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22 October - 13 November
FoSS and ESRC logos

Older Tyneside Voices: Accents and Stories from around the Toon

My local area theme

What’s on offer?

From You To Me by Steve Gilroy

“When I tell her different stories, she starts crying. She'll say, "Grandma, why don't you write a book?" I says, "Catherine Cookson wouldn't have a job, if I wrote a book!"

After the war, Tyneside was a tough place to grow up, but among the bombsites and blackened buildings, the children experienced a freedom that is almost unimaginable today. From You to Me shares stories of post-war Tyneside from those who were there: the street games, dance halls, and Christmas stockings, but also the hunger and harsh discipline. This verbatim show, where the actors speak the real words of the characters, provides a platform for voices often marginalised, and illustrates the richness of traditional Tyneside English. It presents the characters’ views on modern society and its values, offers valuable insights into the relationships between generations today, and shows that the Tyneside dialect is as diverse as its people. With all the progress experienced through the second half of the 20th Century and a refusal to ‘be old’, were ultimately these baby boomers the luckiest generation of all? They certainly didn’t all have their Tyneside accent knocked out of them.

70-minute live performance by local actors who re-tell experiences of Tyneside residents aged 70+ in their own word and accents, and share new research findings about variation in Tyneside English. The performance is followed by a 40-minute panel discussion and Q&A. The event will provide an opportunity to hear stories of post-war Tyneside from those who were there, and to learn about new research into the Tyneside dialect.

What’s it about?

The event is a research-based performance about the lived experiences and language use of Tyneside residents aged 70+. Using linguistic research data, the play re-tells the true life stories of older Tynesiders aged 70+. Four of the best-known Tyneside actors – Chris Connel from The Pitman Painters; Jackie Lye from The Archers; Sharon Percy from award-winning movie I, Daniel Blake; and Tony Neilson from Bliss! – use the recorded delivery technique to re-tell these stories in older Tynesiders’ own words and accents. Along the way, they share some research findings about language variation and change in Tyneside.

Who’s leading the event?

Dr Heike Pichler, Senior Lecturer in Sociolinguistics, Newcastle University

Open to

Anybody over age 16 welcome.

Of particular interest to

Anybody, of any age and background, with an interest in Tyneside culture, heritage and history; and anybody with an interest in accents, dialects and Tyneside English.

Scheduling information

2pm and 7pm

Event booking deadline

Booking remains open up till the time that the event starts or as long as tickets are available.