Compiled by Lindsay Carr

Civic Bar Beats

Snacks, drinks and free live music.  Civic Theatre foyer.  Each Friday evening, from 5pm, throughout November and December.  This evening’s performer: soul singer Paris Grace.  

Children of Eden

A junior version of the Stephen Schwartz musical depicting the Biblical stories of the Garden of Eden and Noah’s Ark.  Runs for 70 minutes.  Young People’s Theatre, Hamilton.  Friday (7pm) and Saturday (2pm and 7pm).  Tickets: www.ypt.org.au/bookings; or 4961 4895 on Saturday between 9am and 1pm.  

Being Sellers

A one-man show depicting the turbulent life and career of British actor Peter Sellers, which reveals the human face behind the acclaimed comic genius.  Written and performed by Carl Caulfield.  Runs for 70 minutes (no interval).  Civic Playhouse.  Friday (8pm) and Saturday (2pm and 8pm).  Bookings: 4929 1977 or www.ticketek.com.au

Bombshells

Six monologues for women, by Victorian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith, which highlight the stresses of modern female life.  Includes a feisty schoolgirl competing in a talent quest and an increasingly disillusioned bride on her wedding day.  The Harp of Erin Theatre, 2886 Wollombi Road, Wollombi.  Friday (6.30pm for 7.30pm start), Saturday (6.30pm for 7.30pm start), and Sunday (5.30pm for 6.30pm start).  The tickets, available from the Wollombi General Store or 4998 3230, include a light meal.  

Present Laughter

Noel Coward’s 1939 comedy about an egocentric actor (based on Coward himself) coping with an impending mid-life crisis.  Newcastle Theatre Company, DeVitre Street, Lambton.  Until 12 December.  Bookings essential: 4952 4958 (between 3pm and 6pm weekdays) or www.newcastletheatrecompany.com.au

Love That Hat

Local three-piece band Love That Hat utilise guitar, violin, mandolin and bagpipes to highlight eclectic hits from bands such as ELO, The Police, Deep Purple and ACDC.  The Wallsend Diggers’ Mezz Bar (Tyrrell Street).  Friday (8.30pm).  Bookings: www.trybooking.com/BLLAH

Christmas With Charles Dickens

The third annual reading of Charles Dickens’ classic story A Christmas Carol, presented by nine local performers and featuring musical interludes by soloists, instrumentalists and a small chorus.  Adamstown Uniting Church.  Saturday (2pm).  A choice of either auditorium seating or watching via live stream.  Bookings essential: 4957 1887 or www.trybooking.com

Tom Gleeson: Lighten Up

Aussie comedian Tom Gleeson uses this year’s pandemic as a prism to view the world and current events.  Supporting act: comedian Justin Hamilton.  Civic Theatre.  Saturday (8pm).  Contains coarse language and recommended for ages 15+.  Bookings: 4929 1977 or www.ticketek.com.au

Christmas Lights Spectacular

The Hunter Valley Gardens’ annual showcase of illuminated displays featuring more than one-million lights.  Includes Santa’s Castle and a giant teddy-bear, plus games and rides.  Broke Road, Pokolbin.  From 6.30pm to 9.30pm until 26 January.  Bookings: 4998 4020 or www.huntervalleygardens.com.au

Morph It

Morpeth enhances its public spaces with weekend street installations, artwork, live music, markets and kids’ activities.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday’s activities include a guided walking tour of Morpeth Museum; and on Sunday there’ll be a Teddy Bears Picnic and an evaluation of antiques by professional auctioneer Alex Renwick.  Details: www.mymaitland.com.au/morph-it

Art Display and Sale, Morpeth

A display and sale of more than 200 quality paintings and sculptures, hosted by the Maitland Region Society of Artists.  Friday (midday-4pm), Saturday (10am-4pm) and Sunday (10am-3pm).  St James’ Church Hall, 19 Tank Street, Morpeth.    

Makers and Finders Market, Swansea

Includes toys, books, furniture, handmade items and collectables, plus food and live music.  Quinn Park, Swansea.  Saturday (8am-1pm).

CWA Market Day, East Maitland

Includes cakes, slices, jams, plants and handicrafts.  162 George Street, East Maitland.  Saturday (8am-1pm).

Christmas Market, Sandgate

Fresh produce, quality blooms, eco-focused goods and gourmet delights.  Newcastle Flower Markets, 1 Rural Drive, Sandgate.  Saturday (8am-2pm).

Miss Porter’s Christmas Stalls

A fundraiser for Miss Porter’s House Museum and featuring handmade gifts, preserves and a variety of edible delights.  On the steps of Hamilton’s Wesley Uniting Church in Beaumont Street.  Saturday (9am-midday).

Men’s Shed Open Day, Branxton/Greta

Includes a sausage sizzle, refreshments, displays, and information about the shed activities and the ladies’ craft group.  Branxton/Greta Men’s Shed, in the grounds of St Mary’s Public School, 49 Branxton Street, Greta.  Saturday (9am-1pm).

Homegrown Markets, Newcastle

Handmade and eco-focused goods, plus food, live music and kids’ activities. The Station, Newcastle East.  Saturday (9am-2pm).

Christmas Twilight Markets, Waratah

Hosted by the Hunter Multicultural Communities (HMC) and including a range of goods, organic produce, a barbecue, a Men’s Shed raffle, garden tours and a kids’ playground.  2A Platt Street, Waratah (across from the railway station).  Saturday (3pm-8pm).

The Old (F)Arts Exhibition

A display and sale of acrylics and oil paintings depicting Lake Macquarie landscapes and seascapes.  Tuesday (1 December) to Saturday (5 December).  Elermore Vale Shopping Centre, Croudace Road.

The City Hall Concert Series

Free lunchtime concerts throughout December and featuring local talent with a range of opera, jazz and classical.  Tuesday (2 December): Opera Hunter.  The Newcastle City Hall, King Street (12.30pm-1.15pm).

Christmas At the Levee

Includes gift-wrapping (by gold-coin donation), live music, roving entertainers, a small selection of fresh local produce, and stalls of artisan beer, wine and spirits.  The Maitland Levee.  Thursday, 3 December (4pm-8pm).

Fort Scratchley

Open six days a week (closed Tuesdays) for displays of the fort’s history, the 1pm gun-firings (weather permitting), and modified tunnel and gun-emplacement tours.

Wag the Tale

An exhibition of local artists’ paintings and drawings depicting the bond between humans and canines.  BOLTspace Gallery, 395 High Street, Maitland.  Friday and Saturday (10am-3pm both days).  Ends Saturday. 

The Aesthetic Table

An exhibition of “still life” studies from three local female artists, whose work with clay, fibre, glass and paint highlights the significance of dwelling and of being domestic.  Back to Back Galleries, Bull Street, Cooks Hill.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday (11am-5pm each day). 

Art Display by Saretta Fielding

An exhibition of original artworks, homewares, fashion lines and innovative textiles by indigenous activist and entrepreneur Saretta Fielding.  Wallsend Library, Bunn Street.  Daily until 30 November. 

Sustainable Neighbourhoods: Waste to Art

A display of more than 40 engaging community artworks which have been created from waste and litter to highlight the benefits of recycling.  The Swansea Centre (228 Pacific Highway).  Each day (10am-2pm) until 13 December. 

Winning Isn’t Everything

An exhibition celebrating Maitland’s distinguished sporting champions of the 19th century, as well as highlighting the development and success of the area’s clubs.  Includes tributes to rally driver Ken Tubman and rugby league player Terry Pannowitz.  Brough House, Church Street, Maitland.  Saturdays and Sundays (10am-3pm) until 13 December. 

The Newcastle Museum

A new exhibition, Colour, allows patrons to see colour as never before by engaging in more than 20 scientific experiments.  Newcastle Museum, Honeysuckle, until 31 January. 

Mitch Revs’ All-in-a-Year Art Exhibition

A new exhibition of quirky and colourful images of Newcastle and Hunter landmarks from local artist Mitch Revs.  Includes original paintings, sculptures, and hand-drawn and digital illustrations.  The Mitch Revs Gallery, 451 Hunter Street, Newcastle.  From Saturday until 1 February. 

We Can Be Heroes: A Backstage Pass

An exhibition detailing Newcastle’s music scene through the lenses of four leading photographers, who have captured intimate moments of Australian and international musicians from the 1970s to the present.  Features nearly 400 photos, including rare touring images and backstage portraits, plus artworks.  The Newcastle Art Gallery, Laman Street, until 14 February.  

Hello Again: It’s Nice to See Your Face

A display of new and established portraits of well-known Australians, including artists, performers and local identities.  Maitland Regional Art Gallery, High Street, until 14 February. 

Ken Done: Paintings You Probably Haven’t Seen

A selection of Ken Done’s vibrant paintings from 2000 to 2017, as well as his latest studio work, depicting Australia’s natural beauty.  Maitland Regional Art Gallery, High Street, until 21 February. 

Holly McNamee: About Maitland

Local artist Holly McNamee’s artwork homage to the significant structures and rich agriculture of her childhood in 1950s Maitland.  Maitland Regional Art Gallery, High Street, until 21 February. 

Coming Soon – The 42nd CONDA Presentations

A gala presentation of the City of Newcastle Drama Awards (CONDAs), which recognise the creative work of local theatre companies. Civic Theatre.  Saturday, 5 December.  Pre-show foyer entertainment from 6pm, auditorium presentations at 7.30pm.  A choice of either auditorium seating or watching via live stream.  Bookings: 4929 1977 or www.ticketek.com.au

Coming Soon: William the Fourth

A choice of two harbour cruises on the historic William the Fourth – one at 10.30am, which includes a Christmas-themed morning tea; or a two-hour cruise from 1.30pm.  Lee Wharf, Honeysuckle.  Sunday, 6 December.  Details and bookings: 0419 241 731, williamthefourth87@gmail.com or www.williamthefourth.org