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Summer riots inspire theatre production

Gang culture and rioting in the UK are the inspiration behind a new student theatre production.

<p>Rite, will be performed at Northern Stage, Newcastle, on January 25, by drama and dance students from Sunderland College.</p>
<p>The ‘physical theatre’ production uses a mix of drama and dance to explore the issues of gang culture that were partly to blame for last summer’s riots.</p>
<p>Steffanie Ward, 18, from Sunderland is studying for a Foundation Degree in Dance and is one of the 25 students involved in the production.</p>
<p>Steffanie said: “We’ve used Pina Bausch’s version of ‘Rite of Spring’ as a starting point for the performance, its themes of sacrifice and confrontation were really inspiring.</p>
<p>“To this we’ve added pieces based on our own research and experiences. The finished production includes actual news footage from the riots and images of fire feature heavily.</p>
<p>“We all agreed the riots were appalling. The play is an expression of our anger at the rioters. We want to put on a show that people will enjoy but also make them think.”</p>
<p>Sheree Snowdon, associate programme leader of the Drama Foundation Degree at Sunderland College, said: “After the riots young people faced a lot of undeserved criticism, this performance demonstrates that young people are not all the same and the vast majority were shocked and appalled by what went on.</p>
<p>“As part of their Foundation Degree programme students have to produce and perform an original cross arts piece of theatre.</p>
<p>“What they’ve come up with is something really unique and I think will surprise and impress a lot of people for a number of different reasons.”</p>
<p>Rite takes place at Newcastle’s Northern Stage on January 25. The performance starts at 7.30pm, tickets cost £8 and can be booked from <a href=”http://www.northernstage.co.uk”>Northern Stage’s website</a>.</p>
<p><strong>Photo caption:</strong></p>
<p><strong></strong>Lecturer Sheree Snowdon with Steffanie Ward, 18, who along with other students has produced a new play inspired by last summer’s riots.</p>

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