The Caravan, Camping and Boat Show

More than 200 exhibitors with information on all caravan, camping, 4WD, fishing and boating requirements, plus the chance to win a 4WD (drawn on Sunday at 4pm).  Includes a freestyle bike show (on Saturday and Sunday only), a 4WD demo track, and demonstrations of camp-oven cooking.  Free admission for children accompanied by an adult.  Maitland Showground.  Friday (9am-5pm), Saturday (9am-5pm) and Sunday (9am-4pm).   

The Newcastle Stamp and Coin Expo

A national philatelic display featuring 43 frames, plus two-dozen dealers buying and selling stamps, coins, postcards and small collectables.  Take along your old stamps and coins for valuation.  Exhibition Centre, Newcastle Showground.  Friday (10am-5pm), Saturday (10am-5pm) and Sunday (9am-3pm).   

Free Live Weekend Music: Adamstown

Josh Drinkwater (Friday – 5pm-8pm); Belle (Saturday – 3pm-6pm); Spitfire (Saturday – 6.30pm-9.30pm); Smokin’ Rosie (Sunday – 2pm-5pm).  Adamstown Bowling Club, 504 Glebe Road.   

Lake Cinema, Boolaroo

Dog (M): An American comedy/drama, co-directed by and starring Channing Tatum, about an Army Ranger’s misadventures when he escorts the dog of his fallen Commander to the man’s funeral.  Friday (5pm), Saturday (midday and 5pm) and Sunday (midday and 5pm).

Operation Mincemeat (M): A British drama with Colin Firth, Penelope Wilton and Matthew MacFadyen.  Based on a true World War Two incident in which British Military Intelligence devises a cunning ruse to fool the Germans into thinking the Allied invasion of Sicily will take place elsewhere.  Friday (7.30pm), Saturday (2pm and 7.30pm) and Sunday (2pm and 7.30pm).

Lake Cinema, Main Road, Boolaroo.  4958 5810.  Cash only.  Bookings available only for the 7.30pm sessions. 

The Virtual Indigenous Film Festival

Part of National Reconciliation Week, which offers the chance to share our histories, cultures and achievements.  The film festival (27-30 May) features live-streamed screenings of award-winning shorts and documentaries, including one showing indigenous students preparing for boarding-school and of a 2004 concert staged by singer/songwriter Archie Roach.  Each screening will be followed by live Q&A panel discussions and, via Live Chat, audience participation.  Details and tickets:

Somebody Like You

Performer Craig Woodward’s full-production tribute to pop-culture artists Keith Urban and Bryan Adams, who share more than five decades of recording and touring.  Belmont 16s, The Parade.  Friday (dinner-and-show 6pm; show only 8.30pm).  Bookings: 4945 0888.

Sarah Gaul: Wife

Comedy and original songs about relationships and marriage from Sydney-based actor/writer/improviser Sarah Gaul.  60 minutes (no interval).  Ages 15+.  City Hall.  Friday (6.30pm).  Bookings: 4929 1977 or

Uncle Vanya

American playwright Annie Baker’s colloquial adaptation of Anton Chekov’s classic comedy/drama about a 19th-century Russian family coping with lost opportunities, indeterminate futures and an environmental crisis.  This is the debut performance of the Newcastle-based production company HER Productions, the brainchild of co-Artistic Directors Charlotte de Wit and Marigold Pazar, which provides equal opportunities for females and under-represented individuals in the creative arts industry.  The Lock-Up, 90 Hunter Street, Newcastle.  Friday (7pm), Saturday (2pm and 7pm) and finishing Sunday (2pm and 7pm).  Bookings essential as seats are limited: 4925 2265 or

Lano and Woodley: Moby Dick

Melbourne-based comedians Colin Lane and Frank Woodley with an amusing and imaginative interpretation of Herman Melville’s classic story of Captain Ahab seeking an obsessive revenge on a monstrous white whale.  70 minutes (no interval).  Ages 15+.  Civic Theatre.  Friday (7.30pm).  Bookings: 4929 1977 or

Free Concert: Karen O’Shea

Jazz, pop, country and soul from the award-winning singer.  Wallsend Diggers, 5 Tyrrell Street.  Friday (7.30pm-10.30pm). 


Aristophanes’ popular comedy, first performed in Greece in 411 BC, has been translated and directed by the University of Newcastle’s Professor Michael Ewans.  Lysistrata persuades the women of the warring cities of Athens and Sparta to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace, but both sides suffer as sexual frustration bites.  Contains strong language and sexual themes.  Newcastle Theatre Company, DeVitre Street, Lambton.  Friday (7.30pm) and finishing Saturday (2pm and 7.30pm).  Bookings: 4952 4958 or

Dark Stories: A True Crime Tour – Newcastle

Guided tours of the alleyways and backstreets of the East End to learn of Newcastle’s dark criminal history.  Departs each Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7.30pm from the corner of Scott and Watt streets (next to Customs House).  Bookings:

Dark Stories: A True Crime Tour – Maitland

Guided tours of Maitland’s alleyways and backstreets to learn of the city’s dark criminal history.  Departs each Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm from the entrance to Maitland Railway Station.  Bookings:

Dale and Kevin Go to Heaven

Newcastle playwrights Jared Mainey and Theo Rule, with Megan Kennedy, in an original comedy about two mates who suffer a fatal accident and make it to the Other Side, which requires them to prove they’re worthy of entry.  90 minutes (no interval).  Civic Playhouse.  Friday (8pm) and finishing Saturday (8pm).  Bookings: 4929 1977 or

Cameron James: Electric Dreams

Local comedian Cameron James with a candid look at love, failure and a former desire to be a rock-star.  60 minutes (no interval).  Ages 15+.  City Hall.  Friday (9pm).  Bookings: 4929 1977 or

Market Day: East Maitland

Hosted by the East Maitland CWA and including jams, pickles, relishes, cakes, biscuits, plants and handicrafts.  Devonshire teas available.  CWA Hall, 162 George Street, East Maitland.  Saturday (8am-1pm). 

The Cowper Street Market

An indoor market featuring books, pottery, homewares, flowers, artworks, kids’ clothing and more.  At the former (now refurbished) Carrington Fruit Factory, 3 Cowper Street.  Saturday (8.30am-1pm). 

Open Day: Kurri Kurri Men’s Shed

All welcome to explore the workings of the Men’s Shed and to meet its members.  Light refreshments available and a sausage sizzle for lunch.  Lang Street (in the lane behind O’Neill’s Tyres).  Saturday (10am-2pm). 

Open Day: Rising From the Embers

An interactive and educational community event to celebrate culture and to learn about land and water management, wildlife, sustainability and environmental innovation.  Hosted by the University of Newcastle and the Wollotuka Institute, a unit responsible for the University’s indigenous activities.  Park On the Hill, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus.  Saturday (10am-3pm).  Registrations required:

The Africa Day Celebration Festival

All welcome to a celebration of the 1963 founding of the African Union (AU).  Features African-style food, dance, musical performances, hair-braiding and fun activities.  Islington Public School, 17 Hubbard Street.  Saturday (10am-4pm). 

The Beer and BBQ Festival

More than 50 varieties of beer and a host of food vendors, plus the Steak Cook-Off Competition (Saturday) and the Australasian BBQ Alliance Championship (Sunday), demonstrations, workshops, a mechanical bull and a display of trucks.  Hope Estate, 2213 Broke Road, Pokolbin.  Saturday and Sunday (10am-5pm each day).  Tickets: 1800 777 444 or

Open Afternoons: Dobell House

All welcome to view the former home and studio of artist Sir William Dobell, which includes copies of his paintings.  47 Dobell Drive, Wangi.  Saturday and Sunday (1pm-4pm each day).  Tickets at the door.    

The Big O Show

A tribute to the classic hits of Roy Orbison.  Club Stockton, corner of Douglas and Clyde streets.  Saturday (8pm – doors open at 7.30pm).  Bookings: 4928 2333.

Frankie Valli: The Boy From New Jersey

Walter Ciappara and a 12-piece band with a tribute to the life and music of Francesco Stephen Castellucio, the lead singer of the 1950s pop group The Four Lovers, which later became Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.  Cessnock Performing Arts Centre, Vincent Street.  Saturday (8pm).  Bookings: 4993 4266 or

The Years at Wests

The popular six-member local band which specialises in 70s, 80s and 90s rock.  Marble Bar, West Leagues Club, New Lambton.  Saturday (9.30pm). 

The Vietnam Vets Markets

More than 100 stalls of vintage and handmade goods, plus art, music and food.  Wickham Park, Albert Street, Islington.  Sunday (7am-1pm). 

The Adamstown Lions Club Markets

A huge variety of goods and produce, including books, jewellery, plants, vegetables, clothes and pet supplies.  201 Brunker Road, Adamstown.  Sunday (7am-1pm). 

Markets On the Green: Lambton

A community-based market supporting local artisans, designers and food producers.  Club Lambton, 51 Karoola Road, Lambton.  Sunday (9am-1pm). 

The Newcastle Record and CD Fair

A huge variety of vinyls, CDs and music DVDs for sale from local, regional and Sydney sellers.  Uniting Church Hall, 150 Beaumont Street, Hamilton.  Sunday (9am-3pm).  Gold-coin admission.

Bands in the Park

A free day of outdoor entertainment with six community-based bands performing individual programmes of varied music, including jazz, big-band numbers, current hits, and film and TV themes.  Features Toronto Brass, PCYC Newcastle Junior and Senior Bands, Western Lake Macquarie Band, Wallarah Community Concert Band, Lake Macquarie Winds, and the Combined Gosford City/Central Coast Brass.  BYO chair or rug, plus a picnic (or purchase food from the café).  Multi-Arts Pavilion, Speers Point Park.  Sunday (9am-3pm). 

The RSPCA Million Paws Walk

All welcome to join a walk to raise funds for the RSPCA Shelter’s needy animals.  Features working-dog displays, dog washing, exhibitors, competitions and free health checks by veterinarians.  Speers Point Park.  Sunday (registrations from 9.30am; walk begins at 11am).     

Open Day: Hunter Region Botanic Gardens

Includes guided tours, live music, market stalls and a book fair.  2100 Pacific Highway, Heatherbrae.  Sunday (10am-2pm). 

Feast and Furious: Morisset

Includes international street food, live music, retail stalls, kids’ activities, and a display of classic cars and motorbikes.  BYO chair or rug.  A $2 entry fee (free admission for children).  Morisset Showground, Showground Road.  Sunday (10am-2pm). 

Open Days: Tocal Homestead

Open to visitors each Sunday (10am-3pm) to explore colonial farm buildings from the 1830s and to view the seasonal activities of the historic farm’s operations.  Devonshire teas available.  957 Tocal Road, Paterson. 

The Perfect Sunday Markets

Includes vintage clothing, artworks, and handmade and designer goods.  The Beer Garden of the Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, 14 Railway Street, Wickham.  Sunday (1pm-5pm). 

Singing the Blues Away!

Banish the blues with a good old-fashioned singalong of stage-and-screen melodies, led by an experienced team of local musical-theatre performers and with Philip Sketchley at the piano.  Includes Fever, Don’t Fence Me In, Happy Talk, When You Walk Through a Storm, Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah and Always Look On the Bright Side of Life.  Adamstown Uniting Church, corner of Glebe and Brunker roads.  Sunday (2pm).  All words provided.  Tickets at the door – includes afternoon tea.     

Matt McLaren: More Than a Piano Man

Classics and modern hits, presented with new and old-school technology, from the popular pianist, whose signature icons are his guide dog and bright-red keyboard.  Stockton Bowling Club, 122 Mitchell Street.  Sunday (2pm-5pm).  Tickets: 4920 1999.

Sunday Jazz

High-energy entertainment from Pocket Jazz, a six-piece band specialising in classics made famous by Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong.  Babylon, 145 King Street, Newcastle.  Sunday (4pm).  Tickets:

Jazz Nights

The Newcastle Improvised Music Association (NIMA) offers jazz evenings every Tuesday, with different artists each week.  Tuesday (31 May) features The Steph Russell Band with Steph on vocals, Dave Thompson (trumpet), Ned Olive (sax), Matt Thomson (piano), Felix Lalanne (guitar), Casey Allen (bass) and Liam Hogan (drums).  Babylon, 145 King Street, Newcastle.  Doors open 7pm; performance at 8pm.  Tickets:

Jayson Gillham

The first public performance in Newcastle by the internationally-hailed Australian pianist with popular works by Bach and Chopin.  City Hall.  Wednesday, 1 June (7.30pm).  Bookings: 4929 1977 or

The Dobell Festival: Lake Macquarie

A month-long celebration of the life and work of esteemed artist Sir William Dobell and including talks, workshops, exhibitions and performances at various Lake Macquarie locations.  1-30 June.  Details:

Back On Stage: DioSounds 2022

A host of musical performances from more than 450 student from all 12 Catholic high schools in the Hunter region.  City Hall.  Thursday, 2 June (6.30pm).  Bookings: 4929 1977 or

Fort Scratchley

Open from 10am to 4pm (closed Tuesdays) for displays of the fort’s history, tunnel tours, the 1pm gun firings (weather permitting), and Morse Code demonstrations each Wednesday.

Gun firings at midday on Saturday and at 10.30am on Sunday

Clare O’Hara: Zest 

The inaugural solo exhibition of local artist Clare O’Hara, whose vibrant and abstract artwork is designed to make the viewer smile.  SMAC Studio, Unit 5/73A Elizabeth Street, Tighes Hill.  Opens Friday, 27 May, at 6pm and features drinks, nibbles and live music.  Then: Saturday and finishing Sunday (10am-3pm each day).  All welcome to attend the free opening, but an RSVP is required: or

Brough House, Maitland

Raise Your Glass: A display celebrating the history of Maitland’s inns and taverns. 73 Church Street, Maitland.  Saturday and finishing Sunday (10am-3pm). 

The University Gallery

Looking Through Windows: A multi-media project and art display exploring the history of Aboriginal people in NSW.  Newcastle Campus, University Drive, Callaghan.  Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (10am-5pm – or by appointment) and Saturdays (midday-4pm – or by appointment) until 4 June. 

Maitland Art Gallery 

Of This Place: Emerging artist Alysha Fewster uses a variety of sounds, images and objects in a new work designed to help viewers reconnect to the natural environment.  High Street.  Tuesdays-Sundays (10am-5pm) until 5 June. 

Back-to-Back Galleries 

Artist and Therapist: Artworks developed by therapists Katishe Grudnoff and Miriam Saines, who practice in the mental health and disability sectors.  Their work explores the innate multisensory qualities of art and how it can be used to regulate and soothe.  57 Bull Street, Cooks Hill.  Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (11am-5pm) until 12 June.  All welcome to attend the official opening and artist talks on Saturday, 28 May, at 10.30am. 

The Lock-Up Gallery 

Collect: An annual fundraiser featuring more than 100 varied works for sale by an incredible line-up of high-profile local artists and younger emerging artists.  The works may be viewed either at the Gallery or online.  90 Hunter Street, Newcastle, until 12 June. 

Newcastle Museum

A Portrait of Australia: Large images, by the acclaimed Australian Geographic photographers, celebrating the bush, the outback and the coastal regions, as well as the people who live and work in those areas.  Until 19 June.

Alice’s Wonderland: A colourful hands-on display for children aged 3-8 which brings to life basic scientific concepts, such as maths, physics, wordplay, and optics and illusions.  Children can let their curiosity guide them – just as Alice did when she followed the White Rabbit down the rabbit-hole.  Until 16 July.

Honeysuckle.  Tuesdays-Sundays (10am-5pm). 

Museum of Art and Culture (MAC)

I Can See All Those Places: A tribute to the late indigenous artist Kunmanara Carroll with a display of his final works of profoundly expressive ceramics and paintings, supported by a tapestry produced by the Australian Tapestry Workshop.  Until 10 July.

One Foot in the Ground, One Foot in the Water: Paintings, sculptures, installations and sound-works to highlight death and dying as an inherent part of life and to invoke experiences of loss and remembrance.  Until 10 July.

First Street, Booragul.  Tuesdays-Sundays (10am-5pm). 

Charlestown Library

The Works of Julie Graham: Bright and colourful paintings from mother-of-four Julie Graham, an intuitive and self-taught artist who’s drawn to colours which spark joy.  Corner of Smith and Ridley streets, Charlestown.  Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays (9am-7pm); and Thursdays and Fridays (9am-6pm) until 16 July.  Closed Sundays.     

Rathmines Heritage Centre

9 Squadron: A remembrance of the RAAF’s 9 Squadron, which was formed in 1939 and engaged in global wartime action as a fleet co-operation unit providing aircrews for seaplanes operating off Royal Australian Navy cruisers.   Stilling Street.  Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (10am-2pm) until 13 November.  Gold-coin admission.     

Coming Soon – Fast Love: A Tribute to George Michael

A salute to the life and music of the late British rock performer by a professional London ensemble of singers, dancers and band.  Civic Theatre.  Sunday, 5 June (7pm).  Bookings: 4929 1977 or

Coming Soon – Sounds of Vienna

The Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra highlights Vienna at the dawn of the 19th century with Joseph Leopold Eybler’s sparkling String Quartet and Schubert’s most ambitious chamber work, Octet75 minutes (no interval).  City Hall.  Wednesday, 8 June (7.30pm).  Bookings: 4929 1977 or