FEATURE: Elevator Festival | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: The Devil Danced In Our Eyes

Newcastle’s Live Theatre continue to put emerging theatre makers at the heart of their programming, as the annual Elevator Festival returns to the venue from Thursday 21st-Saturday 30th March.

It’s a real must for budding actors, producers and writers alike, with audiences able to see brand new work into the bargain. The festival will showcase a host of emerging theatrical talent, premiering six new plays by up and coming writers, with no subject too gnarly.

Performances include It’ll Be Alt-Right On The Night (Thursday 21st-Saturday 23rd), written and performed by Matthew Greenhough it’s a story of friendship and disenfranchisement which asks what it’s like to be an insolated young man in divided, modern Britain and using an enticing fusion of theatre, comedy, cabaret and jazz punk. A double bill running from Tuesday 26th-Saturday 30th features one of British theatre’s ones to watch Adam Hughes, whose show West End Girls intertwines three women’s stories, set in three different housing estates in Newcastle. Audiences can also see Jake Jarratt and Cameron Sharp’s W*nk Buddies, a coming of age story exploring what it means to be a man, of masculinity and femininity and nights spent together with two litre bottles of cider and scratched CDs.

Pops and Locks make up another double bill on Thursday 28th and Friday 29th March. Pops is written by Charlotte Josephine, and is an intriguing portrait of a father and daughter attempting to connect and forgive while caught in a vicious cycle of shame and addiction; while Locks, written and performed by Ashleigh Nugent, is based on a true story and follows a mixed-race lad from England who goes to find his identity in Jamaica. Jonluke Mckie and Alli Davies’ piece The Devil Danced In Our Eyes closes the festival on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th March, utilising storytelling, soundscapes and looped vocals to explore mental health, sexuality and parental relationships.

Live Theatre continue to put emerging theatre makers at the heart of their programming

For those wishing to delve deeper into theatrical practices, a series of talks and workshops will accompany the season. Thursday 21st will see an insightful panel discussion between playwrights Vinay Patel, Chris Bush and Chris Foxton discussing the Future of Playwriting; the Directors Masterclass on Saturday 23rd provides an invaluable opportunity to learn from Live Theatre Artistic Director Joe Douglas; and on Monday 25th, Ishy Din (writer of the recently rapturously received production of Approaching Empty at Live) will join Sian Armstrong (writer of Stupid, previewed elsewhere in this issue), Adam Hughes (West End Girls) and Live’s Creative Producer Graeme Thompson to look at how working class culture is represented on stage. Graeme Thompson also hosts an insight into producing with an introductory discussion on Friday 29th; and to round things off on Saturday 30th, an informative discussion entitled Women & The World sees actor Tracy Gillman explore female characterisation and representation with Live’s writer in residence Chinonyerem Odimba, Charlotte Josephine and others.

For anyone with an interest in new and exciting theatre, Elevator Festival provides a fantastic week of education and entertainment.

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