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A hip-hopera at Sage Gateshead

Published: 27 July 2019
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Stitched, a hip-hopera from New Writing North, written and directed by Laura Lindow with musical direction from Liz Corney, will be co-created and performed by participants in New Writing North’s Young Writers’ City programme at Excelsior Academy who will be supported by a creative team including Kema Kay (songwriter and actor), Alicia Meehan (dancer and choreographer), rapper Kay Greyson and Emily Wiseman (writer and producer).

Stitched is a tale of love, family and community in the West End of Newcastle and is a hip-hopera, a musical work in hip hop style with operatic form. It will be created and performed by young people from Newcastle's West End at Sage Gateshead on 26 and 27 September.

The Young Writers' City project aims to give young people the chance to express their ideas, thoughts and opinions through creative writing. The programme producers Emily Wiseman, Jennie Brewis and Becci Sharrock with a team of writers are in schools one to three days a week throughout the year working with every year 7, year 8 or year 9 student dependent on their school.

They run lunchtime and after-school songwriting, rap, screenwriting and drama groups all year round, so everyone in the school has the chance to write and be creative.

As well as Excelsior Academy, Newcastle, where the YWC has been active since April 2015, it also works with Academy 360, Sunderland (since October 2017) and Joseph Swan Academy and Kingsmeadow Community School in Gateshead (since February 2019).