Image from Zoe Murtagh’s previous work Sacré Blue
The North East theatre scene has been built on nurturing new and up-and-coming talent, so it’s no surprise that schemes like Bridging The Gap exist to give emerging theatre makers the chance to showcase new plays. The scheme is now in its seventh year, and it’s exciting news that two North East based talents will be the latest to benefit after being selected to produce two brand new plays.
The Six Twenty and Zoe Murtagh were the lucky two selected, and it’s a great opportunity for both. Melanie Rashbrooke, Artistic Director of The Six Twenty, will be developing FANS, a hilarious, heart-warming and electric mix of stories told through raucous live music, comedy and verbatim theatre. Part theatre show, part music gig, it’s all based on people’s love affair with music, and the show will fuse together true stories, scripted elements and music fan confessions.
Newcastle based performance maker and spoken word artist Zoe Murtagh will produce The Lamppost Petition. It’s a show that is all about celebrating and remembering stories that have been passed down through generations by our grandparents. Exploring identity, and how that works within an ageing body and mind, and stories we have lived, are shared, and shared again to an audience full of people; and then what if those people go on to share those stories again? Zoe will share her own experiences and stories, and that of the various people she will talk to through focus groups too, leading to a very exciting and honest piece of theatre.
The venues participating in the scheme have continually expanded and now includes: ARC, Alnwick Playhouse, Arts Centre Washington, The Customs House, Live Theatre, Northern Stage and The Maltings in Berwick. These venues work together, offering support to each recipient through various means, with performance dates at four of the venues for both The Six Twenty and Zoe Murtagh.
It’s a huge opportunity, and one which could lead to some fantastic works for audiences to sample, and it’s a big step forward for two of the North East’s most promising creative talents.