Beasts and Blake at the Alban Arena

Fantastic Beasts

Fantastic Beasts - Credit: Archant

A Ken Loach film gets the New Year underway as panto ends at the Alban Arena.

I Daniel Blake

I Daniel Blake - Credit: Archant

I, Daniel Blake is a 2016 British drama film directed by Ken Loach and written by his frequent collaborator Paul Laverty. It stars Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Dylan McKiernan, and Briana Shann.

Daniel Blake is a 59-year-old joiner living in Newcastle who has had a heart attack at work. His recovery is incomplete and his cardiologist is concerned that Daniel’s heart might begin to beat abnormally, putting him at risk of developing a life-threatening arrhythmia.

She tells him that he is not ready to go back to work. Daniel befriends a single mum and her two kids as they navigate their way through the Kafkaesque impersonal benefits system.

I, Daniel Blake will be showing at the Arena at 1.30pm and 7.30pm next Wednesday, January 11, and tickets at £7 with concessions £5 are available from the box office on 01727 844488 or online.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is being screened at the Arena at 7.30pm the following night, Thursday, January 12.

Directed by David Yate, it is a prequel to the Harry Potter film series and was produced and written by J. K. Rowling in her screenwriting debut.

Fantastic Beasts stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander with Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Carmen Ejogo, Ron Perlman and Colin Farrell in supporting roles.

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The year is 1926, and Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident, were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

Tickets are £7 with concessions £5.

* Open auditions are being held next Saturday, January 14, for We Will Rock You (Schools Edition) which is being performed at the Arena in August.

It is a collaboration between the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts and the Arena and the auditions are open to children aged from seven to 18 years

We Will Rock You is based on the songs of Queen with a book by Ben Elton and tells the story of a group of Bohemians who struggle to restore the free exchange of thought, fashion, and live music in a distant future where everyone dresses, thinks and acts the same.

Musical instruments and composers are forbidden, and rock music is all but unknown.

Auditions for seven to 11 year olds are from 10.30am – 1pm and for ages 12-plus, they are from 1.30pm – 4pm. Four performances of the show are spread over August 12 and 13.

For more information or to book a place email