INTERVIEW: This is Makina! | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Joe Henderson

My first experience of Makina came when I was 7-8 years old courtesy of a babysitter who used to play tapes (under the guise of New Monkey) during her childcare sessions. Since then, I’ve encountered it via the sounds being emitted from the open bedroom windows of wannabe DJs, during weary-eyed discussions of last night’s bangin’ beats in football changing rooms, and within the Jeanie Finlay documentary, Sound It Out.

For those not in the know, Makina is a subgenre of hardcore techno that originated in Spain and came to prominence in the early nineties. It was adopted by the North East and became a much-loved genre of music. Gig-theatre experience This Is Makina! takes place at South Shields’ Customs House on Friday 3rd-Saturday 4th November and captures the raw energy of the music and the passion the region has for it. Set in the South Tyneside Town, the production invites audiences to embark on a thrilling ride through the pulsating beats of Makina music.

Deputy Director of Learning & Participation at The Customs House, Fiona Martin, tells us more about the show: “This Is Makina! will be set in the heart of South Shields and will be part theatre/part rave, and it will capture the vibrant essence of Makina, intertwining local stories with universal themes of identity, community and the power of music to unite.”

it will capture the vibrant essence of Makina, intertwining local stories with universal themes of identity, community and the power of music to unite

Written by actor and director Christina Berriman Dawson, the production will feature live DJ A.D.S., MC Drop Dead Fred and local performers, as Fiona explains: “The story will feature original music from the MCs who are part of the project, with the hope that some of them would perform live. This Is Makina! will also feature three South Shields performers in Joe Henderson, Jordan Mullen and Andrew Finnigan, with each bringing an authentic understanding of how this art form unites young people and communities.”

The narrative of the piece will be shaped by these young performers across weekly sessions to create: “a piece that they’re proud of and one that they are able to see themselves reflected in.”

This Is Makina! was developed in collaboration with Boundless Theatre’s creative associate Pav Christodoulou, who, as Fiona mentions, has experience in bringing music to the theatre:

“Pav will be leading the rehearsal process once the final piece has been devised, working with the three performers in bringing the story to life. He has been engaged every step of the way and has immersed himself completely in all things Makina. His practice really leans into fusing music and theatre together and shares our values in making this project as much for the participants as it is for our audiences.”

As well as being entertaining, Fiona points out how the production demonstrates how important theatre can be in highlighting scenes and engaging with local communities: “As a venue at the heart of the community, we know how important it is to represent the interests of the Borough, and for young people who are passionate about Makina, we wanted them to find a place here. Our creatives are passionate about telling the story of this art form and it is a pleasure to create theatre in this collaborative way with the future generation of MCs and Makina fans.”

This Is Makina! takes place at Customs House, South Shields on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th November.

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