Book Your Event

November | Sat 9th | 18:30

A Tale of Five Cities £25

The Cultural Series

This autumn we host our inaugural Cultural Series in partnership with North East Times magazine, comprising a trio of high-profile events Oct-Dec ‘19. We will play host to famous names from the worlds of literature, academia, politics and TV including David Olusoga,  Alexander McCall Smith and Andrew Graham-Dixon.

A Tale of Five Cities
A debate with David Olusoga and Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah

John Ardagh presented a controversial view of Tyneside in his 1979 tome A Tale of Five Cities – he drew the portrait of an ‘isolated’, backward, overly nostalgic city, where ‘the establishment is working class’, the culture is pervaded by a ‘legacy of bitterness’ and ‘notorious old machismo’ and the landscape ‘mile upon mile of crumbling industry and Victorian urban drabness’ – ‘an extreme example…(of)…the great blackened cities of the northern half of England’.

We consider this view 40 years on and examine how the city has changed, with the help of one of the UK’s foremost historians, popular broadcaster, filmmaker and writer David Olusoga, and Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah, Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science and innovation.

David and Chi will be joined by a panel of local experts and commentators from the fields of urban culture, business, architecture and politics for a wide-ranging debate and exploration of the city’s contemporary identity and future potential.

Booking Dates:

Member's Priority Booking: Mon 9 Sep 2019, 9.30am
Public Booking: Mon 23 Sep 2019, 9.30am

£25 includes a drink



Please contact us if you would like to go on the waiting list

Also in the Cultural Series:
Alexander McCall Smith in conversation with Alan Taylor
Rome Unpacked


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As a member you can borrow most books published after 1850 (but not all at once). You can also access wi-fi in the Library and benefit from priority booking at some events. By joining the Lit & Phil, you are also supporting this wonderful institution, so thank you!

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