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Live Theatre annual youth festival returns

A PICK and mix bag of goodies is on offer at Live Theatre in Newcastle from tomorrow with the return of its annual youth festival.

Words on the Street who are performing at Live Theatre's annual youth festival

A PICK and mix bag of goodies is on offer at Live Theatre in Newcastle from tomorrow with the return of its annual youth festival.

From the results of a 24-hour film challenge to a hard-hitting play, Quality Treats – the 13th Annual Youth Theatre Festival – will showcase work by young people aged from 11 to 25.

Variety is its buzz-word and the assortment of entertainment on offer promises a tasty something for everyone.

The festival kicks off with Words on the Street – free, colourful street theatre performances which begin at the “pocket park” at 57 Quayside created by NE1 which has already brought us a beach and city centre lawns this summer.

Tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday at 11am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm, about 30 young people will take to the street, using unknown and surprising locations for performances based on the theme of Bridges – tying in with NewcastleGateshead’s Bridges Festival which also runs from tomorrow until Sunday.

Audiences tomorrow will also get to see a 30-minute play called Blackout by Davey Anderson which addresses the consequences of bullying. It’s performed by 11 young actors who, in order to help them with their problem characters, visited a local police station to gain an insight into what it’s like behind bars.

The show will run at 2pm and 7.30pm, accompanied by two monologues written in response to the play. One, Shaylee Got The Blame by Tracy Whitwell, sees 18-year-old Havannah Eden-Peters play a woman growing up without the support of her mother; and the other, Angel 2106 by Paddy Campbell, tells of a young man, played by Darren Howie, 23, who falls in love while awaiting trial.

Saturday night’s offerings will include The 24 Hour Digital Shoot Out at the theatre’s own mini-Oscars event. From 7.30pm there will be screenings of seven short films – all devised, written, shot and edited within the previous 24 hours, the teams involved having met up with a pair of actors at noon the previous day, been given a location and then worked through the night in order to deliver their film by noon on Saturday.

After that night’s screenings, one winner will be declared by judges – and audiences can have their say too.

Then the festival wraps up on Sunday at 7.30pm with Standing Up, a comedy night featuring up-and-coming young talents – Kelly Wood, Lauren Pattison, Luke Taylor, Laura Jackson and Sebastien Fumoleau – who have been mentored in workshops by award-winning comedian John Scott.

Paul James, associate director of education and participation at the theatre, said Live involves more than 150 young people a year in drama education.

“Our annual Youth Theatre Festival encourages members from across all 10 of our youth theatre groups, including four outreach groups, to come together to take part in a number of exciting events during the summer,” he said.

For tickets, some of which are free, or to find out how to make a donation to support young people in theatre, visit www.live.org.uk or call 0191 232 1232. For more information on the Bridges festival visit www.BridgesFestival.com

Barbara Hodgson


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