FEATURE: Get Into…Theatre | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Our Get Into… features seek to serve as a guide to you finding new worlds to immerse yourself in and new passions that may have passed you by. This month it’s the world of theatre with actress Hannah Walker. We’ll let her fill you in on the rest…

Hi, I’m Hannah… a performance artist and actress. I’m also a new mummy! I have just been wee’ed on a little as I am writing this but I don’t mind because she is lush. I studied Drama in London for three years then came back to Newcastle to make theatre because it’s delightful (and I could also afford to be freelance in the North and not have my hard earned two bar job money all going on a poxy flat in London.)

I love playing around and making my own performances and I also love acting in others. I’m a regular performer with music quiz comedy sketch show Mixtape and their next shows are 14th, 15th, 16th December at Live Theatre, and I also co-host PUG, a quarterly alternative variety night. Next show for PUG is on Thursday 14th September at Tyneside Irish Centre.

Before I went to Uni, I had a very fixed idea of the type of performances I enjoyed. I only wanted to be cast in serious theatre and the thought of spending my evening at a musical was my idea of hell. Oh how that has changed! I was introduced to so many different art forms and what I believed performance was, was such teeny tiny fraction of the reality. I realised how small minded I had been and how there are so many artists making such varied work. It’s endless and I have so much to learn. PUG is a great way of engaging with different art forms. (Another reminder 14th September- a fantastic line up!)

The feeling of being on stage and watching performance is exciting in different ways. Despite performing from the age of eight, I still now want to poop myself just before I step in front of an audience. It’s never happened thank goodness, but what a performance if it did…The thrill is unbelievable and if it ever got to the point I didn’t feel nervous before I went on I would question my career choice. I think what makes performing the icing on the cake for me is seeing the audience afterwards and if they’ve had a good night. I want people to have a great night! To perhaps have a smidgen of a part of that is such a lovely feeling.

I love watching performances that blow my mind in a way I wasn’t expecting. Especially if I wasn’t in the mood beforehand and I leave the auditorium enlightened. These types of performances are especially enjoyed with a glass of wine! I’m going to take my baby to Edinburgh Fringe, best place for the unexpected and I can’t recommend going enough, if you get the chance. There’s lots I want to see but I also love going to a spontaneous performance- it’s the beauty of the Fringe.

My advice for getting into theatre is to go to as many shows as possible and get inspired! Obviously pennies get in the way of everything, but I can’t endorse enough Alphabetti Theatre for this exact problem. They are re-opening their new venue on the 1st Sep with a great run of shows. Also, there are performances coming over from Prague Festival too! A dime of a venue with cheap booze.

Buy a notebook and keep it with you at all times, who knows when an idea might pop into your head, for your own work, a character or a play. Also, don’t be precious- although it’s so much easier said than done. Play as much as you can and if it goes wrong, it goes wrong. Nothing is ever perfect and there’s nothing wrong with messing up. Talk to people! They’re fascinating and can help you work out your own ideas in your head and get them on paper.

Places To Go:

Live Theatre, Northern Stage, Alphabetti, People’s Theatre, Customs House, ARC Stockton- so many more. The North East is full of exciting theatre opportunities. I need to depart my baby bubble for a little bit to get back on it! Enjoy!

Oh and again- PUG is on Thursday 14th September

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