MY YEAR: Live Theatre | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Image: Paislie Reid, who performs Olu Alakija’s Watching And Waiting as part of 10 Minutes To…

Words: Graeme Thompson

The beating heart of what Live Theatre does is to create new plays and support new writers. The theatres being closed is a huge threat to writers and performers. It’s a particular threat to writers and performers in the North East to whom opportunities can feel limited in the best of times. Telling stories is a huge part of our culture, we need it. We need those writers and performers to tell them.

We launched Live Wired, a new digital platform from which we can stream plays and keep the stories alive. We kicked off with 10 Minutes To… Call Home, nine brand new short plays performed at Live but captured digitally. Doing 10 Minutes To.. was vital in keep the stories alive but also provide that support to those artists. We are going to need them to still be here when all this is over.

The response has been fantastic. 10 Minutes to… Call Home has had over 20k views online. It’s fantastic that audiences have supported the work like that and shows the hunger there is for it. It surpassed my expectations for it.

A lot of different people use Live Theatre and it’s vital we maintain that. Our Youth Theatre got back up and running, digitally, in September. We have also made a huge range of creative opportunities for artists available, and there is much more to come.

Live Theatre is about sitting in that small intimate space and enjoying world class theatre. There is no substitute for that. Of course, that isn’t possible at the moment, so going digital has been the only option but it’s been a huge success. One of the good things to come out of this is that theatre’s engagement with the digital world has been accelerated. We are all eager for the day the theatre’s doors are reopened but I think digital is here to stay.

We have 5 Plays of Christmas coming over the festive period. Live has really established that alternative festive offering with the likes of Bonnie & Fanny and The Terminal Velocity of Snowflakes. 5 Plays is definitely in that same vein. After that we have our Live Playwriting group but and a few other bits, but we are all hoping to get back in the theatre as soon as we can. We have lots of plans and we can’t wait to share them. Things have started to look a lot more positive, let’s just be hopeful that means audiences back in theatres sooner rather than later.

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout