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Artists prepare for Mouth of the Tyne

With less than two weeks to the Mouth of the Tyne Festival some of the performers are getting in some early preparation.

This year’s festival, organised by North Tyneside Council, features a new strand called Front and Centre where young diverse artists, producers and promoters will take part in workshops with performers and organisers during the event.

In partnership with Tin Arts, there’ll also be live shows from George Williams – the first dancer with a learning disability to successfully audition for the National Youth Dance Company and Becki Parker who explores her personal journey with autism through her dancing.

Elected Mayor of North Tyneside Norma Redfearn CBE said: “We really want this amazing festival to be as inclusive as possible and support as many performers as we can on their journey.

“After seeing the athleticism and commitment of George first hand during rehearsals, I can safely say people are in for a great show.”

Elsewhere at the festival, excitement is building for the four sold-out shows at Tynemouth Priory with local lad Sam Fender opening proceedings on the Thursday.

He’ll be followed by Jack Savoretti, Rick Astley, and The Proclaimers. North East artist Nadine Shah performs at Playhouse Whitley Bay on Monday 8 July.

There’s a huge free programme of international street theatre, a market, entertainment and activities for the under 5s including family yoga sessions at the Victorian era Tynemouth Station, a massive parade featuring hundreds of local schoolchildren and much more.

The street entertainment features Europe’s leading Indian brass band, American-style motorcycle cops from Holland, a showcase for performers with disabilities and lots of fast-paced trampoline and acrobat shows. There’s a free trad jazz stage overlooking the beach and a display of VW campers alongside other classic cars.

Families with young children can head to Tynemouth Station under the glass canopies for invention art with recycled treasures, music-making from junk, family yoga and circus workshops.