FEATURE: Carole Wears – A Look Back At 2017 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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2017 has been a rather interesting year. We’ve been lucky enough to fill our pages with some incredible creative talent, so we asked a few of them to share some thoughts on the year just gone. We caught up with theatre producer Carole Wears to take a little look back, through the highs and lows of her year…

Carole Wears is a freelance Theatre Producer who launched her inaugural season of shows this autumn, inviting some of the best and quirkiest shows from the festival circuit to the North East.  She is also Co-founder of Prague Fringe Festival and sometime performer herself.  Carole’s philosophy has always revolved round providing people with “A good night out”, at festivals, in theatres, in life! Her eye for a good show across a variety of genres makes CaroleW Productions’ forthcoming seasons ones to watch!

So, how was your 2017?
Why thank you, NARC!  I think I can definitely say it was a year like no other!

What was your worst moment?
Leaving the venue that I’d worked at and cared for, for over 20 years and saying goodbye to some of the best folk you could ever hope to meet.

And, what was your best moment?
Realising I’d made the right decision and how much support I had from those around me (plus any number of nights, days, weekends, holidays with said friends and family!) And I’m going to add to this the amount of times that someone I hadn’t known before found me and said they wanted to help with my endeavours – lots of random acts of kindness and support have occurred.

Your Favourite Band of the year?
Oh NARC, if you’d asked me the same question 25 years ago the answer wouldn’t have changed. The Men They Couldn’t Hang.  And I’m cock-a-hoop to tell you that founder member Phil “Swill” Odgers and Bobby Valetino (of Bluebells fame) are part of my next season of shows in Newcastle.  They are playing Cobalt Studios in April.  My first solo foray into the Music Biz! Lol!

Your Favourite Song of the year?
NARC, I couldn’t name a chart tune from 2018 – I’m more of an Americana kind of girl, although when I was growing up, they just called it “Country and Western”.  Always on the lookout for anything by Otis Gibbs or Slaid Cleaves or any of the wonderful artists that the Jumpin’ Hot Club have introduced me to over the years.

Favourite Gig of the Year?
Billy Bragg at Whitley Bay Playhouse – singing American Railroad songs with Joe Henry at Wylam Brewery – reminding us not to give up the fight.

Favourite TV of the year?
Whisper it…and remember I’m a woman of a certain age…that would be a gratuitous Outlander/Poldark combo! Oh, and on the cooler end of the spectrum I love Stranger Things.  Oh and why didn’t anyone tell me about Gilmore Girls until this year…!!

Favourite Venue of the Year?
It’s got to be Alphabetti Theatre, I love their ethos.  I totally respect and admire the writers, actors, directors, producers, designers (sorry I hate the phrase Theatre Makers) who’ve put so much love and dedication in to actually building this venue to put on such a variety of new and inspiring work, whether created themselves or programmed by the likes of me. The atmosphere is great, the venue team are stars and I’m secretly in love with the gorgeous Theatre Pooch, Rex!

What gifts are on your letter to Santa this year?
Gifts, NARC, gifts? This is my first year of “going freelance” there’ll be none of that nonsense this year!!!

And finally, what has 2018 got in store for you?
Well NARC, you can’t keep a good woman down! 
There will be another season of CaroleW Productions shows, in a wider range of venues.  The Spring/Summer will have a Scottish theme…from an interactive tale of insensitive uncles, useless support workers and drugged-up nights out inspired by computer games, David Lynch movies and Highland folk tales to fist-thumping, pint-drinking, side-tickling, heart-wrenching Poetry. There’ll also be a deeply subversive Harry Potter improv as well as Leyla Josephine, who is “Hopeless”, staying in bed all day, refusing to watch the news and eating full Viennettas at 1pm!
It’s the 17th Prague Fringe Festival this year at the end of May, which we’ve just finished programming now.
I’m delighted to be working with Jane Arnfield on her show Year of Wonders, as well as Eliot Smith Company (ESC) and their exciting project #GRAHAMINUK and Newcastle Film Festival too.
I also have a lovely little seasonal gig compering the River Escapes Cruises “From Quay to Sea”, joining that team was a real highlight of 2017 and if I didn’t blot my copybook I hope there’ll be more of that on the horizon! Never happier as a Geordie girl than with the North Sea wind in my sails at the mouth of the Tyne!
It’s really all go!
Oh, can I answer a previous question again please NARC?

Oh go on then, Carole

What gifts are on your letter to Santa this year?
An Arts Council England (ACE) grant for my shows please, Santa!
Merry Christmas one and all, CaroleW. x

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