FEATURE: 10 YEARS OF ALPHABETTI | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Mixtape

I don’t know about you, but I’m still finding it a bit wild to wrap my head around the fact that 2013 was a decade ago. Newcastle in particular is now almost unrecognisable in parts; for instance, the initial home of the almighty Alphabetti Theatre is now in the process of becoming a multi-building office complex, but thankfully they have been fortunate enough to remain in the city centre and their relocation to Blandford Square has proven to be a lifeline in providing the city centre with a vital performance space for a broad array of multi-disciplinary and multicultural productions which, along with nearby venue spaces Nemix and The Lubber Fiend, help to keep the DIY spirit of the city alive and kicking.

With all this staggering change in mind, it’s incredible that Alphabetti have managed to go from strength to strength despite the very challenging climate for the arts and performance venues, especially in the face of rising costs, COVID, and all the other insurmountable challenges faced within the industry. Thankfully, they’re celebrating their 10 year milestone in the proper fashion, with a staggering 15 performances from a bewildering and eclectic array of 46 artists across three weeks. Hosted by associate artist Wilf Stone (aka musician Wolfred), he’ll be telling the multifarious tale of Alphabetti, as written by artistic director Ali Pritchard, and will be joined each evening by a couple of very special guests. All performances are Pay What You Feel, allowing for accessibility for all regardless of circumstance.

Alphabetti have managed to go from strength to strength despite the very challenging climate for the arts and performance venues

The celebrations kick off on Tuesday 15th August with performances by composer Kerrin Tatman, actor/singer Kylie Ann Ford and creative practitioner Audrey Cook, followed the next day by singer-songwriter Paige Temperley, writer and actor Steve Byron and spoken word artist Papi Moises Jeovani. On Thursday 17th, expect a joyous performance from musical comedy troupe Mixtape, alongside actor Zoe Lambert and comedian Hannah Walker. The weekend kicks off on Friday with Queer theatre maker Mack Sproats, actor, musician and stand-up Micky Cochrane and actor/voice coach Rosie Stancliffe. Saturday sees actor and writer Elijah Young perform his own self-penned work for the first time, followed by theatrical polymath Jane Arnfield and the acclaimed hip-hop artist Kay Greyson.

The second week begins with a double bill of actor Jacob Anderton and multi-slam winning trans performance poet AJ McKenna on Tuesday 22nd. There’s an eclectic trio of performances on Wednesday 23rd with stand-up comedian Si Beckwith, spoken word artist Lisette Auton and cellist and alt. folk favourite Ceitidh Mac, whilst Thursday is solely helmed by poet and theatre maker Matt Miller. Saturday 26th will see poet performer and venue favourite Kirsten Luckins take to the stag alongside actor and screenwriter Sally Collett.

The final week begins with writer and producer Sam Honour and actor/singer Jude Nelson on Tuesday 29th, followed by a smorgasbord of wordy goodness on Wednesday 30th courtesy of poet Rowan McCabe, actor/writer Christina Berriman Dawson and writer Rebecca Glendenning-Laycock. Actor and poet Arabella Arnott and writer/performer Coggin Galbreath visit the venue on Thursday 31st; spoken word poet Richard Boggie, musical duo Katie Doherty and Dave Gray, and musician Tommy Arch perform on Friday 1st September; whilst the whole shebang rounds up on Saturday 2nd September with performances from legendary comedian Lauren Pattison and playwright David Raynor.

10 Years of Alphabetti takes place at Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle from Tuesday 15th August-Saturday 2nd September.

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