Present: Tense kicks off in Newcastle's Live Theatre

It is official – we can now begin speaking about Present: Tense in the present tense! Four writers, four directors, four short plays, all created in the space of a week based on a news story of the company’s choosing. The project kicked off yesterday and will be closing Live Theatre’s FUSES: New Writing Festival this Saturday at 7.30.

The project truly began as the team of creatives descended on an environmentally irresponsible number of newspapers and selected a shortlist of stories capable of, as it were, lighting our FUSES. The new writing you will see on Saturday could have been based on a £5,000 chicken nugget, blood pressure tablets as an antidote to subconscious racism, or a man arrested for indecency insisting that he had, in fact, been “strumming an imaginary banjo.” But with a silent ballot cast, nabokov’s Kirsty Patrick Ward kept the final decision secret until after the team had enjoyed a fantastic performance of Derek Bond’s PLAYlist in an exchange from Theatre503.

Present Tense both

Kirsty braved the stage to announce the result: the four pieces will be based on a topical article from local paper Chronicle Live on International Women’s Day. The article covered a meeting to discuss the disproportionate effects government cuts are having on women, both nationally and locally, aiming to “give women from all over the region the opportunity to come together, have their say and fight back against the unfair, unmitigated and unnecessary cuts that are plunging women back into unemployment, poverty and second class citizenship.”

Check back here over the next few days to find out how the teams get on with that one!