LETTERS written by South Shields residents to themselves will feature in a unique performance in the town this weekend (2 December).
Letters to Myself, a rehearsed reading performance, will be staged at The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, and will feature notes written by people living in and around the town.
It follows a residency by writer and producer Becci Sharrock, who has been running workshops at the venue over the last couple of months based on an original format which she has previously taken on tour across the UK.
During her time in South Shields, Becci has spent time meeting and chatting to regular users of the centre, and provided letter writing kits, inviting them to write letters to their past, present or future selves.
Some of these letters have now been worked into a new script, which will be performed at The Word on Saturday 2 December.
“It’s been so inspiring to read everyone’s stories and experiences, people have been really generous and open with us and that is a real privilege,” said Becci Sharrock.
“The Word is such a brilliant building at the heart of the community. With such a fantastic team behind it, we were really excited to come and work with them to create a brand new version of Letters to Myself.
“Everyone we met has been so lovely and have such interesting stories to tell in their letters, I really hope people will come along and listen to it.”
Letters to Myself will be performed twice on the day – at 12pm and 2pm – and readings from some of the letters are currently being played through the sound shower areas across the venue in the lead-up to the performance
Tania Robinson, Head of Marketing and Culture for The Word, National Centre for the Written Word added: “This has been a very exciting project which has really captured people’s imagination.
“We have had a lot of people getting involved, many who have found it a liberating experience to get their thoughts down on paper, and I’m thrilled that the efforts of local people will be showcased in this special performance.”
The Word celebrates the written word in all its forms through a rolling programme of events, exhibitions and workshops.
The state-of-the-art cultural centre also boasts a lending library of more than 70,000 books, as well as activities and facilities for people of all ages, from a digital media wall and FabLab to an immersive storytelling experience and interactive touch-tables.
The building is also home to OpenZone which provides digital learning and ICT to schools.
Admission to Letters to Myself is on a pay what you decide basis, where there is no cost but donations will be taken.