Goth Weekend premieres at Live Theatre, Newcastle and Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Monday, August 21, 2017


Friday 14 September to Saturday 7 October 2017 (Scarborough)
Wednesday 11 October to Saturday 28 October 2017 (Newcastle)
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, and Live Theatre, Newcastle, present a co-production of the world premiere of
Goth Weekend
Written by Ali Taylor
Directed by Paul Robinson
Cast: Jessica Johnson, Sean McKenzie, Gurjeet Singh, and Amy Trigg
Designer: Helen Coyston
Lighting Designer: Tigger Johnson
Sound Design: Paul Stear
Casting Director: Sarah Hughes

Goth Weekend, a hilarious comedy written by Ali Taylor comes to Live Theatre, Newcastle this autumn following its premiere at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough in an exciting new co-production between the two venues.

Goth Weekend tells the story of Anna who wants her recently bereaved dad, Ken, to get out more. To meet people. To start dating again. Then Belinda comes along. She’s the newly single singer in Belle Epoque, a Geordie Goth band, with her disgruntled teenage son, Simon (a.k.a. Bram), on keyboards. She’s a disaster – for Anna.

Ken has had his head turned and his wardrobe will never be the same again. Things get worse for Anna when Belinda and Bram, arriving in a customised purple hearse, move in, to rehearse for a gig at Goth Weekend in Whitby. 

In this hilarious comedy with music, Anna has to wrestle with whether or not to sabotage the band, and Ken and Belinda’s Goth happiness… Set during the lead-up to Whitby Goth Weekend, this funny and provocative play is about who we are and what we pretend to be. Can the members of this new family learn to accept each other’s identities and overcome more than just musical differences to live in harmony?

Goth Weekend features Newcastle based actress Jessica Johnson, most recently seen in Key Change at Live Theatre and on tour, and Live Theatre debuts by actors Sean McKenzie, Amy Trigg and Gurjeet Singh.

Goth Weekend is directed by Stephen Joseph Theatre Artistic Director, Paul Robinson (who directed Land of Our Fathers and Here Come The Nightjars, both sell out successes when they toured to Live Theatre), and written by Ali Taylor, a playwright, screenwriter and teacher. He is currently on attachment to BFI/Origin Pictures to develop an original screenplay for BBC Films and is developing his sitcom Disaster Zones with Big Talk. His first TV script Pure Evil was developed during the 4Screenwriting programme at Channel 4.

Ali Taylor, writer said:

“This is a play that’s fundamentally about family, about growing up and working out who you are. It’s full of music, humour, jokes and fun but also, I hope, with a poignant core expressing what it’s like to be an outsider in today’s society. I’m thrilled that Goth Weekend has been co-commissioned by and will be performed at both the SJT in Scarborough and Live Theatre, Newcastle.

“The inspiration came from a trip to Whitby Goth Weekend, which happens in spring and at Hallowe’en each year. Goths from all over the country come to Whitby to listen to some of the great music from the early 80s and 90s. There are two tribes at Whitby – the real, or trad, goths, and the people who just like to dress up – in Victoriana and vampire costumes, as steampunks or undertakers – it’s an amazing event. The play is a warm-hearted comedy about a family of Goths from Gateshead playing a gig at Whitby Goth Weekend. We’ve got songs, laughs and brilliant costumes.”

Graeme Thompson, Creative Producer, Live Theatre said

“Rehearsals are well underway for Goth Weekend and I am really looking forward to this show coming to Newcastle. Jess Johnson, who Live Theatre audiences will recognise from Open Clasp’s Key Change, is brilliantly funny in this play and is backed up by a really talented cast. Goth Weekend really does have something for everyone. It’s a play about two broken families unexpectedly thrown together and a washed up goth band who may or may not get back together. Its moving, fantastically witty and has some 80’s power ballads thrown in for good measure. It’s going to be a great show to come and see.”

Following its World Premiere at The Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough from Friday 14 September to Saturday 7 October, Goth Weekend transfers to Live Theatre, Newcastle from Wednesday 11 to Saturday 28 October. 

Free events at Live Theatre include a Meet the Writer post show talk after the 2pm show on Saturday 14 October, a Goth Weekend Party after the 7.30pm show on Saturday 14 October; a Meet the Cast post show talk after the show on Tuesday 17 October (both the performance and talk are BSL signed that evening); a post show talk on Goth Identities and Sub Cultures after the 7.30pm show on Thursday 19 October and a Hallowe’en Fancy Dress Closing Party after the 7.30pm show on Saturday 28 October. Events are free for ticket holders for the performance on that day.

Tickets are £10-£22, concessions from £6. For more information or to book tickets visit www.live.org.uk or contact Live Theatre’s Box Office on (0191) 232 1232.

Media Contacts:

Cait Read, Marketing & Communications Manager 
Live Theatre, Newcastle
(0191) 229 2378

Jeannie Swales 
SJT Scarborough
07968 953737

Notes to Editors: 

Images available on request or downloadable from https://we.tl/VFTM1HQgQF

Ali Taylor, and the cast are available for interview by arrangement.

To request review tickets for Live Theatre Newcastle (press night Thursday 12 October, reception 7pm, performance 7.30pm) please contact the marketing team on info@live.org.uk

To request review tickets for Goth Weekend at Scarborough (press performance: Tuesday 19 September, 7.45pm), please contact Jeannie Swales on Jeannie.swales@sjt.uk.com 

A video interview with writer Ali Taylor is available to share https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMWMgzKF33A


About Live Theatre

Live Theatre is recognised as one of the great new writing theatres on the international stage. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne it is deeply rooted in its community and produces work as varied and diverse as the audiences it engages with. A high proportion of its work –transfers to London, including the West End, and tours to other venues across the UK and internationally. It is critically and publicly acclaimed with one of its 2016 productions gaining a BBC Radio 4 Front Row listeners nomination for the best regional theatre production of the year and another gaining the same recognition from readers of The Guardian.  

As well as championing the art of writing for stage by producing and presenting new plays, Live Theatre finds, nurtures and trains creative talent and uses theatre to unlock the potential of young people. 

The theatre is a beautifully restored and refurbished complex of five Grade II listed buildings with state-of-the-art facilities in a unique historical setting including both cabaret style theatre and studio theatres. In 2016 Live Garden, an outdoor performance space, and Live Tales, a centre for children and young people’s creative story writing, were added. 

Live Tales creative writing workshops are free to schools and designed to inspire children and young people to go on a journey into their imaginations, and to build their self-confidence, communication skills and self-respect.  Live Theatre’s work in education and participation is award-winning and includes the largest free drama education and participation programme in the region.  

Founded in 1973, Live Theatre is a national leader in developing new strategies for increasing income and assets for the charity. To sustain and extend its artistic programme it has diversified its income streams including the RIBA and Civic Trust award-winning Live Works, the development of commercial property for rental income, award-winning gastro-pub The Broad Chare, and The Schoolhouse, a hub for creative businesses

“Additional intelligent capital spending on projects yielding new, long-term revenues would involve construction and would guarantee additional economic activity.  Look at the new restaurants in London’s Southbank Centre or the gastro-pub in which Newcastle’s Live Theatre is a partner. These are shrewd investments whose revenues help secure the future of the institutions they support.” Peter Bazalgette, former Chair of ACE, in The Financial Times

Live Theatre is funded by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation, Newcastle City Council through the Newcastle Culture Investment Fund managed by the Community Foundation, and by other trusts and foundations. 

For more information visit www.live.org.uk