Darlington and South Africa theatre link-up

Peter Lathan

Theatre companies ODDMANOUT from Darlington and The Market Theatre Laboratory, Johannesburg are developing a joint project focusing on womanhood in 2017.

A female-led project, Encountering the Other will combine live and digital performance and aims to challenge perception, demand empowerment and unite cultures through conversation and creation.

Through a series of workshops and rehearsals in both the UK and South Africa, participants will explore the themes and issues surrounding the lives of young women today, culminating in two performances at the Ramolao Makhene Theatre, South Africa, on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 October and a further one-off performance at the newly restored Darlington Hippodrome on 27 November.

Katy Weir, who founded ODDMANOUT with Scott Young in 2013 and has previously travelled to South Africa with the Swallows Foundation UK, said, “we're very excited about the collaboration and the global profile of this project.

“We aim to achieve mixed gender, class, and race participation, providing a more inclusive outcome in a way that transcends more than just cultural divides but also divides of gender, class and sexuality.”

Throughout the week of the Darlington showcase, the full cast, who are flying in from South Africa for the occasion, will be holding workshops for North East actors in Darlington and later ODDMANOUT will be holding creative workshops in the town to help shape the direction and approach of its future work, through regular engagement with local communities.