What's on this weekend 

EVENTS

Just Back From The Fringe Akmal Saleh will get you chuckling when he brings his quick wit and informal banter to Belmont 16 Footers tonight. Fresh from a sellout season at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Egyptian-born comedian is known for his knack of addressing hot topics in a funny, if slightly offensive, way. Tickets are on sale from $39 on 49450888 or via 16s.com.au.

Dragonboating Community Regatta Saturday and Sunday, Throsby Creek, Carrington.

From Russia With Song Sunday. Concert by Trio Liro. Tickets $25 adults, $20 concession, $5 school students on 65722398. 2pm. The Sisters of Mercy Convent, Queen St, Singleton.

Hunter Valley Gardens 10th Birthday Celebrations Saturday and Sunday. Free jumping castle and amusement rides, birthday cake, camel rides, face painting. Hunter Valley Gardens, Broke Road, Pokolbin.

Kairos Outside for Women Sunday. Waratah Girls Choir performs at the fund-raiser, 2pm. Adults $15, concession $13, child $5. The Grove Church, 130 Garden Grove Pde, Adamstown.

Koala Gala Saturday. Fund-raising dinner to raise money for the preservation of koalas in Port Stephens, $95 per person, 49822801. O’Carrollyn’s Eco Resort, One Mile Beach.

Spring Festival Of The Flowers Saturday and Sunday. Floral displays, cooking demonstrations, topiaries, school competition displays, talks, tours, workshops, all with an Asian influence. From 9am daily. Hunter Valley Gardens, Broke Road, Pokolbin.

Wine And Chocolate Master Class Saturday. Be guided through a selection of the wines from Wyndham Estate matched with premium chocolate from Brix. $15. 2pm. Bookings essential on 1800677366. Wyndham Estate, Dalwood Road, Dalwood.

Semillon and Seafood Session Sunday. Enjoy a seafood platter for lunch and a glass of the 2013 Sheppard’s White Semillon, live music. From 10am. Wyndham Estate, Dalwood.

MARKETS

Hamilton Clock Tower Markets Saturday. More than 30 variety stalls, food, coffee and music. 8am to 2pm. James St Plaza, Hamilton.

Handmade in the Hunter Saturday. 9am to 3pm. Kevin Sobel’s Winery.

Lake Macquarie City Farmers Markets Saturday. Fresh produce, gourmet food, plants and more, 8am to 1pm. Speers Point Park, Speers Point.

Maitland Harvest Markets Saturday. Seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs, free-range meat and eggs, seafood, olives, pastries and cakes, fresh dairy products, handmade cheese, wines, candles and soaps, plants and flowers. 8am to 1pm. Maitland Showground.

Morisset Sunday Markets Sunday. Handcrafted, homemade, locally produced, home spun, secondhand and car boot sale items, 8am to noon. Hillview Church, Morisset.

Newcastle City Farmers Market Sunday. Fresh produce, gourmet food, plants and more, 8am to 1pm. Newcastle Showground, Broadmeadow.

Newcastle & Hunter Vietnam Veterans Inc, Market. Sunday. More than 270 stalls, 7am to 1pm. Food and drinks available. Wickham Park Islington.

THEATRE

Rumpelstiltskin Newcastle writer Belinda Roals’s lively adaptation of the Grimm tale about a strange little man who helps a miller’s daughter spin straw into gold. Young People’s Theatre, at Young People’s Theatre, Hamilton. Saturday at 2pm and 7pm.

The BFG Orphan Sophie and the Big Friendly Giant join forces to save the world’s children from being gobbled up by mean giants; adapted by David Wood from Roald Dahl’s story. Hunter Region Drama School, at the Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. Saturday, at 2pm and 6pm. 49291977.

The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz Virginia Koste’s adaptation of the famous novel shows author L. Frank Baum putting the magic into the story. Maitland Junior Repertory, at Maitland Repertory Theatre. Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. 49312800.

Panic Twenty young people use their experiences of anxiety, fear and hope to escape the panic trap; group-devised work by Open Cage Ensemble and Tantrum Theatre. 48 Watt, St Newcastle. Saturday at 6.30pm. Free.

Whoops! The Wharf Revue 2013 The team led by Jonathan Biggins and Drew Forsythe take an amusing look at what is happening around us. Sydney Theatre Company, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. Saturday at 8pm. 4929 1977.

SPORT

Touch Knockout Day Sunday. The Wallsend Wolves host a touch football knockout day to raise money for The Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Wallsend Touch Ovals, 9.30am.

National Rugby League Saturday. Newcastle Knights v Sydney Roosters, Allianz Stadium, Sydney. Kickoff 7.45pm.

ENVIRONMENT

Medicinal Herbs Workshop Sunday. An introduction to using herbs from your garden for medicinal purposes. Participate in making herbal teas and an ointment for wound healing. Port Stephens residents only. 10am to 12.30pm. Nelson Bay. 49800251.

ART

The Lock-Up Cultural Centre Desiring Machines: Tega Brain, Dylan Hammond, Victoria Hempstead, Kirsty Hume, Ben Kolaitis, Daw Joy Leong, Jake Moore, Sara Morawetz, Kate Vassalo, James Lieutenant, Alex White. Until October 5. Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm.

Adamstown Uniting Church Colours of Spring: Newcastle Printmakers Workshop. Until October 20. Mornings, Monday to Friday, or phone 49571887.

Art Systems Wickham Songs from Salisbury: Glenn Henderson. Until October 6. 40 Annie Street, Wickham.

Cooks Hill Galleries Random Thoughts, Sculpture: Roger McFarlane. Salt Air and Fig Trees, Paintings: Paul O’Brien. Until October 13. 67 Bull Street, Cooks Hill.

Curve Gallery Natural Selection: Luke Beezley. Until October 6. 37 Watt Street, Newcastle.

Forsight Gallery The Plastic Frontier: Tom Kierney. Until October 6. 33 Union Street, Cooks Hill.

John Hunter Hospital Arts for Health Hunterbald 2013: Annual Staff Exhibition. The Tropics: Bridie Watt. Photogram: JHH/TAFE. Until end October. John Hunter Hospital.

Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery Collecting our Identity, Private to Public: 25 Artists from the Bicentenary year. Until November 17. First Street, Booragul.

Lovett Gallery Now and Then: Photographic Exhibition. Newcastle Library, Until October 6. Laman Street, Cooks Hill (Saturdays until 2pm).

Maitland Regional Art Gallery Op Shop: Twelve Opportunity Shop artists. Until October 6. 230 High Street, Maitland.

MUSIC

5 Sawyers  Saturday, DJ Fooey. Sunday, DJ Tone.

 Argyle House Saturday, Lemon D, Doom D,Rufeyo, Horreur.

 Bar Petite  Saturday, Nick Connors. Sunday, The Dreamcatchers (duo).

 Beach Hotel  Saturday, New Black Shades. Sunday, The Party.

 Belmont 16 Footers  Saturday, Talk Of The Town, Akmal Live. Sunday, Klassic Blak.

 The Brewery  Saturday, Janey’s Alibi Duo. Sunday, Overload.

 Cambridge Hotel  Saturday, Bombs Are Falling, Pants Optional, The Dirty Eights, Excitebike, Driverside Airbag, Payroll.

 Grand Junction Hotel  Sunday, Gleny Rae Virus.

 Great Northern Hotel  Saturday, Bears With Guns.

 Harrigan’s Pokolbin  Saturday, Kellie Cain, Maham 101. Sunday, Levymen.

Hamilton Station Saturday, Karaoke. Sunday, Ben David, Mick Seff. Wednesday, Liam.

 Kent Hotel  Saturday, True Lies. Sunday, Dai Pritchard Blues Band.

 King Street Hotel  Saturday, Spenda C and Leah Mencel.

 The Landing Bar & Kitchen  Saturday, Ned Kelly. Sunday, Skoob, Timmy Coffey.

 Lizotte’s Newcastle  Saturday, Round Mountain Girls.

 Murray’s Brewery  Sunday, Hayden Johns.

 Pippis At The Point  Saturday, Pickin Keys. Sunday, Twinsanity.

 The Small Ballroom  Saturday, The Delta Riggs with The Walking Who and Lovechild.

 Terrace Bar  Saturday, Milkmaids, Sumeru.

 Warners At The Bay  Saturday, Hornet.

 Wests Leagues Club New Lambton  Piano Lounge: Saturday, Warren Hunter. Marble Bar: Saturday, Two Stomp. Starlight Room: Sunday, The Axis Of Awesome.

 Wickham Park Hotel  Saturday, Rockabilly Fest Featuring Pat Capocci, Two Timin Playboys, Little Mac and The Monstermen. Sunday, Blues Bombers, Chikarma.

MOVIES

OPENINGS

Runner Runner (MA15+) Justin Timberlake stars as a poor college student who travels to Costa Rica to confront the online gambling tycoon (Ben Affleck) he believes swindled him. Instead he’s brought into their operation and seduced by the promise of immense wealth, until he learns the disturbing truth about his new boss. Also starring Gemma Arterton.

Grown Ups 2 (PG) In this sequel to 2010’s Grown Ups, star and producer Adam Sandler reprises his role as Lenny. This time he relocates his family to his hometown to be with his childhood friends and their families. On the last day of school, surprises abound and this time it’s the parents learning lessons from their kids. Also starring Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Salma Hayek.

NOW SHOWING

Blue Jasmine (M) Woody Allen’s latest film has already created Oscar buzz for Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of a Manhattan socialite whose life falls apart, forcing her to move in with her sister (Sally Hawkins).

First Position (G) Follows the inspirational footsteps of a group of young, talented ballet dancers aged 9 to 16 on their way to one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world: the Youth America Grand Prix. (Avoca Beach)

Frances HA (MA15+) Greta Gerwig stars as the hapless Frances, an aspiring dancer without love and without a job, in this Brooklyn-set comedy from writer-director Noah Baumbach. Searching for bliss, Frances fumbles for her dreams despite their rapidly fading possibility. (Tower Cinemas Newcastle)

Jobs (M) The story of Steve Jobs’s ascension from college dropout into one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century.

Now You See Me (M) An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.

One Direction: This Is Us (PG) An all-access pass to British pop sensation One Direction on tour and live in concert at London’s O2 Arena, helmed by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me). Also shows Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis’s meteoric rise to fame, from their humble beginnings and competing on X-Factor, to pop-world domination.

Percy Jackson Sea Of Monsters (PG) The second Percy Jackson movie, based on Rick Riordan’s urban fantasy teen novels. Son of Greek god Poseidon, Percy (Logan Lerman) and his friends head to the titular sea to find the mythical Golden Fleece.

Planes (G) Dusty is a crop dusting plane who dreams of competing in a famous aerial race. The problem? He is hopelessly afraid of heights. With the support of his mentor Skipper and a host of new friends, Dusty sets off to make his dreams come true.

Riddick (MA15+) The sequel to the 2004 film The Chronicles of Riddick again stars Vin Diesel as Riddick, who’s left for dead on a desolate planet filled with alien predators.

R.I.P.D. (M) When police officer Nick (Ryan Reynolds) dies, he joins a team of undead police officers in the Rest In Peace Department to protect the living from souls who refuse to move to the other side.

The Rocket (M) A boy who is believed to bring bad luck to everyone around him leads his family and two new friends through Laos to find a new home.

Stoker (MA15+) Aussie Mia Wasikowska is teenager India Stoker, whose mysterious Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) moves in with her and her mother (Nicole Kidman) after her father suddenly dies. (Tower Cinemas Newcastle, Avoca Beach)

The Best Offer (M) Australia’s Geoffrey Rush stars as an eccentric art auctioneer who becomes obsessed with a young heiress and collector. (Tower Cinemas Newcastle, Avoca Beach)

The Smurfs 2 (G) The Smurfs return to the human world in order to save Smurfette  from the grasp of Gargamel.

Turbo (G) A freak accident might just help an everyday garden snail achieve his biggest dream: winning the Indy 500.

We’re The Millers (MA15+) A small-time pot dealer with a big debt recruits a stripper and two teenagers.

White House Down (M) Police officer Cale (Channing Tatum), who’s just missed out on his dream job protecting the president (Jamie Foxx), must spring into action when the building is attacked by paramilitary invaders.

You’re Next (MA15+) During a family reunion getaway, the Davidsons come under attack from sadistic murderers.

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