Heroes, Mortals & Villains take over Live Theatre in its annual Youth Theatre Festival

Friday, August 4, 2017

Heroes, Villains and Mortals will take over Live Theatre for the 19th annual Youth Theatre Festival at the Newcastle quayside venue from Friday 11 to Sunday 13 August.

In the three day festival on the theme Heroes, Villains and Mortals, over 40 young people, aged between 11 and 22, will present an exciting mix of imaginative theatre, outdoor performances, stand-up comedy and plays written for and by young people.

Paul James, Senior Creative Associate of Live Theatre’s Children and Young People’s team said:

“Once a year young people from Live’s Youth Theatre are invited to take over the spaces in the building for our Youth Theatre Festival. With the theme of Heroes, Villains and Mortals this year’s festival promises to be as diverse, eclectic and exciting as ever. The subject was chosen by the young people, and it will explore their take on the complexities of being human in the modern world.”

Plays and Sketches, five short plays written by professional playwrights Steve Bryon, Laura Lindow (Donna Disco), Lee Mattinson (Chalet Lines), Vinay Patel (Murdered by My Father) and Tracy Whitwell, performed by members of Live’s Youth Theatre, will invite audiences to laugh, cry and be surprised. Subjects in Plays and Sketches include a modern adventure for The Famous Five and a look at the virtues of superheroes, and can be seen at 7.30pm in Live’s Main Theatre on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 August.

Outdoor Performances are free 50 minute theatrical extravaganzas, created and performed by youth theatre members, which combine short plays, visual storytelling and lots of energy using the fantastic outdoor space of Live Garden as a backdrop. Outdoor Performances are free, but have a limited capacity so tickets must be reserved in advance, and will take place at 4pm & 6pm on Friday 11 August, and at 6pm on Saturday 12 August and Sunday 13 August.

Nine Short Plays By Young Writers will be delivered as script-in-hand performances by professional actors Luke Maddison, Andrew Reed, Rosie Stancliffe and Daniel Watson in the intimate setting of Live Tales, Live Theatre’s young writers centre.  Covering subjects such as the challenge of childhood friendship, a psychologist with amnesia, and the quest to create life, the short plays have been written by members of Live Theatre’s Young Writers Group, aged between 13 and 17, who meet regularly at Live Tales to learn the art of playwriting. It will be the first time these plays will performed in front of an audience and will be accompanied by drawings by Live Tales volunteers. Short Plays by Young Writers can be seen at 4pm on Saturday 12 and 6pm on Sunday 13 August.

An adrenaline-fuelled afternoon of side-splitting Stand-Up Comedy, performed by young comedians of the future, will be take place on Sunday 13 August.  Five youth theatre members have created their own original stand-up routines, working with award-winning comedian John Scott, and will share their take on heroes, villains and mortals with audiences for the very first time.

Fourteen year old comedian Estelle Anderson said:

"I chose to do stand up comedy because I really enjoy making people laugh! I have been a member of the youth theatre for nearly a year now, and it has really boosted my confidence, especially to try new things!  I thought that comedy would be a great way to meet cool, quirky people (and it was!) but it has also turned out to be a real passion for me!"

Live’s Youth Theatre is a community of 100 young performers, aged between 11 and 22, who meet on a weekly basis throughout the year at Live Theatre, Excelsior Academy and Benfield Academy, where they follow a programme of work supported by a dedicated team of theatre professionals. 

Paul James added:

“Being a part of our youth theatre gives young people the opportunity to meet new people, build their confidence and explore how life’s experiences affect them, their lives and impact their futures.  They get to express their ideas and opinions, develop their skills in performance and perform at Live Theatre.”

Tickets for Heroes, Villains and Mortals events are between £6 to £8 with Outdoor Performances free, but booking essential. Full day tickets on Saturday and Sunday are available giving access to all three performances on Saturday or all four performances on Sunday with a saving of 25%. Tickets can be booked by contacting Live Theatre’s box office on (0191) 232 1232 or online at www.live.org.uk