Joelene English Dance Theatre are kicking off their tour of February 11th 1963 at the town’s Central Reference Library on Friday, September 25.
After its Middlesbrough premiere, the show will go on to tour venues across the north of England until the end of October.
North East-based choreographer Joelene English has created and directed an evening of emotional, touching and mesmerising dance, theatre and film, set to the backdrop of Sylvia Plath’s life.
Plath was a renowned American poet and novelist who wrote about women’s victimisation, rage, and rebellion with psychoanalytic and mythic detail.
The writer took her own life on February 11, 1963, leaving behind a young family, an estranged husband and words that would inspire generations of women to come.
It delves into the world and psyche of a woman and poet in despair, from her happy childhood, to marriage with English poet Ted Hughes, and her fearful, desolate end.
February 11th 1963 is performed by three artists, 11-year-old Charley Thompson depicting Sylvia as a child, Joelene English playing Sylvia at 33, and Wayne Summerbell playing the character of Ted Hughes. It features set and costume by Kate Eccles, film by Wayne Sables Project and lighting design by James Froment.
Joelene English’s first touring theatre production promises to be an evening of thought-provoking and reflective dance theatre, weaving together taut choreography, beautiful scenography and an exquisite set.
February 11th 1963 was originally commissioned by Dance City in 2014 and has since been supported by Arts Council England with support from The Empty Space, Creative Darlington, Middlesbrough Council and Spin Arts Management.
The Middlesbrough performance in the Reference Library is presented by dancemiddlesbrough in partnership with Middlesbrough Libraries.
Middlesbrough Council Festival and Events Officer Phil Douglas said: “We were lucky enough to support Joelene English Dance Company in its initial research and development stage of the show three years ago when they presented a work in progress at one of our Moving Frontier events.
“We are delighted to welcome them back to Middlesbrough with the final full-length version being performed in the stunning surrounding of the Reference Library.”
The show will be preceded by a performance by local three piece folk/blues/acoustic band Peg Powler featuring Ian Bartholomew on guitar and vocals, Sara Dennis on vocals and ukulele and Mags Forward on fiddle and vocals.
The band takes its name from the mythical hag of the River Tees who is said to grab the ankles of naughty children and wayward young men and drag them to their deaths to her lair beneath the river.
February 11th 1963 is performed at Middlesbrough Central Library on Friday, September 25 from 7.30pm, with pre-show performance by Peg Powler at 7pm
Tickets £5/£3 and available on the door although seating will be limited. Bookings can also be made through the Middlesbrough Town Hall Box Office on 01642 729 729 or by visiting www.middlesbroughtownhallonline.co.uk/whats-on/february-11th-1963
Suitable for ages 14+ or younger if accompanied by an adult. Concessions available for under 16s, students, those with disability and unemployment benefits, and those over 60. Proof must be presented.
To see a video trailer of the show, visit www.joeleneenglish.co.uk/february-11th-1963-tour-2015/