Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Scratching the Surface of New Writing Talents; Everyone Is a Judge at Live Theatre's First Scratch Night, as Rosie Kellagher Tells TAMZIN LEWIS

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Scratching the Surface of New Writing Talents; Everyone Is a Judge at Live Theatre's First Scratch Night, as Rosie Kellagher Tells TAMZIN LEWIS

Article excerpt

Byline: TAMZIN LEWIS

TIME was, that a girls' night out on the Quayside meant dancing round your handbags in Julie's nightclub. Not any more.

I'm told that groups of girls are booking up Live Lab for a good time, a bottle of wine and a bit of experimental theatre.

Live Lab is the sharp edge of Live Theatre, allowing emerging writers to show work in progress and get an audience's reaction as to what is successful on stage and what isn't.

"It is a platform for new talent in the North East," Live's literary officer Rosie Kellagher says.

"Writing can be a solitary art and it is really useful for writers to be able to get something in front of an audience at an early stage and gauge what makes them laugh, what they are confused by or what they are interested in. Our audiences are a brilliant resource for us as they give fantastic feedback."

Supporting a new generation of writers is clearly a worthy occupation, but the primary goal of Live Lab is entertainment.

Rosie says: "We are really passionate that development work at Live Lab isn't boring. People are coming for a fun and enjoyable night out.

"We had a lovely event last year, Girls on the Verge, which people came to as a girls' night out. They hadn't been to the studio before to see work in progress. But they got dressed up, had drinks and a really good laugh." One thing leads to another at Live Theatre and, following Girls on the Verge, came Boys on the Edge, featuring a work-in-progress by playwright Alison Carr.

Alison previously won Short Cuts at Live, an open-access night where writers can submit work to be shown in the studio as "rehearsed readings". Submissions are usually on a theme and the most recent event was inspired by the winning image from Live's photography competition.

Rosie, originally from Edinburgh, says: "Short Cuts has been running for a number of years and is a good way of getting brand new writers into the building.

"We have always given a stimulus for writing and this year we thought it would be fun to give them something visual."

Rosie, who has worked as a freelance dramaturg (someone engaged in research and development in the theatre) and director, says: "Short Cuts has open-access for submissions in the second half of the night. …

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