NEWS: Wasteland @ Northern Stage | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Created to mark the 25th anniversary of the closure of Grimethorpe Colliery, Gary Clarke’s sequel to COAL explores the lives of the miners after the 1994 miner’s strike while also exploring the illegal rave culture which sprang up in the early 90s. Wasteland, which is at Northern Stage, Newcastle on Wednesday 25th-Thursday 26th September, examines how two different generations coped with the turbulent era of upheaval amongst Britain’s traditional industries, where derelict warehouses were taken over by new communities of music lovers.

Wasteland is based on Gary’s own experience of reaching maturity at the height of the rave movement plus many hours of interviews with former miners and with people who, like him, found escape through rave’s music and alternative sub-culture. By studying the rave movement captured in archive footage, Gary found a way to take something improvised and spontaneous and transform it into a structural but still exhilarating form of theatre. With a physical dance ensemble spearheaded by COAL’s lead dancer Alistair Goldsmith, and supplemented by local male singers and two brass musicians, the production contains a powerful rave score by Charles Webber and unique artwork by The KLF co-founder Jimmy Cauty.

As Gary Clarke explains: “I hope North East audiences will connect to Wasteland because it deals with a Northern working class story about social and political history that is imbedded deep in the veins.”

Wasteland is at Northern Stage, Newcastle on Wednesday 25th-Thursday 26th September


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