink Lane you will find The Jazz Cafe. The price you pay for slightly more expensive booze is worth it for the atmosphere - not to mention the beautiful music which so often floats around the cafe. With relatively cheap ticket prices for gigs there usually somewhere in the region of £5-£10, it is a bargain deal for a nice, relaxing, completely un-fresherly evening of class, sophistication and some fantastic music.

The Jazz Cafe can be found at

5) Keith’s Cafe

You don’t even need to venture off campus to find little pockets of cultural gold. On campus itself we have the incredibly well-known Norther Stage, but there is also a lesser known venue, Keith’s Cafe in the Fine Art Building. The Cafe is open to all students to use and though it acts as a regular cafe most of the time, it is also used to host events by art students and is a great place to meet like-minded creative folk. If you have a free hour on campus this week pop up there to see what it’s about, and get yourself some nice, reasonably priced tea and cake while you’re at it (all profits go back into the uni’s art department).

Sadly Keith’s Cafe isn’t on any social medias! You’ll just have to snoop it out for yourself.


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