Gen­er­a­tion Z stars of fes­ti­val launch

Middleton Guardian - - WHAT’S ON WITH ALL ACROSS THE ARTS - EILEEN EARN­SHAW

ROCHDALE’S Gen­er­a­tion Z has some amaz­ing tal­ent as ev­i­denced at Touch­stones over two evenings at the launch of this year’s Rochdale Lit­er­a­ture and Ideas Fes­ti­val.

A Dif­fer­ent Story of Rochdale writ­ten by the very ta­lented Danny Lamb was the win­ner of the Fes­ti­val’s play­writ­ing com­pe­ti­tion and the first on the bill. It was show­cased by mem­bers of the M6 Theatre.

It is the sec­ond of his plays and the first to be put into pro­duc­tion. Danny, aged 26, was men­tored by Ni­cola Schofield, her­self an award-win­ning play­wright. He is a li­brar­ian at Rochdale Li­braries and drew in­spi­ra­tion from his sur­round­ings, af­ter all, the li­brary is, of course, the place where dreams and mys­ter­ies abide.

It was a lovely piece of comedic writ­ing that was a joy to see. It hinted at mys­te­ri­ous tun­nels from the li­brary to the town hall.

Se­cret bunkers un­der the street, not to men­tion the mys­tery sur­round­ing the Baum rab­bit and why did any­one never ex­plain what re­ally hap­pened up at Owd Betts on the way to Eden­field.

This was a clever and al­ter­na­tive way of look­ing at our town. M6 Theatre Group ac­tors Rachel Al­cock and Robin Lyons were ex­cel­lent in their char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion of the piece.

An ex­cel­lent and fit­ting start to this year’s Fes­ti­val.

The sec­ond part of the Lit­er­ary and Ideas Fes­ti­val Launch was Streaks. Pre­sented by The Rochdale Youth Theatre, directed by Lisa-Marie Hoc­tor from Mighty Heart Theatre. It was pre­sented as a se­ries of short prose and po­etry pieces, in­clud­ing an im­pres­sive rap mono­logue I would have liked to have been able to re-ex­am­ine, the con­tent be­ing of much rel­e­vance.

The very top­i­cal theme was of the pres­sures on young peo­ple to­day of so­cial me­dia and the ef­fects it has on the men­tal health of young peo­ple.

Each piece was per­formed by the writer which, I felt, gave an added depth and great en­ergy to per­for­mances.

These im­pres­sive writ­ers/per­form­ers were Leon Whit­tle, Joe Red­don, Iqira Bibi, Sam Jamille and Ruby Inam.

The stage set­ting was util­i­tar­ian con­sist­ing of hand-writ­ten no­tices on pieces of card­board. Up­turned milk crates were used giv­ing the area depth.

This treat­ment giv­ing the work an in­ter­est­ing street vibe fully com­pli­men­tary to the theme of the work.

Touch­stones is the per­fect venue for this type of theatre, the space much suited to in­ti­mate the­atri­cal per­for­mance.

Gen­er­a­tion Z were the ideal group to launch the Rochdale Lit­er­a­ture and Ideas Fes­ti­val 2018.

Gen­er­a­tion Z were show­cased at the Lit­er­a­ture and Ideas Fes­ti­val

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