Gemma Hirst


Gemma Hirst is a Journalism Graduate from the North East, she currently blogs about North East Culture and her Journalism Journey.  ​ There are different approaches when you write a review: 1 - During the performance you can have a small notebook and pen and write notes as you go. Though be careful not to focus too much on what you are writing as you may miss an important part in the performance! Only write something down that has stood out for you-

Theatre is good for you

Daniel Bye thinks that theatre can be good for both the audience and the actor. A North East based theatre maker, his work is playful and immediate. His performances deals with comedy, tragedy, truth and lies. He engages with the audience and makes light of the hard-hitting issues in the world. Daniel Bye theatre maker and writer does think about the audience's feelings when creating a new performance but they are not central to his work "I think about whether they’ll relate to it in the sense

The Return Of Richard Carpenter: Matthew Floyd Jones Brings Us Close To Seventies Icon

The Seventies were a great era for music and don’t let anyone tell you different. The antics and the music of the Beatles and the Stones were filling the newspapers and the stadiums. Rod Stewart and the Bay City Rollers were rocking the tartan look and no-one cared how history would judge their eye-watering fashion choices. Everyone and their grandmothers were busy getting high to Led Zep, having themselves a Ballroom Blitz, disco dancing all night long or all three. For the pop kids of all age

Three North East seats that could change the election – SR News

Three seats in the North East could change the outcome of the General Election. Berwick-upon-Tweed, Stockton South and Redcar are the region’s marginal seats. Berwick has a new Liberal Democrat candidate, Julie Porksen, following Alan Beith’s retirement after 42 years as MP.  Anne-Marie Trevelyan, however, of the Conservatives is favourite to win the seat. The other candidates for the constituency are Scott Dickinson (Labour) and Nigel Coghill-Marshall (UKIP). In Stockton South Louise Baldoc

Skies above Sunderland are lit up for VE Day – SR News

Sunderland celebrated the 70th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe) with beacons of light being lit up around Seaham. The anniversary marked the Allied Forces victory in Europe during the Second World War on Friday, May 8. To commemorate this great event, more than 200 gas fuelled beacons were lit around the country, with Cliffe Park in Seaburn chosen as the venue in Sunderland. Paul Fletcher, of Seaham Town Council, said: “We made our own V-shaped beacon and it was a good event, having

INTERVIEW: 10 Minutes with Noel Sullivan

The Public Reviews’ Gemma Hirst catches up with actor Noel Sullivan in between shows to chat about the current UK tour of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, his new album and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Have you always wanted to get into musical theatre, even before joining Hear’Say? Yes! It was always my plan really. I was on that path before I joined the band, and I auditioned for Hear’Say to get the experience. I stayed with the band for a while, then fell back into doing what I love; musical theatre

Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other Love Songs) – Northern Stage, Newcastle

Did that get your attention? Good. We should hope so, as that is what it is like to experience Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other Love Songs) by Kneehigh Theatre. Radically rewriting John Gay’s satirical piece The Beggar’s Opera, Mayor Goodman and his dog have been murdered, the alleged killer Macheath has married the innocent Polly Peachum while the Peachum parents are going in all hells blazing. Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other Love Songs) is a fantastic political performance, commenting on

Review: Cats at the Sunderland Empire

Having  seen this  musical only once before – on an  old video – I couldn’t wait to see it performed live. Cats, as I’m sure you’re all aware, is about a gathering of Jellicle cats, who  meet  once a year to see who is going to be reborn into a new Jellicle life. Now these cats are feline, furious, faithful and true and  at Sunderland Empire they were full of razzmatazz. I have never seen a cast of 22 so enthusiastic about wearing a striped, furry onesie to dance and prance around in.

Sunderland sweethearts celebrate 70 years of wedded bliss

Teenage sweethearts who fell in love during the turmoil of the Second World War have reached an amazing 70 years of married bliss. Harry and Eleanor Heskett, who are both 93 years old, met when they were both 17, through Eleanor’s brother Bob Parker. Harry and Bob were apprentices at James Laing Shipbuilders in the city. Harry lived in Charles Street, Monkwearmouth, he was invited to Bob’s house in Perth Road, Plains Farm, one afternoon where he saw Eleanor for the first time. After Eleanor’

Theatre etiquette: How not to act at the theatre

We all know what it’s like when we go to the theatre. When we arrive at the venue we collect our tickets at the box office (if you haven’t already had them posted to you) grab a drink (perhaps a gin and tonic) buy an overpriced programme or picture book (seriously, what's the difference?) and go to our seats. At least, that's what's supposed to happen. Sometimes you can experience drama before you've even watched a piece of drama. I like to think that when you're at the theatre, you act in a se

Should we putting a number on our bodies?

After hearing that Australian starlet Rebel Wilson is promoting her new plus size clothing, (sizes 12-28), collection for Torrid, the Kettle team and I were appalled to hear that a size 12 was even considered to be a plus size. There is no doubt that Wilson’s clothing range will be glamorous as ever and reflect her larger than life personality, but it got me thinking: why do we need to have numbers on our bodies? I know I am a size 12, but what does a size 12 even mean?  As someone who works i