Thursday 7 June 2012

Live Theatre


New play receives inspirational seal of approval

UK Inspire DayWednesday 16 May
Live Theatre & Murmur presentThe PrizeBy Steve Gilroy & Richard Stockwell Design by Gary McGann
The Prize, an exciting new co-production between Newcastle’s Live Theatre and new theatre company Murmur, supported by Northumbria University, has been granted the Inspire mark by the London 2012 Inspire programme.
The London 2012 Inspire programme recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
For some making it to London 2012 has been literally a matter of life and death and the struggle is not over yet.  Drawing on interviews with past Olympic medal winners including runner Roger Black swimmer Nick Gillingham, and thrower Stephen Miller, as well as aspiring first time competitors, The Prize tells the true stories of sacrifice, tragedy and touching humour that will be brought to life with dynamic physicality. 
The play, which has been created by Steve Gilroy and Richard Stockwell, will take audiences on a journey to discover the inside experience of being an elite athlete striving for the ultimate prize. 
The play will have four exclusive previews at Newcastle’s Live Theatre in July (Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 July) before heading to Edinburgh Festival where it will take to the stage at the Underbelly’s E4 Cow Barn.  Steve Gilroy, who will also be directing the show, said:
“Richard and I have spent the last two years interviewing over thirty athletes to discover their personal journeys and stories that have led them to compete in the world’s greatest competition.
“Just one example of the fascinating stories that will be told includes Anne Wafula Strike who was born in Kenya where she contracted Polio. The villagers thought she was bewitched and wanted to kill her so her father took her to the city where she was caught up in a violent coup. Later she met Norman Strike (an ex Tyneside miner) who was teaching in Kenya who she went on to marry.  They both returned to England where Anne went on to represented Kenya in Athens in 2004 and is currently preparing to represent Great Britain in the London 2012 Games.”
Jim Beirne Chief Executive at Live Theatre added:
“We are delighted that The Prize has been granted the Inspire Mark by the London
2012 Inspire programme and we are celebrating UK Inspire Day (Wednesday 16 May) by giving audiences the chance to be one of the first to see the play when tickets for these four exclusive performances in Live Theatre’s intimate Studio Theatre so on sale.”
Seb Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said: “We want to use the power of the Games to inspire change. The Inspire programme is recognising the work our partners all round the UK are doing to help us achieve this vision now – one year away from the start of the Games. I congratulate everyone involved in The Prize for securing the Inspire mark and wish you every success with your work.”
Tickets for The Prize will go on sale on Wednesday 16 May and can be purchased by contacting Live Theatre’s box office on (0191) 232 1232 or online at
Notes to editors:
Preview Performances
Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 July, 7.30pm
The Prize
By Steve Gilroy & Richard Stockwell
Directed by Steve Gilroy
Design by Gary McCann
Composer Jeremy Bradfield
For some making it to London 2012 has been literally a matter of life and death and the struggle is not over yet. Get the inside track into the true stories behind Olympic success from the team that presented the multi award-winning showMotherland, the hit of the 2008 Festival. 
The play draws on interviews with past Olympic medal winners and aspiring first time competitors.   Full of sacrifice, tragedy and touching humour, these stories are brought to life with dynamic physicality taking  the audience on a journey – the inside experience of being an elite athlete striving for the ultimate prize.
DATES: Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 July, 7.30pm
TICKETS: £8; £6 concs
LOCATION: Studio Theatre, Live Theatre
DURATION: 70 minutes
Edinburgh Festival Dates
DATES:Wednesday 1 to 26 August 2012, 2.50pm
TICKETS: £12, £11 & £6
LOCATION: The E4 Cow Barn
DURATION: 70 minutes

Monday 4 June 2012

Out and About.

Last Monday I was being filmed by BBC for a special programme to be shown soon. I felt really good in the morning when the crew were filming me on the track. It was a glorious, hot, sunny day and I felt full of energy and positive thought. I was wishing I was competing because I was sharp and fast, vital ingredients for a good performance. The producer, David Waters, was great to work with and he made the whole experience a positive one.

In the afternoon Dan Walker arrived to do an interview.  'Football Focus' and here he was in my front room! He was great, very professional, and he was  easy to talk to. I really enjoyed the whole experience.

In the evening it was 'back to the office' for a hard training session with Ken. As I worked I couldn't help thinking about the difference between filming on the track in the morning and working hard on it in the evening. I know which one I prefer but I also know it is the training that will help me achieve my goal.

On Tuesday I was invited down to the Harlow Canal Boat Project to wave off one of their boats,'Red Watch', which was making its way to London to be part of the flotilla celebrating the Queen's Jubilee on Sunday. I am very proud to be Patron of the HCBP and it was wonderful to see some of the learners from St.Elizabeths Specialist College, their carers, and the crew,waving to us on the shore as they set off on their unforgettable journey. The boat was beautifully decorated with union jacks and banners. I must admit to feeling a little jealous that I wasn't on board with them. It is such a blessing that Queen Elizabeth is celebrating 60 years as sovereign. Sometimes God selects people for different missions and I think she was picked for this one. Whether you are a Royalist or not you have to admit it is a unique occasion.

On Thursday I was invited to Mark Hall School to present awards to staff for their service to the school. This event was organised by the Board of Governors, including Dr.Valerie Shepherd, and was meant to reflect the importance of the school in the community and the hard work and dedication of the staff in running it. I was amazed to learn that one of the staff, Marge Green, has been teaching at the school for 40 years! Now that's what I call dedication to a profession. I think teachers generally get a bad press so it was really nice to be involved in such a positive event. Well done to everyone who got an award.

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