A warm welcome has been extended to a group of young actors from South Africa visiting Darlington in the latest stage of an international collaboration.
A special reception was held in the newly-opened Darlington Hippodrome which will play host to the first UK performance of ‘Encountering the Other’ created by Darlington’s ODDMANOUT writing company and the Market Laboratory Theatre company, based in Johannesburg.
The project, supported by Darlington Theatre Town initiative, has seen young actors from the North East and South Africa team up via the internet to develop the production before meeting in person.
‘Encountering the Other’ combines live and digital performances and is described as sad, funny, often hilarious, and with an eclectic mix of styles and cultures. It offers a powerful collection of stories, dance, comedy, singing and improvisation based on their views of womanhood, their different experiences and their hopes for the future.
The North East actors travelled to Johannesburg last month for the show’s premier and the South African artists are in Darlington this week to begin rehearsals and support creative workshops led by ODDMANOUT, before performing at Darlington Hippodrome on Monday 27 November.
Councillor Cyndi Hughes, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Young People said:
“This is a truly exciting international collaboration that has created a fantastic new show which focuses on what womanhood in 2017 means.
“We’re thrilled to welcome our visitors to Darlington and hope they enjoy the experience of performing in our newly-refurbished theatre. We hope as many people as possible will join us to see the show.”
Katy Weir, Artistic Director at ODDMANOUT, added:
“We’re very excited about the collaboration and the global profile of this project. We aim to achieve a mixed gender, class and race participation, providing a more inclusive outcome in a way that transcends more than just cultural divides, but also divides of gender, class and sexuality.”
Encountering the Other will be one of the first productions at the newly-restored Darlington Hippodrome onMonday 27 November, from 7.30pm. Tickets, price £10 or £8 concessions, are available from the Box Office on 01325 405405 or visit www.darlingtontheatretown.co.uk
Darlington Theatre Town brings together the expertise of partners Creative Darlington, Darlington Hippodrome, Luxi, Theatre Hullabaloo and ODDMANOUT to cement Darlington’s place as a Theatre Town and a place where theatre thrives.
The project is funded by the Arts Council England and Darlington Borough Council. As well as offering a programme of theatre in the town the partners are working together to create training opportunities for the wider sector, to develop and share knowledge and data about audiences, create wraparound activity to reach audiences and build interest and excitement around the new Darlington Hippodrome and The Hullabaloo.
Creative Darlington was created in 2012 with the aim of looking at the development of arts in the borough and encouraging more people to discover their creative side. It also coordinates exhibitions for Crown Street Art Gallery and Darlington Town Hall. For more information log onto the website at http://www.darlington.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/creative-darlington/