STAGE REVIEW: The Guitar @ Northern Stage Online | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Part of Northern Stage’s online #GetShorty commissions, The Guitar is the debut film from Richard Beecham, a Tyneside born theatre and film maker. It’s based on his childhood weekly trips to Gateshead Talmudical College for Hebrew lessons with Mr Rosenthal.

The film focuses on the collision between 12 year old Chaim and 16 year old Kayleigh, an explosive culture clash if ever there was one. It turns out that both Chaim and Kayleigh are after a second hand guitar in the local charity shop, each having their own very good reason for wanting it and each equally determined that the other should not get it.

It’s a sweet short film which puts in interestingly fresh slant on the old boy meets girl from the wrong side of the tracks trope. Kayleigh, for all her brash sweary attitude, is a bit of a softie really and Chaim manages to overcome an error of judgement to make amends. Both kids coming from turbulent families helps their eventual alliance to feel real and there’s an enticing sense that this is an unexpected friendship worth exploring.

Good use is made of locations around Coatsworth Road and Windmill Hills and there is a fun section where the misfits decamp to the seaside, gorge on candyfloss and explore the tacky marvels of the arcade. I’d love to see more of Chaim and Kayleigh’s adventures and I’d be especially interested in seeing their family lives expanded on, as well as more of Gateshead’s streets and wild bits captured on film.



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