1 FEB 2013. Well, after all the preparation and publicity for the event, last night’s rehearsed reading went extremely well.
And first of all, we want to extend a HUGE thanks to everyone who took part and made the evening possible. The writers: Jay Antony Sykes, Peter Dawson, and Rachael Walsh. The directors: Paul Dunn, Dolores Poretta-Brown and Jim Barton. The actors: Fiona Faria, Steven Jobson, Amie Jeffels, David Foster, Christopher Strain, Frank Ditchburn, Kylie Ann Ford. And Sinead Livingston, who provided great musical entertainment throughout the night.
Thanks also to Michael the barman (a very important job!), and everyone at The Stumble Inn, for hosting the evening and pretty much allowing the REP to take over the running of the place upstairs! We’re pretty sure this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!
And most importantly, thanks to all the audience members who came along, and entered into the spirit of the evening, offering comment, praise and feedback to the writers during the Q&A sessions. We had a great response, and all the writers found the process extremely useful. During the course of the evening we also made contact and chatted with other new writers, and we look forward to working with them in the future.
And the good news is that, because the event proved so popular, we’ve decided to make it a definite regular gig. They’ll probably take place every 4 – 6 weeks; we reckon the next one will be scheduled for some time at the beginning of March.
So keep checking this site and/or the facebook page, and make sure you get in and book your ticket for the next one when they become available!
12 JAN 2013. Well, we certainly can’t be accused of failing to plan.
Already, the REP has a list of plans for 2013, as we aim to really stamp our presence in the city of Sunderland and beyond. Our opening production for this year – the first in a series of rehearsed readings – is already well underway, and will take place on 31st January. Go here for more details.
Then in February we are planning a fantastic event for Valentine’s Night, which will take place in a popular restaurant in the heart of the city. We’re currently finalising the details for that, so keep an eye on this site for more details as they emerge.
Comedy is high on the list of priorities for us here at the REP. As well as continuing to write and produce our unique style of radio comedies, we will be putting on a comedy sketch night (heavily influenced by Python, no doubt!) some time towards the end of February/early March. We are hoping to work closely with a local charity, and all the profits from the night will be donated to them.
Continuing with the comedy theme, our good friends at Mackem Laugh have worked like trojans over the past year to build up an incredibly successful comedy club here in the city. In July this year they will be hosting Sunderland’s first ever Comedy Fringe Festival, and Sunderland REP plan to be a part of that fantastic event. We will certainly be mounting a production to put on as part of the festival (probably a ramshackle bunch of half-written sketches and badly composed songs with rude lyrics!), as well as helping where we can on the organising side of things.
We also plan to stage some serious plays this year. In June, we’ll be presenting a new piece about Emily Davison, the suffragette who was killed after stepping out in front of King George’s horse as it ran the Derby, and November will see us mount a new work surrounding the subject of the JFK assassination. We’ve also had the recent privilege of reading a fantastic script by local writer and director Kayleigh Oliver about the 1883 Victoria Hall disaster, and we’re hoping to work with her this year to produce it somewhere in the city.
So plenty of plans already – and that’s only the ones we’ve started working on…
We’re very excited to have had a meeting yesterday with Chris Alexander, the head of events at Sunderland City Council. Chris is a highly driven man, a real advocate for Sunderland and passionate about its potential. 2013 sees Sunderland celebrating 21 years as a city, and there will be a whole host of exciting, innovative and truly inspirational events happening citywide throughout the year. Take a look at the Sunderland Live listings page – and keep checking it because it will no doubt be added to.
It was an interesting meeting, where much was discussed and agreed upon. We here at the REP liked the sound of a lot of what Chris told us (you may already have seen on his twitter feed that there’s a possibility of a screening of the ’73 FA Cup – and that’s just for starters!) and we’re looking forward to being involved in what we think will prove to be a special year of celebrations!
2012 may have been Britain’s year of celebration. 2013 should most certainly be Sunderland’s Year – and the REP plan to be right there in the midst of the celebrations.
9 JAN 2013. A new year, and time to set in motion the plans and ambitions for The REP.
And first on the drawing board (as regular visitors and fans will know) is the first of our rehearsed readings, taking place on the 31st of this month.
Director Paul Dunn and his collaborator and writing partner James Barton are working hard to curate the whole evening. Scripts are currently being chosen, actors and directors sought, and the bar is being well stocked!
And today we are pleased to announce the musical talent for the evening. Not only will the audience be entertained by three brand new scripts written by new writers and performed by professional actors, as well as having the opportunity to engage in a Q & A with the writer and director afterwards… Not only that, but they will also be treated throughout the evening to the wonderful acoustic sound of Sinead Livingston.
Sinead is originally from Weardale, and spends most of her time now living and gigging in Sunderland. She performs covers as well as her own material as a solo artist, and is also part of a “folky quartet” called Secret Violins.
Sinead will be playing one or two songs in between the plays (while everyone gets a chance to stretch their legs by wandering over to the bar!) as well as a short set at the end of the evening.
If you’d like to get a sneak preview of Sinead, check out her soundcloud page.
Don’t forget, the event is FREE TO GET IN. So put the date in your diary, Thursday 31st January at 7.30pm. Come along, bring a few friends and your critical eye, and get involved in what we hope will become a regular and vibrant cultural (but not too high-brow!) night in Sunderland.