To mark the summer solstice, Darlington Hippodrome is offering tickets for a variety of shows at just £20* during daylight hours
on Saturday 20 June.
Councillor Andy Keir says “This week we’ve seen the town centre come alive as shops have re-opened. It’s been a tremendous step
forward, and now we are looking towards the resurgence of the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors. I can’t wait to visit the theatre and experience the buzz of a live performance, and I’m spoilt for choice for shows to watch in 2021 and beyond.”
Darlington Hippodrome’s Sales and Marketing Manager Rebecca Howarth explains “Traditionally, the summer solstice has been celebrated
as a time of new beginnings. As restrictions start to ease, and life feels a little more normal, we can begin to look to the future. We know, however, that these are uncertain times, so we want customers to know that if they book for any show, and it’s postponed,
or they’re unable to attend for any reason, then they are entitled to a full refund.”
The summer solstice sale includes the following productions: Anything For Love, By The Waters of Liverpool, Islands In The Stream,
Radio Ga Ga, Kate Rusby, Walk Right Back and Strictly Ballroom.
To take advantage of this flash sale, book online at
using the code SOLSTICE between sunrise at 4.43am and sunset at 9.21pm on Saturday 20 June.
writing commissions from Alphabetti Theatre aim to increase under-represented
voices in North East theatre.
Listen Up @ Newcastle Alphabetti Theatre
Alphabetti Theatre is offering 9 micro
commissions write a 10-minute audio play. Writers will be paid £100, have their
work professionally performed by casts of up to two actors, and hear their work
produced and released via Alphabetti Theatre’s online programme.
To apply, writers must identify as one or more of the
following: identify as a woman; identify as LGBTQ+; identify as a member of a
BAME (Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic) group; live with a physical or cognitive
Alphabetti Theatre’s Listen Up commissions come at a time
when many fear the theatre industry’s hard-won gains on increasing diversity is
in danger of becoming undone due to the Covid-19 crisis, as reported by The
Guardian’s Arifa Akbar on 09/06/2020 (https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2020/jun/09/covid-19-theatre-diversity).
Ali Pritchard, Artistic/Executive Director at Alphabetti Theatre, explains why
he decided to launch this scheme now:“Since
starting Alphabetti in 2012 we have always strived to be a socioeconomically
accessible space, with an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere. 99% of our
tickets are priced at £10 and under or are part of our Pay What You Feel
ticketing policy. We’re not housed in a shiny building – we are based in a
space found and repurposed for local artists and audiences.”
Ali goes on to explain, “According to the last census, 14%
of the UK population identifies as a member of a BAME (Black, Asian or Minority
Ethnic) group, 6% identify as LGBTQ+, 51% identify as women and 24% live with a
physical or cognitive disability – so why is the theatrical writing scene
dominated by cis, white, heterosexual men?If you want to write professionally, build a longer relationship with
Alphabetti and identify as one being part of one of the groups listed, then
please apply to Listen Up. There is no age or experience requirement.”
Alphabetti wants to build long-term relationships with
writers commissioned through Listen Up. Writers who have taken part in previous
similar schemes at Alpabetti have gone on to develop successful careers in theatre.
Local writer Arabella Arnott had her first play performed in May 2016 at
Alphabetti Theatre as part of a scheme where emerging writers were commissioned
to create short “reaction pieces” to an Alphabetti Theatre production. Thanks
to the support from Alphabetti, Arabella has gone on to co-found her own
theatre company, Coracle, and build a regional presence as a writer. Ali hopes
she will soon be recognised nationally for her incredible writing.
Audiences will have a chance to hear audio performances
from these writers for free via alphabettitheatre.co.uk from September 2020 and
throughout the remainder of the year. Directors will include Ali along with
Live Theatre’s Senior Creative Associate – Paul James. The full creative team
will be announced soon.
To apply, writers need to provide a short
synopsis of the audio play they want to be commissioned, a 5-page example of
their writing, and a brief statement to explain why they are applying for this
opportunity. For full details visit www.alphabettitheatre.co.uk/writers.
Alphabetti Theatre is currently closed due to Covid-19 and
is facing significant uncertainty. Despite this, the theatre remains committed
to their audiences and artists. Alphabetti Theatre has launched ‘BETTi
Recommends’, a weekly curated selection of free bitesize online content, as
well as online performances and the Listen Up writing commissions. You can
donate and help save Alphabetti Theatre at www.alphabettitheatre.co.uk.
North East artists unite to create unprecedented
Hours in Isolation
21st June 2020
poets, writers and comedians from North East England are uniting to share
untold stories of loneliness from before and during the Covid19 crisis, as part
of an unprecedented round-the-clock storytelling project. 24 Hours in
Isolation will release a new micro-episode on the hour, every hour from
midnight to 11pm on 21st June 2020.
26 artists are
creating short musical, spoken word or drama episodes based on real people.
Contributors include singer Beccy Owen, “Door To Door Poet” Rowan McCabe,
Journal Culture Award winner Jessica Johnson, Royal Court writer Mhairi
Legerwood, Stand Comedy Club regular John Scott, broadcaster Viv Wiggins, award
winning poet Rachel Burns, and BAFTA Crew member Allison Davies. The full
running order is at the bottom of this post.
include supermarket staff heading off for an early morning shift; nervous
joggers circling parks; confused older people waiting for care workers;
autistic children singing to themselves. Stories from the pandemic include
sports coaches losing their online audience, nurses pinning doves on the doors
of dying patients, parents hiding from home schooling and lonely neighbours
having “just one more bottle of wine”.
Released on 21st
June as individual episodes of no more than 3minutes, people can visit the 24 Hours in Isolation podcast site every hour,
to be inspired, heartbroken and made to laugh all day long. Or they can wait
for the full collection to be released as a single 45minute collection on 25th
Among the stories
Claire Tustin’s song “one more zoom” is an anthem for 2020 with an epic
lump-in-the-throat moment, whilst John Scott’s “nurse story” is a closely
researched insight into the impact of working on in intensive. Both have been released
early as an exclusive preview of the full collection: bit.ly/24previews.
producer Ben Dickenson and poet Sky Hawkins, the project is a response to
self-isolation during the Covid19 pandemic and to the epidemic of loneliness
that was already growing in British society before the virus arrived. A
2019 YouGov study found 53% of adults in the North East felt lonely. This is
not the same as social distancing but the powerful stories in 24 Hours in
Isolation show that one has exacerbated the other.
Speaking about the
inspiration for the project Ben said: “Covid19 hit unexpectedly, bringing
sickness and death but also separation and hardship. I was furloughed from my
Executive Producer role with City of Dreams. As a creative with a social
mission, having nothing to get up for was hard. Being cut off from my family
was too. I talked to a lot of people who had it worse than me – nurses,
parents, shop workers - we all had similar feelings. What stood out was that
all of us had felt some kind of isolation before Covid arrived, and not told
Sky Hawkins added: “I
was working on a project about women’s identity for the British Library and had
to finish it in isolation. It was weird but I could get it done from home by
using digital media. Its’ amazing how connected everyone is online now and how
separate we are in reality. We wanted to take the digital tools creatives are
using and do something different - bring people together through stories about
how it feels to be apart.”
The episodes in 24
Hours in Isolation have been recorded by the creators, or actors, in their own
homes, using whatever equipment they could find and with advice from sound
supervisor Matt Tuckey. All artists are working without fee, as is the
production team. As Ben puts is: “The queue to get involved was long. The
commitment to tackling loneliness and working together during a tough time for
the arts was inspirational”.
24 Hours in
Isolationwill present a day of diverse and enlightening stories, each
episode casting light on a different experience of isolation. With episodes
released every hour, on the hour, starting at midnight on the longest day of
the year - 21st June - audiences can have a unique round-the-clock
experience, dipping in and out as the day goes on. Or they can wait till
June 25th and listen to the complete collection in a single package.
24 Hours in Isolation starts midnight
Sunday 21st June 2020, episodes released hourly until 11pm,
audiences should subscribe at bit.ly/24hoursinisolation (all content is audio).
The episodes will also be available on
podcast services including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts & Spotify.
The full 24 Hours in
Isolationcollection will be released as one podcast on Thursday 25th
Lee Kyle - South Tyneside's Teenage Rock n Roll Machine
Tuesday 16th June at 8pm.
Comedian, compere, story teller and ad libber Lee Kyle
("Glorious" - The i) is trying to do something unprecedented as he
performs a brand new hour long show each month for the whole of lockdown. This
is the second.
Having entertained audiences up and down the country for the past 10
years, Lee has suddenly found himself performing alone in his own front room
because of, you know… The Rules. With his regular Edinburgh Fringe show
cancelled this year, he's bringing the festival to you! On 16th June he presents
the second of these shows of all new material, which he hasn't had the luxury
of previewing to audiences. This one is about South Tyneside, the place he grew
up and has always lived. Is it just Steve Cram, closed mines and Britain's
first ever race riots?
Lee has performed all over the UK as well as in Australia and the Middle
East, and is a particular favourite in his native Northeast and Scotland, which
he has toured with solo shows for the last few years.