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Taking Heaven Eyes from the stage to the page for Juice Festival

Theatre Sans Frontieres and Alnwick Playhouse are bringing David Almond's celebrated book to life for this year's Juice Festival explains Rebecca Oldham

Theatre Sans Frontieres, in partnership with Alnwick Playhouse are transferring David Almond's Heaven Eyes from the page to the stage for JUICE festival
Theatre Sans Frontieres, in partnership with Alnwick Playhouse are transferring David Almond's Heaven Eyes from the page to the stage for JUICE festival

One of the stand-out events inspired by Juice Festival’s creative advisor, David Almond, will be the stage production of Heaven Eyes, one of the author’s novels for young people.

Dubbed both ‘eerie’ and ‘astonishing’, Hexham-based Theatre Sans Frontieres (TSF), in partnership with Alnwick Playhouse, is bringing the story to the stage.

The story follows three orphaned teenagers, Erin Law and her friends, who run away from the confines of their care home in search for freedom. They find something strange on their journey - something you might not believe is real.

The evidence is a girl named Heaven Eyes.

The book was originally written as a play, so audiences can be assured that the production has the approval of the author!

TSF has quite a history with the book, having run a workshop based on the story at the Hexham Book Festival a couple of years ago.

As has become somewhat of a signature with David Almond’s work. The gritty tale is set in the heart of the North East - on the River Tyne, in fact.

The characters are played by young, Northern actors and the production features original music and video.

There is a European twist, though. Known for joining forces with theatre-makers from around the world, TSF reaches out to Sweden with this performance, celebrating the artistic and cultural links between the North East and the Vastra Goteland area, which were established in 2011.

The inclusion of some Swedish performers in the cast will “give it a special, international dimension,” according to TSF artistic director Sarah Kemp.

Meanwhile David says the addition of the Swedish element to his play has worked well.

“The use of some Swedish vocabulary fits the play so well,” he says, adding that audiences will “be entertained, delighted and inspired”.

Heaven Eyes will be performed at 2.30am and 6pm on October 28 and at 10.30am on October 29. All performances at Caedmon Hall, Gateshead Central Library, Prince Consort Road. For the full Juice programme, which runs from October 24 to November 2, visit www.juicefestival.co.uk

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