We hold more that 100 events every year

Events and Classes

For more details on our concerts please go to Music Library News and Events

Art, Literature and Music


Saturday 25th | 11am and 12noon |

Monday 27th - Friday 31st | 11am, 12noon, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm |

Sat 1st November |11am and 12noon |

Cautionary Tales from the Trenches | FREE

A quest to explore the Lit & Phil’s wartime stories with a large dose of November Club magic…
It’s 1914. As the outside world changes forever, the Lit & Phil’s head librarian Mr Richardson has gone to fight for his country, leaving hapless Miss Hedley to step into the breach for the duration of the War.
She needs your help to search the library for some lost items. They’re urgently needed for soldiers at the Front. Look closely …and turn the pages of the Lit & Phil’s newest and most exciting collection. All stories are journeys… what will you find at the end of yours?
Featuring work by pupils of Walkergate Primary School, Newcastle, in response to the Lit & Phil’s wartime archives.

Booking information: Free, but must be booked in advance. Bookings cannot be taken at the Lit & Phil but must be made via the Juice website: http://www.shopnewcastlegateshead.com/tickets/juice-2/cautionary-tales-from-the-trenches/

Maximum number for each performance: 8

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Joicey Trust.


Tuesday 28th | 6-7.30pm | FREE Jazz and Classical Recital

A recital of Jazz and Classical music, mainly from vinyl records, as recommended by our President Alexander Armstrong during his appearance on Radio 3’s Comedy Classics.

AND, from the collection of the late Ian Breach, one time Jazz critic for the Guardian. We also hope to accompany the recital with readings from some of his reviews. Wendy Breach and his family have kindly donated Ian’s Jazz collection to the Lit & Phil in 2013.

Refreshments are available at a small charge. No need to book, just turn up.

Monday 3rd November | 1.10pm | FREE

Lunchtime Vocal Recital - Katie Cochrane (soprano) & David Murray (piano)

Monday 3rd | 6pm | FREE | Lecture | Ken Smith Lord Armstrong:North East Inventor and Philanthropist

Monday 3rd | 6-8pm | £40/35 | Six Week Short Story Writing Course
Ellen Phethean and Kathleen Kenny

Tuesday 4th | 6pm | FREE | Workshop | Nancy Campbell Ice and the Imagination
This wintery workshop will take classic works of polar exploration and natural history from the Lit & Phil collection for new writing about ice, snow and the environment.

Wednesday 5th | 7pm | FREE| Book Launch | Ann Cleeves reading from Thin Air, the sixth book in her Shetland series.

Thursday 6th November | 6-7pm | FREE | The Shakespeare Club | These informal and inclusive sessions allow you to share thinking about this extraordinary volume of work. A different play is looked at each month, until the Complete Works is done! The group meets on the first Thursday of each month and November's play is The Two Gentlemen of Verona (recently staged at Theatre Royal). You don't need to attend every session, but can if you wish to.

Thursday 6th November | 7.30pm | £8/6 | Music for violin, cello and piano in aid of the S. Y. Killingley Memorial Trust. Ellie Horrigan (violin), Ben Horrigan (cello), David Wishart (piano), Schubert: Lieder, arranged for piano trio — Pärt: Spiegel im Spiegel, Brahms: Violin sonata 3 — de Falla: Danse espagnole — Chopin: Ballade 3, Bach: Prelude & Sarabande from cello suite 2 — Fauré: Trio.

Friday 7th | 1.10pm | £4 Lunchtime Jazz | Paul Edis Solo

Friday 7th | 7pm | £10/8 | Robert Lloyd Parry is back by popular demand performing MR James Ghost Stories: Casting the Runes. Book early.

Monday 10th | 6pm | FREE | Lecture | Andrew Fletcher on Collective Animal Behaviour.

Bird flocks, fish schools, insect swarms and foraging ant columns are all striking examples of how groups of animals can produce more complex behaviour than individuals acting independently. Mathematical models show that collective complexity arises if the participants follow very simple rules. This lecture will describe recent research in modelling collective animal behaviour, without recourse to complicated mathematics. If you want to gain an insight into how a murmuration of starlings manages to producesuch a mesmerising spectacle, come along.

Monday 10th–Sunday 23rd November | FREE | Exhibition | Byron Banned? Re-Staging a Regency Debate. Discover how the people of Newcastle reacted to the Lit & Phil’s banning of Byron’s ‘climacterically blasphemous’ poem Don Juan in 1820. This November the Lit & Phil will host an exhibition of material from their archives curated by Dr. David Stewart (Northumbria University), including books, pictures, newspapers and much more that will allow you to discover more about the Lit & Phil’s history as a centre for debate and conversation. This event is part of ‘18th-Century Legacies: the Past in our Present’, a series of free public events taking place across Newcastle city centre between 15-23 November 2014 to celebrate the first national Festival of the Humanities. For information on other events in the series please visit: http://beinghumanfestival.org (see below for events on 20th and 22nd November)

Tuesday 11th | 6pm | £4/2 Lecture | Gail-Nina Anderson The Poppy in Art. The poppy was adopted in 1921 as the official symbol of the Royal British Legion, to be worn in honour of those who died in World War I. This illustrated talk discusses the visual and cultural history of the poppy, exploring its role and meanings in paintings, poetry and commemoration.

Wednesday 12th | 6pm | FREE | Robert Spence Watson Lecture 'George Orwell, English Rebel' with Rob Colls, Professor of Cultural History at De Montfort University

Thursday 13th | 7pm | FREE| Reading | Ellen Phethean, Leni Dipple, Tony Williams

Friday 14th | 7.30pm | £10/8 Jazz Concert | Kate Daniels Quartet

Distinguished jazz musicians John Horler (piano), Alec Dankworth (bass) and Graham Pike (trumpet/flugelhorn and chromatic harmonica) will be joining singer Kate Daniels to perform songs from her new album Atmospherics; a collection of jazz standards arranged in a style Daniels calls Jazz Noir and inspired by the unique atmosphere conjured by black-and-white film soundtracks from the 40’s and ‘50s. Creating the intimate and engaging atmosphere of a storyteller, Kate shines a light on the words and music of the songs she sings, and the lives of the songwriters. The result is a captivating show that celebrates some of the great songwriters and musicians of the Jazz age whilst treating the audience to a wonderful live concert.

The cool, smoky, laid back approach of say, a Julie London or a Jeri Southern with a sprinkling of Peggy Lee...Where has this lady been hiding?” Lance Liddle, BeBop Spoken Here

Kate's UK tour is supported by Jazz Services Ltd and Arts Council England.

Monday 17th | 6pm | FREE | Reading Group on the Pseudo/Sciences of the Long Nineteenth Century - Pseudoscience in the Ghost Stories of M. R. James'. This session will be introduced by Prof. Mike Pincombe of Newcastle University, and the readings are available on the website http://scienceandpseudoscience.wordpress.com.

Monday 17th | 7pm | FREE | Readings | Seven Words for Winter. In this reading Nancy Campbell will evoke the atmosphere of ‘the most northern museum in the world’ on the remote island of Upernavik in Greenland. These poems describe the disappearing arctic language and environment and retell the colourful myths of the Inuit coastal community.

Wednesday 19th | 10.30am | FREE Tour of the Lit & Phil | Take a tour and learn more about the amazing Lit & Phil history. Tours are FREE but please reserve your place as numbers are limited. Tours last about an hour.

Wednesday 19th | 7pm | FREE Northumbria University Post Graduate Creative Writing Readings

Thursday 20th | 7pm | FREE | Lecture | The Science of Singing with Prof. David Howard
Institute of Physics

Thursday 20th November | 7–8pm | FREE | Lecture |Cleland’s ‘Fanny Hill’ – Britain’s First Erotic Novel. Join us for us a public lecture by Professor Richard Terry (Northumbria University) exploring Britain’s first erotic novel and the pre-cursor to modern bestsellers including Fifty Shades of Grey. Booking is required as spaces are limited. Please reserve a ticket at http://beinghumanfestival.org/event/18th-century-legacies-5/

Friday 21st November | 1.10pm | FREE | Lunchtime Vocal Recital - Ana Fernandez Guerra (soprano)

Saturday 22 November | 1.30–3pm | FREE | Reconstruction of a Lit & Phil Debate | Byron banned? Re-staging a Regency Debate. Come and help reconstruct an early debate from the Lit & Phil’s history, exploring questions of free speech and the banning of books. Booking is required as spaces are limited. Please reserve a ticket at http://beinghumanfestival.org/event/18th-century-legacies-3/

Saturday 22 November | 3.30–5pm | FREE | Public talk | Defining Liberty in the 18th Century. Join us for a series of short talks exploring the legacies of 18th-century ideas of liberty. In this session, postgraduate students from Northumbria University will offer historical perspectives on the concept of liberty, focusing on the freedom of thought and religious tolerance, the freedom of trade, and freedom of the body. Booking is required as spaces are limited. Please reserve a ticket at http://beinghumanfestival.org/event/18th-century-legacies-6/

Saturday 22nd | 7pm | £4/3 | Sage Young Musicians Programme Concert

24-30th November | Books on Tyne Festival | check www.booksontyne.co.uk for details


Wednesday 3rd | 7.30pm | £6/5 | Jazz Concert - Lickety Split

Friday 5th | 1.00pm | £4 | Lunchtime Jazz @ the Lit & Phil - Matt Anderson and Paul Edis

Saturday 6th | 10.30am | FREE Tour of the Lit & Phil | Take a tour and learn more about the amazing Lit & Phil history. Tours are FREE but please reserve your place as numbers are limited. Tours last about an hour.

Monday 8th December | 8.00pm | £8/7 | Jazz Concert - The Porter Quartet

Monday 15th December | 7.30pm | £8/7 | Vocal Recital - Laura Attridge (soprano) & Claire Harris (piano)

To reserve your place:

Please reserve your seat by calling (0191) 232 0192, emailing library@litandphil.org.uk or by calling in.

If you reserve a ticket and are subsequently unable to attend, please let us know as we often have a waiting list. Thank you.

In addition to the events listed here, there will be more events added to the list throughout the year. Please check here or in the library for details.