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Music.

Gathered Dust and Dead Skin

When: December 1-3

Where: Live Theatre, Newcastle

Cost: pounds 6/pounds 4

Contact: (0191) 232-1232 or

www.live.org

A trio of rehearsed reading evenings, directed by Jeremy Herrin and written by 17-year-old Cumbrian newcomer Joe Harbot. The piece offers a surreal look at the breakdown of a relationship and the subsequent unravelling of the two people involved. Both humorous and heartbreaking, this could be one of those "I was there when..." evenings.

Eating the Elephant and other plays

When: December 7

Where: Live Theatre, Newcastle

Cost: pounds 2

Contact: (0191) 232-1232 or

www.live.org

An evening event to launch this collection of plays for stage and radio from the late Julia Darling ( a jewel in the crown of North-East writing if ever there was one. Bringing together theatre work such as The Women Who Painted Ships, The Last Post and Doughnuts Like Fanny's and radio pieces such as Attachments and Sea Life, the evening will include readings and music.

A Winter's Tale

When: December 7-11

Where: Hall Two, The Sage Gateshead

Cost: pounds 12/pounds 6

Contact: (0870) 703-4555 or

www.thesagegateshead.org

Based on Shakespeare's play of jealousy, love, deception and reconciliation, this new musical provides a perfect showcase for young performers from across the North of England. With music by Howard Goodall, best known for TV compositions, including Blackadder and The Vicar of Dibley, and choreography by Liv Lorent ( a festive feast looks to be on the cards.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

When: December 9-March 4

Where: Sunderland Empire Theatre

Cost: pounds 16-pounds 40

Contact: (0870) 602-1130 or

www.getlive.co.uk/sunderland

The adventures of Caracticus Potts and family, and of course their fantasmagorical mode of transport, is starting its tour with a three-month residency on Wearside. With more magical songs than you can shake a stick at (Truly Scrumptious, Toot Sweets, Hushabye Mountain and the uplifting title track to name four) it's hard to find a reason not to take a flying trip down there.

Not Now, Bernard and Other Monster Stories

When: December 15-17

Where: Caedmon Hall,

Gateshead

Cost: pounds 5/pounds 3

Contact: (0191)

433-8420 or

www.gateshead.gov.uk/

caedmon

These much-loved children's books are being brought to the stage in this "delightfully scary" show for three to eight-year-olds. Told through the eyes of a child and their parents using masks, puppets and possibly "the biggest teddy in the world", the production is promising to maintain the magic and humour of the original books.

The Story Garden

When: December 7-21

Where: Buddle Arts Centre

Cost: pounds 6/pounds 5

Contact: (0191) 200-132

Part of the Buddle's annual season celebrating the best in clowning, mask and puppetry, The Story Garden promises to be a magical world where stories come to life through great tale-telling and live music.

Phantoms at the Phil

When: December 19 & 21

Where: Literary & Philosophical Society,

Newcastle

Cost: Free (but book your ticket)

Contact: (0191) 232-0192

If you like your ghost stories served with mince pies, mulled wine and accompanied by live music, the Lit & Phil is the place to be. On each night, three writers will read new ghost stories written especially for the occasions. On the 19th, hear stories by Chaz Brenchley, Sean O'Brien and Gail-Nina Anderson. On the 21st, see Ann Cleeves, Simon Morden and Carol McGuigan reading their spooky tales.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 29, 2005
Words:560
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