Seven new plays at LIve

Published: 24 August 2021
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Your Voice North East

After opening with its revival of Shine (see our news story of 18 August), Newcastle’s Live Theatre will present Your Voice North East, seven short plays by writers who have not previously had work performed professionally at Live, from 23 to 26 September. These plays tell the untold stories of contemporary lived experience in the North East.

The seven are:

Pints by Ellie Carroll; weeknight shifts in the bar serve as a welcome distraction from the last year for Newcastle student Abbie. Even the vomit, harassment and ignorant customers don’t grate as badly as they used to. However, she can’t help but wonder why you never see old people anymore.

Vivek Nityananda’s The Big Welcome shows that sometimes we find answers in the most unsuspecting of places. Jyoti is just moments away from a life changing ceremony when she gets cold feet…

Anna is out alone and looking to pull in It Takes Two by Becci Sharrock. But with every sip of her cocktail, her motives slowly come into focus; she’s not just looking for a one night stand, she’s after much more than that.

In Black Dark, Aimee Shields questions whether you can rebuild your dreams after moving back from London when your dreams don’t work out, losing love and realising that sometimes your soulmate is your best friend.

In Holly Readshaw’s Once a Dunstoner, Always a Dunstoner, it’s Georgia’s birthday and she’s going to celebrate it how she wants: sat on Dunston Staiths with her best friend Maya. Georgia did try to leave once. Maya never got as far as that. Taking a moment to appreciate their home, they question life’s biggest mystery: can anyone ever leave Dunston?

It’s a daunting prospect starting over again, knowing that we didn’t make it first time around. But life is all about making mistakes and learning from them in Through The Hurricane by Nick Tennant.

Finally, Catherine O’Neill’s Networking asks why watch the TV when there’s so much going on in the street outside your window? At least, that’s what Barbara thinks. With romance scandals, wild mice being adopted as pets and seagulls attacking Rentokil workers—what else could you need? A little company perhaps?

“The seven short plays that make up Your Voice: North East are like tiny little windows into the lives and experiences of our community and region. Each one is really compelling and there is a big range of emotion,” said Graeme Thompson, Interim Creative Producer at Live. “We had over 100 short scripts sent to us for this production and choosing from the wealth of talent we have in the North East was a tough job. But it’s a real privilege to introduce audiences to new voices and to get people back to Live with this showcase of fresh writing talent.”