News: A Portrait Without Borders @ Northern Stage | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Photos By Tom Arran

In this day and age selfies and AI get their fair share of bad press. However, put them together and the opinion of them is much more positive, which is what the good people at Northern Stage have done to allow them to keep the creative juices flowing and engage the public, at a time when the venue is closed due to COVID-19.

A Portrait Without Borders (a Kaleider production commissioned by Freedom Festival in Hull) allows online audiences to submit a selfie to be drawn by robots who will then create a massive mural of faces which virtually allows strangers to be next to one other, whereas in reality they are apart. There will be a live stream to watch the robots in action, and when it’s finished the mural will be there welcoming everyone back to the theatre when it reopens.

Northern Stage Executive Director Kate Denby adds, “While nothing could replace the buzz of a live audience, we’re really excited to welcome a virtual audience to the theatre and to be bringing such impressive, innovative work to Newcastle for people to enjoy – not just this week, but for everyone to see when we can safely reopen the building.” 

A Portrait Without Borders is at Northern Stage from 14-19th September and is free to take part in. Submit a selfie or watch the robots at work between 12-9pm each day at

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