FEATURE: Unlocking the Doors – New Combinations | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Space Walk

Sunderland Culture have commissioned three very different performances aimed at capturing the hopes and anticipation of audiences, as the City of Sunderland gradually reawakens and a sense of slowly returning to normal is restored.

The three shows which comprise Unlocking The Doors: New Combinations include Space Camp…Hylton, We Have A Problem, a 20-minute video performance which will be delivered eight times a day in a shipping container based on Marine Walk in Roker; Club Six Twenty, a one-night only event at Independent; and Acedia, a performance from internationally-renowned dance company Southpaw in the brilliant Athenaeum space on Fawcett Street.

Sparked by a bizarre contract detail from former SAFC player Stefan Schwarz, who was barred by the club from going into space, Space Camp…Hylton, We Have A Problem is about escaping from Sunderland on Andromeda X, a space shuttle that will take you on an adventure into space. Imagine being able to travel wherever you want to again! After being constrained in the same place for so long, audiences can imagine the sense of relief at exploring new horizons as they discover New Sunderland on planet VX – 76. This family-friendly 360 visual and sound 4D experience in a shipping container takes off eight times a day at Roker Beach for an out of this world space adventure. From Tuesday 3rdSunday 15th August, you’ll be able to travel through galaxies, make the jump to light speed and encounter alien lifeforms, before eventually landing in your new world. Delivered by theatre company Tiny Dragon, who are working with film company Candle and Bell, this quirky, imaginative piece features up-and-coming Sunderland actress Lauren Waine.

Sunderland Culture have commissioned three very different performances aimed at capturing the hopes and anticipation of audiences

Club Six Twenty, a collaboration between theatre company The Six Twenty and artist Ronan Devlin, is a live, lovingly recreated homage to the 90s rave scene at Independent on Thursday 26th August. For one night only, and featuring hugely popular funk popsters Picnic as the headliner, this immersive live performance will also include the glam emo rock of MXYM, DJ sets, pop-up theatre and a digital installation from Sunderland artist Jo Howell among many other treats. It’ll be a celebration of what we’ve been missing during the lockdowns, restrictions and closures encapsulated in a fun and fabulous neon playground for you to explore, get creative and have a good time. If you leave your troubles at the door, Club Six Twenty promises to show you a good time.

The bank holiday weekend will see several performances from Southpaw Dance Company and light artist Rupert Stamp at The Athenaeum. Their digitally augmented performance fuses innovative technology with live performance via a hologram pyramid structure, to create an immersive audience experience. Acedia features many different versions of the same character, layered and overlapped, observing a person in lockdown and their many different ways of coping with isolation. Acedia, “the lost name for the emotion we’re all feeling right now” is scripted by award-winning writer Lee Mattinson and is a relatable story which examines the possibilities and the optimism of re-connecting and finding ourselves once again as we as we tentatively emerge from lockdown.

For more information on all of these performances, visit the Sunderland Culture website

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