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Mike McGrother to return to ARC with three Wild Rover performances

We have some exciting news. This autumn Teesside’s own Wild Rover, Mike McGrother, will be back on stage at ARC with three very special solo shows.

Since playing ARC’s first ever sold out gig 21 years ago with The Wildcats of Kilkenny it’s no secret that Mike has become one of our favourite performers. Whether he’s been taking to the stage with The Wildcats to blow the roof of The Point in another fun-filled Christmas Party, or creating work that celebrates what we have to be proud of across Teesside there’s no denying he’s kept us entertained every step of the way.

That’s why we can’t think of anyone better to bring back live music with a side of Teesside craic once we reopen. The Wild Rover is bringing us three shows that all promise something a bit different, while being everything we love about a performance from Mike. And better yet tickets are on a Pay What You Decide basis so you only pay after you’ve seen the show so you can make a decision about whatever the experience was worth to you.

As well as delivering a great night out, Mike’s performance will bring stories to the stage you won’t want to miss, from the joyous, to the tragic, and everything between. 

About the shows

His first show 500 Miles coming to ARC this October looks back to 2016 when he flew to his ancestral home Carrickmacross, County Monaghan and walked back to Stockton with Ian Macallan and Mick Riley. Since then he’s gone on some canny long walks including trips to Kilkenny, France, and Belgium. For this show though he’ll be focused on his first 500 miles, through anecdotes, stories and songs. Tickets for The Wild Rover’s (First) 500 Miles are on sale now and can be booked here.

If you haven’t heard of Joe’s Speakeasy The Wild Rover’s appearance this November is your perfect chance to catch up on the good news. This incredible project came about through a chance meeting Mike had with Joe Hall in The Storyteller, a few doors down from ARC. Mike bought Joe, a stranger at the time, a pint and started chatting, and neither of them could have expected what it would lead to. That first meeting and Joe’s subsequent death gave rise to Joe’s Speakeasy, where Mike now immortalises tales from older residents in song, sometimes wonderful, sometimes devastating, but always meaningful. In Joe’s Speakeasy, Live! The Wild Rover will share the tales of these everyday Teessiders for all to hear. You can find out more about Joe’s Speakeasy, Live! here

While we don’t know right now what will happen this year’s Wildcats at Christmas gig as we wait to see what happens with COVID-19 restrictions, we do know it just wouldn’t be Christmas at ARC without Mike McGrother conjuring up some festive spirit. The Wild Rover is working on a very special festive treat, and we’ll be able to bring you more news about this performance soon.

We hope you’ll join us for one (or better yet all) of these events this autumn. 

If you can’t wait until then you can see what else is coming up on the What’s On section of our website.

Pay What You Decide
This performance is priced on a Pay What You Decide basis, which means that tickets are available to book in advance as usual, but there is no obligation for you to pay until after you have seen the show. You can then decide on a price which you think is suitable based on your experience. Click here to find out more.


Photot by Ian Allcock, ENA Photography