This phase of Two Newcastles was such a colourful, chaotic, musical, whirlwind blast of a process. I was so proud of what we all created in just 3 weeks, it felt like a proper culmination of the last 2/3 years we’ve all known each other.
The rehearsals at the Exchange in North Shields (which is an awesome venue!) were filled with laughter, creativity, ball-throwing, name calling (affectionate name calling I should say!) We all came so close. We’d tease each other and bicker like siblings, but we also supported each other and were constantly building on each others ideas. We all exchanged gifts: bracelets, handkerchiefs, notebooks, sweets, pap, pictures! Velaphi even bought us all a pair of his trademark socks!
Once the show was up and being performed, I loved the conversations with audiences afterwards. Some had had similar experiences, some had never. Some had never left the UK, some had moved her from South Africa, but what was clear was everyone had a story to tell. I loved hearing these stories, and hopefully we’ll be able to hear stories from South African Audiences too.
I guess it wasn’t all plain sailing. One of the challenges I had working on the project was the Verbatim script. A large part of the show was from our real-life conversation, which was then edited by Amy. It was not just the fact that I was reading back words I had said (which is a strange experience in and of itself) but also learning and performing them: all my pauses, stutters and tangents. I didn’t realise how often I didn’t even finish sentences! I suppose it’s because I genuinely was struggling to find the words some time, I hope the audience could see how we, as people, were actually grappling with some of the bigger topics discussed: race, unconscious bias, being the other etc.
Once the show was over I noticed was how much quieter and less vibrant my Newcastle was without the NADO guys here. Quiet isn’t something I associate with Newcastle upon Tyne, it’s just that they brought the noise in all the best ways!
Anyway, the sun’s out. I’m in my Happy Velaphi Socks, and I’m thinking about when we’ll all see each other again.