Northern Lights Awards 2014 – Stand Out Show
In the past 12 months we in the North East have been treated to an amazing array of shows, gigs and performances across the region. But some shows simply set themselves apart from the rest, and leave an impression long after your ears have stopped ringing, your mind has stopped boggling, and your jaw has been un-dropped.
So for this award we raise a glass to those special, special people who have spoiled us with some truly outstanding shows, and without further ado here are our picks for Stand Out Show:
Lorna Simpson @ Baltic
Lorna Simpson is an iconic name in artistic photography and video, and the New Yorker’s 30-year retrospective show at the Baltic shows exactly why. A collection of breath-taking and engaging displays adorn the gallery, and Simpson’s personal experiences and exquisite skill are plain to see throughout her celebrated career. Check out our full review of Lorna Simpson at the Baltic to see just why she’s been nominated.
Catch-22 @ Northern Stage
There were (understandably) a few raised eyebrows when it came out that a new production of Catch-22 was to make its UK stage debut at Northern Stage. Joseph Heller’s iconic work has been a cursed project for many ambitious directors over the years, with multiple failed attempts to bring a book once voted the seventh-best in the English language to stage. But we needn’t have worried, as director Rachel Chavkin and a brilliantly talented cast threw off the shackles of the past to deliver an outstanding and captivating production, managing to avoid the catch 22 situation (I’m really sorry) of attempting to stay true to Heller’s work while retaining a live audience’s attention and understanding. We gave the show Northern Lights’ first ever 9/10 review in April; check it out to see why.
Franz Ferdinand @ Pop Recs LTD
Well the Pop Recs boys have done it again. Franz Ferdinand may have just returned from a four-year hiatus, but there’s no denying that getting the Glaswegian rockers to swing by before hitting the O2 Academy later on the same night will go down as one of their most inspired bookings to date.
Yes the show only lasted 30 minutes or so, but to get a band like Franz Ferdinand in such an intimate and intense venue proved to be a match made in heaven, as they delivered an outstanding and surprisingly full-on set to an avid audience in the crammed shop. We reviewed the show here.
Newcastle Con @ Eldon Leisure
The beauty and heritage of Japan descended on Newcastle for a weekend back in April, with a fantastic convention taking in all aspects of culture from the Land of the Rising Sun, both new and old. The debut convention celebrated everything from anime to origami, martial arts to Japanese tea, and featured musical performances, special guests and even a cosplay competition. It truly was a colourful and suitably bonkers North East introduction to Japan’s very special culture, and the weekend was a great success. Take a look at our gallery of images from the convention to see just what went on.