This September, the Live Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne will reopen with an updated production of Kema Sikazwe’s Shine. It’s a coming of age story based on actor and rapper Sikazwe’s own experiences growing up.
Shine has been updated with new songs and content for this 2021 run. So, even if you’ve seen it before, you can expect something new from the production. It’s written by Sikazwe, with a collection of songs composed especially for the show. And it’s just one of the eclectic shows in the theatre’s Back to Live autumn season.
What can you expect from Shine?
So, what is Shine about? Well, it’s described as a bittersweet exploration of growing up in a world that doesn’t always accept you.
This multi-disciplinary production is a unique and personal coming of age story that follows a family who find themselves in new surroundings. And follows what happens when that new life begins to fall apart. Shine asks what makes us who we are and whether the choices in our lives determine who we become – are we in control of our own story, or is it in our DNA?
At three years old, Sikazwe, whose name means ‘one who shines’ in one of the Zambian languages, moved with his family from Zambia to Newcastle’s West End. Drawing on his experiences growing up in Newcastle, dealing with bullying and mental health problems, Sikazwe explores his story and struggles through music, spoken word and acting. Inspired by his mother’s singing while growing up, Sikazwe’s songs delve into his own journey and aim to inspire others to believe in themselves in the face of hardship.
An energetic show
Shine features an electrifying soundtrack and moving dialogue, and is brought to life by an energetic and heartfelt performance from Sikazwe. With innovative set design from Emma Bailey and direction from Live Theatre’s own interim executive producer Graeme Thompson (Gutter Weeds; Skeletons in Cullercoats; The Terminal Velocity of Snowflakes), it promises something a bit different to other coming of age tales.
Live Theatre’s Back to Live programme also features Your Voice: North East, a double bill of Braids and Cheer Up Slug, Lewis Jobson’s Redcoat, Janice Okoh’s adaptation of The Offing, and Bonnie & Fanny’s Christmas Spectacular. Live Theatre is the only theatre in England, outside London, dedicated to the production of new plays. It’s been doing this for almost 50 years and long may it continue.
Fancy checking out more new and innovative theatre productions? Just click this way!
When: 2nd – 18th September 2021. There’s a BSL performance on 8th and audio described and captioned performance on 9th September
Where: Live Theatre, Broad Chare, Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3DQ
£: Tickets cost £6 – £20 and is suitable for ages 11+ years. This production uses strobe lighting. Seating is socially distanced.
More info: www.live.org.uk