We are hosting 5 South African artists on an exchange residency in Newcastle upon Tyne in May in which South African and UK artists will perform a new collaboration ‘This World Here…Nomhlaba Le’ exploring cultural exchange, community and diversity through storytelling, verbatim theatre and song. We are raising money to support the visit and for the artists to deliver workshops in primary schools, hospitals and with local community choirs, bringing the joyous and unique experience of working with international artists to people in the North East who would otherwise not have the opportunity.
The Community Foundation serving Tyne and Wear will match 50% of donations made. We are seeking your support to help us reach £2000 - 50% of our £4000 goal.
In 2016, we were commissioned by Newcastles of the World supported by International Newcastle to create their flagship cultural project – an international collaboration with Newcastle Arts Development Organisation (NADO) from Kwa Zulu Natal South Africa and performers from Newcastle upon Tyne. In August 2016, NADO visited the UK to begin the exchange and to be introduced to Geordie culture. In 2017, we engaged with three primary schools in Newcastle running workshops to ask children what it meant to be from Newcastle and to find out their ideas of what South Africa is like, learning songs from both cultures. In January 2018 the UK cast visited Newcastle KZN for two weeks of devising, research and development and immersion in to South African culture.
Through these transformational exchanges, the team led by Director Amy Golding devised a new play ‘This World Here…Nomhlaba Le’ with a cast of three UK and four South African performers. The experience of the exchanges has allowed the team to reflect and share ideas, challenge their own and other people’s perceptions, interrogate their own beliefs and cultures to create this new piece. The cast, who are all talented musicians, have created a moving score mixing traditional and new music from Zulu and Geordie cultures.
The play takes audiences on a journey to a new world full of song and discovery. It asks what happens when you are faced with a new culture or visiting a new place, what do you bring with you? What do you leave behind? It explores community and belonging, celebrating diversity, uncovering our unconscious biases, asking where is ‘Home’.
In May 2018, NADO will visit Newcastle upon Tyne again to complete the exchange and perform the play for audiences at Alphabetti Theatre and the Exchange in North Shields. We are working in partnership with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to deliver workshops in dementia and palliative care units in three hospitals, and with three primary schools to re-visit year 5 pupils with the South African artists. We will be linking up with Harambee Pasadia festival and striving to bring together diverse community groups from across the North East to see the show.
Your donation will go towards supporting the cost of workshops in schools, hospitals and with community groups. It will make it possible for us to support the artists’ visit and bring this international collaboration to the stage for North East audiences who have limited access to theatre and the arts.
We hope you’ll join us on the final leg of this incredible journey.
'This World Here...Nomhlaba Le' will be performed at:
26th May - 7:30pm - The Exchange
29th, 30th, 31st May - 7:30pm - Alphabetti Theatre
Curious Monkey met artists from Newcastle Arts Development Organisation (NADO) at the National Arts Festival of South Africa in 2015 where we were running the Remix Laboratory in partnership with the festival and the Swallows Foundation UK. The group from KZN had not been exposed to work from the UK before; or the processes that theatre makers in the UK use. They were fascinated to learn more. This sparked some brilliant conversations around arts and cultural exchange which led to the idea for this current project; and showed how much we had to gain from learning about each other’s approach to making theatre and creative practices.
NADO are from a township called Madadeni on the outskirts of Newcastle, where they make theatre of incredible quality. They provide opportunities for artists to work in their hometown, and give local audiences the opportunity to access theatre and performing arts. The work they make is political, provocative and tells the stories of township life and the issues faced by their communities. The impressive a-capella vocal skill of the group blows you away when they sing together and their encouraging facilitation of others in supporting them to sing is inspirational. We had an unforgettable ten days working together, most importantly we left knowing that we had to work with these artists again, we had developed a mutual respect and fascination with each other’s processes of making theatre.
Thank you so much for your support.
Curious Monkey x