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Preview: Department of Distractions at Newcastle Northern Stage
“What aren’t you
Third Angel & Northern Stage
The Department of Distractions
Newcastle Northern Stage
Friday 2 - Saturday 10 February 2018
asks “what aren’t you looking at?” in new show ‘The Department of Distractions’
coming to Northern Stage during February 2018
brings to Northern Stage a conspiracy-theory detective story for the 21st
century that explores the tiny details of everyday life and most importantly
asks: What aren’t you looking at? In a
world where ‘fake news’ is a term we have become all too familiar with, this
show asks, just how much are we paying attention, and what is the truth, if
there is such a thing as truth at all?
fiction and documentary detail, The Department of Distractions is a new play
about an organisation so clandestine you won’t have heard of them. Until now.
The Department says its job is to plant stories in the world “to make life more
interesting.” Others would argue that it’s as much about stopping us looking in
certain directions: a single glove in the street, a torn up love letter in a
Metro carriage, a pair of shoes hanging from a telephone wire or a phone box
that rings as you walk past…
Alexander Kelly Photo: Elliot Roberts
Third Angel Co-artistic Director Alexander Kelly, this world premiere
performance at Northern Stage puts the audience at the centre of a complex web
of truths and untruths, both engaging, illuminating and mystifying. Unpicking
the snags in the fabric of everyday life, The Department of Distractions may
leave you with more questions than answers.
how the show explores some ongoing fascinations and obsessions of the company,
“I’ve loved detective stories since I was a teenager – starting with both
Raymond Chandler and Moonlighting. Several of our shows and projects have
hinted at them, but this is the first time we’ve done a full-on detective
developing The Department of Distractions since 2014. In that time it has been
fascinating, compelling and depressing to see some of the ideas it explores
become more pressing.”
joined on the creative team by Third Angel Co-Artistic Director Rachael Walton,
Stage Designer Bethany Wells, Music and Sound Designer Heather Fenoughty,
Lighting Designer Katherine Williams and Dramaturg Stacey Sampson.
are: Rachael Walton (600 People, Third Angel), Stacey Sampson (This is England,
Channel 4), Nicholas Chambers (The Great Gatsby, Wilton's Music Hall) and Umar
Ahmed (My Name Is, Tamasha Theatre Company).
the lightness of touch and ferocity for detail that Third Angel have become
renowned for, The Department of Distractions plays from Friday 2 to Saturday 10
February at Northern Stage before touring.
with the big issues about how we live with a fierce intelligence” The Guardian on Third Angel