The resilience of the theatre community has really impressed me since we went into lockdown, especially as pretty much all I have managed to do is nap. My heart breaks for all the people who suddenly found work cancelled – not just because of the financial implications, but also because, as a writer myself, I know the agony of putting your heart and soul into a project only to have it fall apart through no fault of your own.
So I am pleased to see that the Gateshead International Festival of Theatre (GIFT) has managed to create an exciting online programme of shows. Running online from Friday 1st May to Sunday 3rd, the festival features pieces by local artists and international works, putting together a programme that is both outward looking but rooted in place.
Highlights include UK premiere of The North Sea: A (radio) play in three pints: A collaboration between Norwegian writer Nick Hegreberg and creatives from the North East (performed by local actors Brian Lonsdale and Karen Traynor), this is directed by Northern Stage Associate Director Mark Calvert, so you can be guaranteed a slick production!
Another premiere is It don’t worry me. A collaboration between startling collaboration between Catalan company Atresbandes and duo Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas it’s billed as “interrogating the tension between art and political correctness” and is followed by virtual cocktails!
I’m also intrigued by the idea of Elision, by Icelandic artist Gudrun Soley Sigurdardottir – which “explores national identity through an attempt to stay warm in a fake tropical set”.
There are also podcasts, ‘duration pieces’ you can drop in and out of, and discussions (Rosa Posthlethwaite, whose unsettling show Composed I saw and loved at Northern Stage, is doing a facilitated discussion for recent graduates and students as part of the GIFTed strand.)
There’s far more happening than I can cover in a blog post so why not pop over to the website to find out more and book tickets?
Image : Augmented by Sophie Woolley (credit: Helen Murray).