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The Town Meeting

The Town Meeting

A new play placing the audience in role as residents of a town in jeopardy, comes to Arts Centre Washington on Thursday 3 March.

Your town is teetering on the brink. Imminent destruction looms. Homes, livelihoods and an entire way of life are at stake. There’s only one thing for it: a town meeting. But we need help – your help! Time is running out to have your say.....

The Town Meeting has been developed by Newcastle based theatre company Cap-a-Pie in collaboration with Dr Paul Cowie, a researcher at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University. The piece is both a chance for the audience to play and an opportunity for them to help shape research. Dr Paul Cowie explains. “I was really interested in developing this piece as it allows me to understand more about what representation means to different people. I research how communities engage with planning processes and I’m really interested and excited to both share my research with people and gain their expertise and knowledge.”

The Town Meeting is set in the fictional Little Rikjord - a town in crisis. Voted most picturesque town in Greater Doggerland four years running, Little Rikjord is a vibrant and affluent community. However, with the town’s prosperity owing much to the open cast iron ore mine and with the current seam close to exhaustion, uncertainty looms.

On the eve of a crucial hearing, the audience, taking on the role of the town’s residents, must come up with a plan for Little Rikjord’s future assisted only by shambolic Junior Planning Officer Benjamin Rennold.

Brad McCormick, Artistic Director at Cap-a-Pie, who plays Benjamin Rennold, explains “The Town Meeting is really exciting to perform as so much of the story depends on how the audience engage with the situation. I think it’s great chance for audiences to come and play and explore without feeling self-conscious – no one is put on the spot.”

The show is part of Performing Research, a collaboration between Newcastle University and Cap-a-Pie. Performing Research brings together academics and theatre makers to create with each other, and connect to audiences and communities.

The Town Meeting comes to Arts Centre Washington on Thursday 3 March, at 7.30pm.  Tickets are £8.50 / £6 (concessions) and are available from Arts Centre Washington or by calling 0191 561 3455.

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Mowbray Park in Sunderland city centre is one of the oldest parks in the North East. Restored to its former Victorian splendour, it has an intriguing array of art works.

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