“It’s the scratch in the vinyl, the sticking point, that brings back the memory as much as the song.”
In Newcastle’s newest theatre space underneath an office block on Pilgrim Street, in a style evocative of Marcel Proust’s madeleine dunked into his tea, the scratch of vinyl transports the protagonist back, kicking up his memories for the audience like sand from a riverbed.
Sticking, written by and starring BBC Verb New Voice winner Matthew Lewis Miller and directed by international theatre artist Peader Kirk is already being hailed as a poetic triumph.
Miller, an up and coming voice in the creative arts world, talks of the show touching on the gaps in our lives; where unexplained periods of nothing subvert the linear path that is expected of us. In Sticking, the protagonist questions what is expected of him; questioning, rebelling and carving out an identity of his own. Miller presents us with storytelling, poetry and music in a show which stems from his experience during his first three months at university and which promises to have a profound impact on anyone who has ever felt lost.
I hope the show allows people to remember times in their own life which were tumultuous or difficult, eventful or exciting, or in which they were lost in a new place
“The time during which Sticking is set is a time of my life I’d wanted to write about for a long time but not felt able to do in a particularly in-depth way. Working with my co-creator Peader allowed me to do so with more confidence.” Miller explains. “The inspiration also came in large part from another show Peader had worked on called No More Worries – though mostly told by one person, it felt like watching a live novel with a vivid cast of characters, which is something I’d love to achieve with this show. I hope the show allows people to remember times in their own life which were tumultuous or difficult, eventful or exciting, or in which they were lost in a new place.”
In amongst the excitement, the firsts, the lasts and the fleeting memories that come flashing back, Sticking gives the audience a somewhat surreal exploration of what it takes to become someone other than we are. Reminiscent of Kierkegaard’s newly free man, dizzied by his new found power and ability to choose to do what he wants, we imagine the protagonist standing on the edge of a precipice just as Kierkegaard suggested, deciding whether or not to jump. Are we stuck with who we are? Or do we have the astonishing ability to choose who we want to be? To reinvent ourselves? For Kierkegaard, anxiety was the dizziness of freedom; for Miller, new found freedom is its own dizziness.
Sticking is at Newcastle’s Alphabetti Theatre from Tuesday 8th until Saturday 12th November, and Stockton’s ARC on Wednesday 7th December.