Life’s a stage in new programme of innovative performance

Britannia Waves The Rules

LeftCoast are launching a new programme of small scale theatre performances in unusual spaces across Blackpool and Wyre kicking off with a gripping play set in Blackpool. In a coup for the town they have teamed up with one of the country?s leading producing houses, the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, as part of a new tour of Gareth Farr?s Bruntwood Prize winning play Britannia Waves the Rules which will show at Blackpool & the Fylde College University Centre on Monday 5 October.

Farr?s poetic portrait of Carl, a young man adrift in his home town of Blackpool, is an intense and transfixing account of a journey from the rock-filled shops of Blackpool to the mountains of Afghanistan.

There?s nowhere to go and nothing to do. Carl can?t get a job, there are no jobs to get, and even if there was he doesn?t want it.? So when the army comes calling and promises to show Carl the world he runs full-pelt out of town and into the unknown, a decision that will change him forever.

Britannia Waves the Rules was given a Judges Award in the 2011 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting and premiered at the Exchange in 2014 to great critical acclaim.

Writer Gareth Farr said: ?I want to grab the audience by the scruff of the neck, drag them through the journey and have them leave feeling something strong about the world they?ve just witnessed.?

Michael Trainor, Artistic Director of LeftCoast, said: ?This is a rare opportunity for people to see this award winning piece of theatre right here in Blackpool. I saw it at the Edinburgh Festival last year and it left a deep impression on me. The fact that part of the show is set in the town will only add to its impact and we?re sure that young people especially will relate to many of the feelings experienced by Carl.?

The location of the show also marks the start of an exciting new relationship between LeftCoast and Blackpool and the Fylde College with the aim of giving performing arts students as well as residents the opportunities to see a wider range of work on their doorstep. Alongside the performance a series of workshops and an after show talk will give students the chance to speak to the cast and dig a little deeper into the show.

Anthony Dalnas, Curriculum Manager at Blackpool and the Fylde College, said: ?We?re very much looking forward to having Britannia Waves the Rules at the University Centre and making these opportunities from LeftCoast available to our students. It is a great thing for the town to have such high quality work being shown and with the new programming at the Grand Theatre studio as well, it?s an exciting time for small scale performance in Blackpool.?

The next show in the programme is part of LeftCoast?s Banquet event with theatre company Unfinished Business creating a new theatre piece in collaboration with young people from homeless charity Streetlife. The show entitled Walk, Talk, Eat With Me will take place in the Pavilion Theatre at the Winter Gardens on Friday 23 October. Aiming to give people an insight into what it is like to be homeless and living in the town, the show will start with a walking tour led by the young people followed by a shared meal created by the audience.

Jane Hugo, Chief Executive of Streetlife, said: ?We?ve been in conversation with LeftCoast for the past twelve months and have found that their ability to connect us with artists and creative organisations has opened new doors for us.?

?Unfinished Business are going to be working intensively with eight of our young people to create this new show and help them tell their stories in their own way. We?re incredibly excited to see what they come up with.?

Tickets are available for Britannia Waves the Rules and Walk (book here), Talk, Eat With Me (book here) for just ?6 each either online or?by calling the Grand Theatre box office on 01253 290190.