On Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July, Live Theatre will be officially launching Live Garden, the theatre’s new outdoor public garden and performance area, with a special outdoor promenade performance featuring some of Live Theatre’s favourite artists and writers celebrating the theatre’s past and present.

Led by performance poet and former Live Lab Associate Artist Rowan McCabe this 50 minute showcase of work will include Alan Plater’s monologue Wor Tony and The Great White Shark performed by Trevor Fox; a series of river themed songs performed by Slap, Strum & Squeeze (Phil Corbett, Jane Holman and Zoe Lambert) alongside a new exciting theatrical performance called Peter and The Wild Flowers devised and performed by 33 young people from Live’s Youth Theatre working with balletLORENT and composer Scott Twynholm. The event will culminate with a performance of a new song about Live Theatre, its heritage and its future, called If These Walls Could Talkwritten by Jane Holman.

Live Garden landscape

This new public garden will host a range of events and performances throughout the year, as well as being a social space on the Quayside for the people of Newcastle and visitors to enjoy every day.

Live Garden has been created as part of the Live Works £10.5 million capital development which will bring new revenue streams enabling Live Theatre to grow and sustain its work in the production of new plays, the development of creative talent, education and participation.

 Jim Beirne, chief executive, Live Theatre said:
“This summer sees the culmination of two years of development work on Live Works and we’re delighted to be launching an exciting new outdoor performance area.

“The Live Garden Launch is a great opportunity to mark the official opening of Live Garden with a specially curated showcase that combines some of Live Theatre’s ‘classics’ with newly commissioned material, performed by some of Live Theatre’s favourite artists and writers.

“Live Garden is a beautiful public space that we hope will become a recreational addition to the area and a place for people to relax and escape the bustle of the Quayside.”

Live Garden at night - Credit Jill Tate

 Paul James, Associate director – Education and Participation, Live Theatre said:

“We are delighted to be collaborating with balletLORENT to create an exciting piece of physical theatre for the launch of our new outdoor performance space. Live’s Youth Theatre is working with Ballet Lorent’s Artistic Director Liv Lorent, composer Scott Twynholm and dancers from balletLORENT, to produce an imaginative outdoor event which will be shown alongside a series of other performances to mark the opening of the Garden.”

 Liv Lorent, Artistic Director, balletLORENT said:

“We are thrilled to be working with Live Theatre and developing a new work inspired by the brilliant and creative individuals who are part of their Youth Theatre. Composer Scott Twynholm and I are creating a physical theatre piece together with live music performed by the cast. The garden is beautiful, and is offering us a creative opportunity to develop a work exclusively to its landscape design.”

A few tickets remain for Live Garden Launch. They are free but must be reserved in advance by contacting Live Theatre’s Box Office on (0191) 232 1232 or online at www.live.org.uk. The 50 minute promenade performance will take place on Saturday 9 July at 12.30pm & 6pm and on Sunday 10 July at 12noon, 2.30pm & 6pm

 Live Garden will also host further events throughout the year including a Mini Mela on Sunday 17 July between 11am and 3pm. GemArts Masala Festival will culminate with a spectacular outdoor event as it brings Live Garden to life with all the fun, hustle and bustle of an Indian bazaar.

And in the autumn Live Garden will participate in the national Fun Palaces initiative on Saturday 1 October between 11am and 5pm, with workshops and performances, including puppetry and illustration, for families and young people, as well as pop up events all day with storytelling, acoustic buskers and much more.

 The £10.5m entire Live Works project cost is supported by a £2.1 million grant from the North East European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme 2007 to 2013, and grants from Arts Council England, Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Gillian Dickinson Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Monument Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation,  Sir James Knott Trust, the Social Investment Business and the Wolfson Foundation.

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