Theatre in Gosforth in 2020
19 January 2020
Reporter: Peter Lathan
Gosforth Civic Theatre’s spring and summer theatre programme for 2020 has been announced, part of a programme which includes music and events of various kinds. The theatrical highlights so far announced are listed below.
On 2 and 3 February, the Brundibár Arts Festival, which celebrates the Music and Arts of the Holocaust, presents The Last Cyclist, a play based on a cabaret written in 1944 in the Terezín Concentration Camp by the young Czech playwright, Karel Švenk, who was murdered by the Nazis a year later. It is a gallows-humour, absurdist allegory that makes cyclists the victims of the inmates of a mental asylum who escape and take over the outside world. They hound, oppress, exile or kill everyone who rides a bicycle and anyone who has ever had anything to do with cyclists for many generations back.
Directed by Robert Hersey, the cast of well-known NE actors comprises Philip Harrison, Arabella Arnott, Mick Liversidge, Louis Roberts, Laura Lonsdale, Alice Byrne, Chris Connell, Elish Stout-Cairns, Mark Cornfield and Sol Taibi and the musicians are Alexandra Raikhlina (violin), Liubov Ulybysheva (cello), Dov Goldberg (clarinet), Yoshie Kawamura (piano) and Jan Bradley (percussion).
On 4 and 5 March at 7:00 (plus schools' performances), Mortal Fools revives Danielle Burn's Melva, which tells the story of a 10-year-old girl whose struggles with anxiety, or 'worrits' as she knows them, keep her from leaving the house. Her Grandpa has grown so worried about her that he fakes his own disappearance in the hope that it will compel Melva to leave the house and overcome her ‘bad worrits’. What follows is a poignant adventure for them both, where each learn how their ‘worrits’ affect them and discover new ways to tackle them separately and together. Although aimed at children of 7 to 11, it is said to have a much wider appeal.
On 18 April, Newcastle-based Eliot Smith Dance presents a triple bill of new works: On Red Kites by Smith himself and performed by four dancers, set to Brahms Sonata for violin and piano and features costumes designed by fashion designer Andrew Gregson. Then NYC-based Jake Diebert presents ONWARD, a short solo that explores the idea of taking unusual or less travelled paths, set to Haydn's cello concerto, and Balbir Singh completes the bill with I am not an Indian dancer?, an exchange of powerful rhythmic footwork, inspired by Kathak.
On 10 May, Unsung Collective presents Unsung, a new play devised by the company and written by Lisa Holdsworth, which explores the untold stories of four pioneering and inspirational female figures from our past (Ada Lovelace, Sophia Jex-Blake, Lilian Bader and Andrea Dunbar), asking why they, and hundreds like them, have been relegated to the footnotes.
On 24 May at 11:30 and 2:30, Slot Machine Theatre presents Your Toys, a puppet and live action play for 5- to 9-year-olds and their families. It's a funny story about friends pulling together with original live music. It is said to be ideal for those who are hearing impaired or do not have English as a first language for there is very little dialogue.
On 11 and 12 June, Newcastle-based theatre company Curious Monkey's HERE brings together four seasons, four people from four corners of the world and a teenage girl’s message in the sky. Part of The Arriving Project, Curious Monkey’s ongoing work with people seeking sanctuary in the North East and Derby, Lindsay Rodden's play is about finding sanctuary in the unlikeliest of places, about dancing on rooftops, blossom in winter and rewriting the story of the city as your own, about two best friends with a library card and the power they summon through friendship and books to make something magical. To say WE WERE HERE. (A Curious Monkey & Northern Stage co-production in association with Derby Theatre.)