Motivational Kate Gears Up for the Starting Line; Kate Fox Is Approaching the Starting Line on a Show Designed to Give Families Some Get Up and Go. Wait until the Curtain Comes Down Though, Says SAM WONFOR

Article excerpt

IF you see a 36-year-old woman, trying to pass for a 12-year-old schoolgirl in the vicinity of Live Theatre, Newcastle, this weekend, it's probably me.

The plan to channel my secondary-education self came after a chat with poet, comic, Journal columnist and accidental motivational speaker, Kate Fox.

Her contribution to this year's Great North Run Cultural Programme comes in the form of The Starting Line, an optionally interactive family theatre show. And there's an element of audience participation which has caught my ear. It's Kate's favourite bit too. "Two people get to demonstrate the principles of Fartlek training using the medium of contemporary rhythmic gymnastics - twirling one of those ribbons on a stick. They are fighting to get in on that bit." I don't wonder.

"The audience participation holds no fear for eight to 12-year-olds," she continues. "They're usually scrambling to be picked." They'll have to get past me first.

Although this is clearly the slice of the show I'm fixated on, I have a duty to point out there is more to it.

There's a bicycle of energy, which also scores high on the participation scale.

"I had the mad idea it would be nice to have people, at intervals on an exercise bike demonstrating how the body uses energy from different foods. Then we decided we could do with making it more visual so it has an exciting plasma ball on it, which lights up. Kids love it. They want to come and touch the bike of energy'."

As many Great North Run watchers may remember, last year Kate was commissioned by the event's companion cultural programme to be its poet in running residence - penning a poem while making her way through the world's second largest half marathon. …