TakeOff 2017 programme announced

Peter Lathan

Organisers Theatre Hullabaloo have announced full details of the programme for the 2017 TakeOff Festival of Children’s Theatre—the 30th—which runs from 16 to 22 October across Co Durham. It is supported and funded by Durham County Council and Arts Council England.

Miranda Thain, Creative Producer of Theatre Hullabaloo, said, “we are very excited to bring TakeOff Festival to Durham once again this year. We have an exceptional programme of world class theatre for children and young people to enjoy in schools and their local communities across Durham.

“2017 marks the 30th anniversary of TakeOff Festival and we will be celebrating with companies from Mexico, Spain, The Netherlands, Italy, Iceland and the UK. This year’s programme of over 90 performances during the week promises to be full of delights and surprises.”

The programme, which culminates in a Family Day in Durham City on Saturday 21 October featuring more than fifteen performances, storytelling, installations, arts and crafts and street theatre, includes:

  • Nest
    For age 0+
    Anna Beecher and Rachel Lincoln in association with ArtsDepot

    A sensory journey through the season for pre-walking babies and their carers in a custom-built performance tent at:

    Spennymoor Leisure Centre (16 October – various times)
    Phoenix Christian Centre, Willington (17 October – various times)
    Allington House, Durham (18 – 21 October – various times)

  • Error 404
    For age 8+
    Arc Stockton present a Polka Theatre production
    Written and performed by Daniel Bye

    There’s a boy. No more than ten years old. You know someone just like him—except that his best friend is a robot.

    Greenfield Community College, Newton Aycliffe (17 October at 10:00)
    Greenfield College Sunnydale Campus, Shildon (18 October at 10:00)
    Durham Sixth Form, Durham (19 October at 10:45 & 1:45)

  • Twist
    For age 13+
    Theatre Centre
    By Chino Odimba

    A radical adaptation of Dickens’s classic novel which transforms Oliver’s struggle for sanctuary into a modern tale framed by the global phenomenon fast defining the 21st century.

    Gala Theatre, Durham (18 October at 1:00 and 7:00)

  • A Square World
    For age 3 – 6

    Daryl Beeton looks at the unfairness of being left out in a world designed for everyone else but yourself.

    Gala Theatre, Durham (18 & 19 October at various times)
    Bishop Auckland Town Hall (20 October at 10:30 and 1:30)

  • The Story Spinner
    For age 5 – 12
    The Story Emporium

    Tailor made for the age of each audience—choose a tale from The Story Emporium—see it come to life.

    Clayport Library, Durham (21 October at 10:00 and 2:00)
    Free: no need to book.

  • Book Story
    For age 5+
    Monstro Theatre

    A musical puppet show. About some books. In a library.

    The City Theatre, Durham (18, 19 & 21 October—various times)
    Pelton Community Centre, Chester-le-Street (20 October at 5:30)

  • Leaf
    For age 0 – 3
    Half Moon presents a Tam Tam Theatre production

    The life story of a very special leaf.

    Wingate & Station Town Family Centre, Wingate (18 October—various times)
    Gala Theatre, Durham (19 & 21 October—various times)
    St Thomas Church Hall, Stanhope (20 October—various times)
    Old Fire Station, Carlisle (22 October—various times)

  • Close
    For age 3 – 6
    Teatro al Vacio (Mexico/Argentina)

    Two strangers meet in a wide open space. But how will they connect with each other? A non-verbal piece.

    Durham Town Hall (18 & 19 October—various times)

  • The Party
    For age 3 – 8
    Nearly There Yet

    A fast-paced, acrobatic circus show in which a man gets ready to host his long anticipated birthday party, which goes spectacularly wrong with the arrival of some unexpected guests - including a breakdancing juggling chicken.

    Gala Theatre, Durham (19 & 21 October—various times)

  • Little Red Riding Hood
    For age 3 – 8
    La Baracca – Testoni Ragazzi (Italy)

    Retrace Little Red Riding Hood’s path in the woods with two little ones as they play a game of ‘what-if’ and pretend.

    The Witham, Barnard Castle (19 October at 1:30)
    Gala Theatre, Durham (20 & 21 October—various times)

  • Tröll
    For age 4+
    Handbendi Brúðuleikhús (Iceland)

    Puppet theatre. For 17 million years the trolls have lived peacefully on their quiet island. But now the humans have come. Will these very different beings be able to live together?

    Enter CIC, Ferryhill (19 October at 1:30 and 5:30)
    Durham Town Hall (20 & 21 October—various times)
    Miss Tina’s Coffee Shop, Sunderland (11:00 and 2:00)

  • iPet
    For age 2.5+
    Bontehund (The Netherlands)

    It starts with two magicians making balloon animals and magic tricks such as pulling bananas out of iPads but it soon becomes clear that the iPad is a cheeky prankster who disrupts the entire show.

    Gala Theatre, Durham (19 & 20 October—various times)
    ARC Stockton (21 October at 11:30 and 2:30)
    Northern Stage, Newcastle (23 October at 11:30 and 2:00)

  • The Flying Bazazi Brothers
    For all ages
    Nearly There Yet

    Bounding on to the stage like Wham in cheap suits after too much Lucozade, this riotous double act dance, juggle, and fall over each other for your viewing pleasure.

    Millennium Place, Durham (20 October at 1:00 and 21 October at 11:30)
    Free event.

  • Micro-Shakespeare
    For age 7+
    Laitrum Theatre, Spain

    Micro-Shakespeare is an interactive installation which casts the audience as a performer or viewer in an intimate 8 minute performance.

    Gala Theatre, Durham (21 October, running from 12:00 to 3:00)
    No need to book. Pay what you decide.

Tickets are now on sale and can be booked online.