In a time of social division, Unfolding Theatre’s A Street Like This is a music-filled theatre production that reminds us we've got more in common than divides us.
Written by award-winning playwright Alison Carr and featuring original songs co-written by Ross Millard from Sunderland-based band The Futureheads and local residents, A Street Like This explores what unifies people in a city, where division exists, and what keeps people apart.
Director Annie Rigby says, "I'm incredibly excited to direct A Street Like This. Alison Carr’s writing is brilliant at weaving together the everyday and the extraordinary. It’s a show that is full of surprises, laughter, music and huge amounts of joy. Set on a ’normal’ street, where people feel disconnected and stuck in their routines, it shows how big, unexpected events can open up new possibilities.”
Writer Alison Carr (Until It's Gone, Stellar Quines/Traverse Theatre, Finalist for the Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2022) says, "It's been a long-time ambition to work with Unfolding Theatre, so I'm thrilled it's finally happening. I’m loving working with the team and the community cast. Everyone involved has been so generous with their ideas and so open to trying things out. It wouldn't be the show it is without all of the contributions, and I'm enjoying being a part of making and shaping it. I look forward to welcoming audiences along to our street!”
Over more than a decade, Unfolding Theatre has built a reputation for bringing together all sorts of people from different walks of life to make theatre with a wild sense of humour and strength of character. 2017 saw the company’s biggest national tour to date with Putting the Band Back Together which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe, "Fantastic - funny, big-hearted, moving and truthful.” The Guardian
As with all of the company’s work, participation drives the creative process. A Street Like This is being co-created with local residents in Sunderland who meet regularly at Pop Recs. Annie Rigby explains, ”The ideas at the heart of A Street Like This come from a brilliant group of people we’ve worked with in Sunderland over many years. The original music co-created by them and Ross Millard has got so much heart; I can’t wait to share it with audiences.”
Ross Millard has co-written original music for A Street Like This, following his first collaboration with Unfolding Theatre on Putting the Band Back Together. He says, "Getting the chance to follow-up with the group formed during Putting the Band Back Together and moving into co-creation territory has been really appealing to me. We’ve gained some new members along the way, and it has been great to see the collective confidence of the group grow and grow. We’ve had an impressive number of song submissions and workshop-generated material and seeing that come to life as part of this brand new musical show will be very satisfying.
"It's about community, ambition, dreams and routines made by an actual community, with disparate voices, opinions and ways of seeing the world. The group have supported one another throughout the process to write and perform and, particularly coming out of the pandemic, some of the conversations we've had along the way have felt really pertinent - I think that will certainly come across in the show.”
The creative team also includes award-winning Designer Imogen Cloët who has worked with heritage, theatre and film companies including Channel 4 Films, Northern Stage, the BBC and the National Trust. The cast are Karen Traynor (Tiny Fragments of Beautiful Light, Alphabetti Theatre), Kylie Ann Ford (Blue Jean, BBC Films) and Alex Elliott (Putting the Band Back Together, Unfolding Theatre).
Following the premiere at The Fire Station in Sunderland in June, A Street Like This will tour in the autumn, dates will be announced soon.
For more details or to book tickets CLICK HERE
Images: Unfolding Theatre/Von Fox Promotions