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What Once Was Ours to highlight Brexit opinions

New show exploring youth attitudes to Brexit comes to Sunderland College on Wednesday 18th October as part of Sunderland Stages Autumn/Winter programme.

Zest and Half Moon Theatre, two of the UK’s leading companies creating work for young people, come to Sunderland College on 18th October in a new show that uses interviews from over 200 teenagers, from two Remain and two Leave areas of Britain, to highlight the opinions of those too young to vote in the referendum. In fact, one Sunderland College student’s soundbite is used to open the whole show.

What Once Was Ours has been made in reaction to the extreme polarity of opinions and the readiness to attack those with alternate ones, and is aimed at increasing understanding and conversation between those of differing views. The show focuses on a half-brother and sister from very different backgrounds and the struggling relationship when one asks for help.

Katie and Callum couldn’t be any more distant and disconnected: different heritage, different cities, different opportunities. Except there is one thing they’ll always have in common: Dad. What happens when Callum suddenly turns up in desperate need of help?

Beautiful imagery, striking original music and immersive design combine to create this powerful new production for young people, which asks why we’ve become so fearful of anyone who is different from us.

Between November 2016 and January 2017, Zest Theatre held extensive workshops in Barnsley, Newcastle/Gateshead/Sunderland, the company’s home county Lincolnshire, and in Tower Hamlets where the Half Moon is located. In each area the company talked to and listened to young people from across the divide to find out their feelings on Brexit, Britishness, politics and society. What Once Was Ours was created based on these conversations, and verbatim quotes from the workshops are used throughout the show.

Toby Ealden, Artistic Director of Zest Theatre and director of What Once Was Ours, said, “The impetus for this new production came the day of the EU referendum result. When the result came in, we spent the day hearing so many of the towns we tour to portrayed in the media as somehow less intelligent, racist and small minded. This portrayal didn’t do these communities justice.”

Chris Elwell, Director of the Half Moon and dramaturg of What Once Was Ours said,

“We’re excited to be working with Zest Theatre on this exciting new piece of writing for young people that, importantly, has been driven by the voices, words and attitudes of young people across the UK to Brexit. While their views might not have been united, we hope that What Once Was Ours will allow audiences to witness a whole range of different opinions that will allow them to come together and start a more open dialogue.”

Zest Theatre and Half Moon co-production

What Once Was Ours

An immersive new show about identity and belonging.

Wednesday 18th October, 7.30pm

Age suitability: 12+

Running time: 60 minutes

Contains occasional strong language and emotional themes

Venue: Sunderland College – Bede Campus, Durham Road

Tickets: £8.50 adults, £6 concession & £5 for students and under 25s

Box Office: 0191 561 3455 or online at www.SunderlandStages.co.uk


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