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Preview: Shine at Newcastle Live Theatre
Sikazwe (Kema Kay) debuts Shine his autobiographical new show in
A Live Theatre Production.
Newcastle Live Theatre
Thursday 2 to Saturday 11 May 2019
Written and performed by Kema
Sikazwe Directed by Graeme Thompson
Designed by Emma Bailey
The music is always present, you just
have to hear it.
Actor, rapper, singer and rising star Kema Sikazwe, (Kema Kay), makes his powerful
stage debut with Shine, a
show which he has both written and will perform, mixing his own bittersweet
coming of age story with an electrifying live soundtrack and heartfelt words.
Shine, named after Kema whose name means One who shines in Gambian, premieres
at Live Theatre, Newcastle from Thursday
2 to Saturday 11 May before transferring to the Traverse Theatre,
Edinburgh from Thursday 16 to Saturday
This brand new play explores, through
Kema’s words, songs and stories - What makes us who we are? Do the choices in
our lives determine who we become? Are we in control of our own story, or is it
in our DNA?
Kema is three years old when his family
move from Zambia to Newcastle’s West End. It’s not easy. It starts with a story
of new surroundings, about making a new life, and then watching that life fall
apart. About growing up in a world that doesn’t always accept you, but gaining
self-belief, trusting your head, your heart and always chasing your
Kema, now 25, developed a passion for
rap, singing and song writing at a local youth project, the Chat Trust, in
Arthur’s Hill, Newcastle where he spent most of his time as a teen.
In his early 20s Kema landed the role
of Daniel Blake’s neighbour China, in Ken Loach’s film I, Daniel Blake after
going for an open audition as an extra.Filmed on location in Newcastle
the hard-hitting filmwon the Palme D’or for Best Film at the Cannes
Film Festival in 2016, a BAFTA Award for Outstanding
British Film in 2017, and many other awards.
Kema has also appeared in the 2017 film
version of Lady Macbeth and in TV series Wolfblood and The
Dumping Ground (both BCC) and Beowulf and Vera (ITV). He also
works with young people encouraging them in music, writing and creativity.
Eager to learn and extend his acting
skills Kema attended theatre regularly and was selected as a Live Theatre Associate
Artist in 2017. He tested out some scenes from Shine, getting up on stage in front of a live audience for the
first time in Elevator Festival Scratch Night at Live Theatre in 2018.
Kema has written over seven new songs for the show and worked on it over the
last year, in collaboration with Graeme Thompson, Live Theatre’s Creative
Producer who is directing the play. Kema is just starting the final intense
rehearsal period to debut Shine.
Graeme Thompson, Live Theatre’s
Creative Producer said: “Kema is a great musical talent
and when he first came to Live Theatre to develop his writing and performance
skills it was clear we had a real opportunity to make a unique show. What we
have created is something that really speaks to this city and the things
happening in our world today. To think that this is his debut theatre show is
very exciting, it’s a very ambitious piece of work. It’s a very personal story
to Kema but there is so much people can relate to. Also, it has an amazing
original soundtrack and music.”
Kema added: “I’ve always wanted to
inspire people to follow their heart through storytelling and personal
experience. When I was given the opportunity to get up on stage and share my
story at a scratch night at Live Theatre the response was beyond what I
expected. Although we all have a different journey, we also have many
similarities. I’ve wanted to tell this story for years and now I have the
platform it’s a dream come true.”
Shinepremieres at Live Theatre, Newcastle
from Thursday 2 to Saturday 11 May.
There is the opportunity to meet writer and performer Kema Sikazwe in a FREE
Post Show Talk after the 7.30pm performance on Tuesday 7 May. Two FREE pre-show
events at 6pm on Saturday 4 and Saturday 11 May showcase work by local
musicians and performers. The talk and showcase are FREE for ticket holders for
the show on the same day.
To book tickets for the show at Live Theatre which are between £10 and £14,
and concessions from £6 call Live Theatre’s Box Office on (0191) 232 1232 or