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Image: Now Is The Time To Say Nothing

This spring is all about mobility and change at the 12th season of Jabberwocky Market pop-up theatre events, which take place in and around Darlington and are part of a national project bringing cutting-edge theatre to places that don’t usually get that opportunity.

Kirsten Yates, Operations Associate, is a Darlington local who has worked on Jabberwocky Market for five years. “I love that it is in my hometown, and it was one of the only things that helped restore my love for the place. It’s really special to bring world-class theatre to Darlington, especially such a diverse and inspiring range.”

Telling essential stories in a human and engaging way, the eclectic, accessible event returns with a packed programme of theatrical productions, talks and workshops at a range of venues throughout April and May.

Now Is The Time To Say Nothing (Thursday 11th-Saturday 13th April, Quaker Meeting House) is a provocative sound and video installation exploring the role of screens in observing global conflicts, questioning our armchair passivity and following the true story of artist Reem Karssli as she captures her daily experience of the Syrian conflict on camera.

It’s really special to bring world-class theatre to Darlington, especially such a diverse and inspiring range

Juliet And Romeo (Saturday 20th, Liddiard Theatre) is a blend of dance, theatre and comedy revealing the true story of you-know-who after it turns out they didn’t die tragically, instead experiencing mid-life crises coloured by the mocking spectres of their teenage selves and haunted by the pressure of being the poster couple for romantic love.

Eurohouse brings the problematic relationship of two performers – one Greek, one French – to life in a darkly comic look at the founding ideals of the EU, fuelled by dancing, shouting, crying and singing as we see what got lost along the way to EUtopia; while Tensile Strength (or How To Survive At Your Wit’s End) is a performance about why so many of us feel stress to an unhealthy degree, a show about the world we live in now, and why our society just can’t seem to relax anymore (both on Saturday 4th May at The Hullabaloo).

In Conversation about Mobility and Change (Saturday 13th April, Quaker Meeting House) sees Caroline Williams – creator of Now Is The Time To Say Nothing – lead a conversation around topics on mobility and change. Set against a backdrop of global uncertainty, this is sure to be a highly charged and fascinating sharing of ideas.

Youngsters are well catered for too: BIG Little Gigs host a family pop-up choir with Jennie Brewis (Wednesday 17th April at Liddiard Theatre) and Noisy Holiday (Friday 10th-Saturday 11th May, Middleton Hall Retirement Home) is a lively show about dream holidays versus keeping everyone happy when you can’t even get them in a car together, and features a mix of live music, theatre, comedy, puppetry and animation. Kid Carpet, the performer behind Noisy Holiday, is thrilled by the freedom he gets through his work. “I get to seriously muck about and sing ridiculous songs, which makes me a very happy man. I also get to pretend to be a potato which is way beyond my acting abilities. The kids love it because it’s very silly and there are lots of funky tunes. Parents love it because it’s suggestive of parenthood and trying to keep our kids from getting out of control. And there’s banging tunes.”

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