Tag Archives: theatre

Dead and Breathing Q&A: Creative Team

Q&A with Sarah Booth; Dead and Breathing 

On 20 February–3 March

 

  • The Albany
  • Tuesday 20 February – Saturday 3 March, 7.30pm
  • Suitable for : 13+
  • BSL Interpreted performance: Thursday 1 March
  • TICKETS:£14
  • CONCESSIONS:£10
  • Book Here

 

It’s hilarious and touching in equal measure, with some incredible performances and looks bloody lovely if I don’t say so myself.  

What is your role in Dead and Breathing?

Designer.

What’s been the best thing about working on this production?

Working with a wonderful creative team, and being at the Unity and Albany which are both beautiful venues.

What’s been the biggest challenge of working on this production?

Finding an aesthetic for Carolyn’s (main character in the play) taste which reads to an audience. We had a lot of really interesting discussions on black/white and British/American tastes. Painting a parquet floor in a small dock was also pretty challenging!

What 3 words would you use to describe the production?

“Foul mouthed ethics.”

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Why should audiences should come and see it? 

Because it’s hilarious and touching in equal measure, with some incredible performances and looks bloody lovely if I don’t say so myself.

The Albany 20 February–3 March, 7.30pm. Suitable for : 13+ 

BSL Interpreted perfomance: 1 MarchTICKETS:£14.  Book Here

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CW Blog Reimagining the Classics: Tom Thumb

 

Tom Thumb Facebook Event PictureTom Thumb is the classic story of a small boy with a big personality and imagination and creativity big enough to take on any danger of the world.  A fun rendition of this tale is coming to Canada Water Theatre in a one-man-show format this week. Presented by Lyngo Theatre, Cbeebies Patrick Lynch answered some questions about the show, providing insights on acting thumb-sized, honouring a traditional plot, and being solo on stage. Continue reading

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The Penguin in the Room

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This week we opened our doors to Dep Arts and Slung Low for unique family treat Emergency Story Penguin on Wednesday 22 April until this Sunday 26 April. This exciting, interactive family adventure starts in the foyer, takes you on a submarine, out into Antarctica, back onto the submarine and hopefully, if you’ve managed to power the submarine well enough, back home safe and sound with a penguin that you’ve rescued. Sounds exciting, right? We decided to test this theory by inviting two local primary schools in to be the first to go on this adventure. Our Marketing Assistant, Rachel McCall, lets us know how it all went down.

Wednesday saw two classes from Invicta Primary School come in for the first of two days of staff-led workshops and an exclusive showing of Emergency Story Penguin. Now I won’t lie to you here, myself and the rest of the team doing to the workshops were a little nervous, we were about to be swarmed by 60 five to six year olds, this is enough to put the fear in anyone who has made the conscious decision not to work as a teacher, but non-the-less we had done our prep, had a couple of coffees and we’re hyped up to go. The students arrived absolutely buzzing with infectious energy and within five minutes we were totally hooked on working with them. We took them on a tour around the back stage of the theatre, gave them a go at radioing the technicians and cuing the lights and sound effects, asked them to make their own play, and tested their theatre knowledge (which was impressively advanced). They then went to see the play, and we met them hour later to see how it had gone, the feedback was a thrilling mixture of ‘YAY’, ‘awesome’ and ‘that was so cool’; we’d call that a success!

And so Thursday morning dawned, and us weary work-shoppers dragged our aching bodies out of bed and into the Albany just in time to prep for the next school, St Winifred’s RC Infant School, who arrived with 60 new excited students. Once all florescent vests had been piled in a corner, we got down another day of workshops, theatre tours and Emergency Story Penguin shows. By the end of the day we all agreed that, although exhausted, we were sad that we’d only planned two days of schools and that it’s definitely something we’d love to do again.

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Some of the audience feedback from our schools performances.

Rachel McCall, Marketing Assistant, The Albany

There are still three days to catch Emergency Story Penguin. For more information and to book tickets, click here.

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This Play Isn’t Set in the 1970s – These Events are Happening Now

Black comes to the Albany next week to tell us a tale of a Zimbabwean family’s struggles to settle in to a Liverpudlian neighbourhood. Nikki doesn’t think her Dad is a racist… He just deeply cares about his community. But when a Zimbabwean family moves in over the road, her Dad starts laying down the law. This frank and honest look at racism in today’s world makes this show a provocative piece of work that is relevant to all communities across Britain.

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Keith Saha, Co-Artistic Director tells is more:
This blog is abridged, to read the full version click here.

Without giving too much away, Black is a story that centres around a young white woman called Nikki who lives on a predominantly white estate, when a Zimbabwean family move onto the close she turns a blind eye to the racism they face.

It’s a challenging piece, and the two actors that portray Nikki and the Zimbabwean teen Precious have an astonishingly challenging job to do in terms of the emotions it throws up for the audiences everywhere they go. Nikki doesn’t hold any punches in her language she uses, she is uncensored and hearing language like this has sometimes been difficult for some audiences.

I wrote this play in response to a real event a youth worker friend had told me about. She told me about an African family who had moved onto the estate where she was working, and they were met with hostility by a lot of the local community. On hearing this I was shocked and saddened, but not surprised.

On doing further research with young people in Liverpool, I soon learned that violent racist attacks were common, everyday casual racism was even more common. But often people didn’t talk about it.

It took me back to an incident that had taken place in Birkenhead in the late 70’s when I was growing up. A black family were moving in over the road and all of the street had come out to have a look. A husband and wife and two little boys the same age as me 4 or 5. The name calling started , the ‘N’ word was being shouted, then the stones started to get thrown, the Mum and Dad hurriedly took their kids inside. I was one of the kids that was also throwing stones. After the family went inside, one of the older lads turned and pointed at me ‘What about him? What about the Paki?’ They all looked at me, and then pounced I was thrown on the floor and was about to get a beating but fortunately the older kids in my family jumped in and protected me. At that time my family I was living with was all white, and I had not fully understood that my mixed heritage of Indian and English/Irish was an issue.

When I moved back up to Liverpool in 2006 I was acutely aware of the growing racial tensions that were coming back on a national level. Heightened by 9/11 and the global recession the rise the BNP and the EDL started to look ugly on the streets. Ten years later with the collapse of the BNP and the EDL we now have the acceptable face of racist views. UKIP and Britain First.

So what to do with this information? I wrote Black.

I wrote Black from the perspective of Nikki a young woman who was in the middle of all this. She is based on some young women I knew growing up and she also exists in the here and now. Black is based on events that are happening now.

As the tour carries on the tour continues, the reactions from the audience differ night to night and can be radically different even in the same location. A mix of people unaware of the situation, of young black people who are acutely aware and also young people like Nikki who are working their way through defining who they are and what their views are on immigration and a multi-cultural Britain.

My hope is that we don’t need to tour Black again or it shouldn’t be a show that will still be relevant in a few years. It will be a period piece. There are no easy answers but one thing I have learned over the past few weeks, talking openly about these things on a community level helps, highlighting these issues on social media helps, speaking out against racism and direct action helps.

You can see Black at the Albany on Tuesday 17 – Wednesday 18 March, 7.30pm.

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