The New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, presents
Thursday 25 June, 6pm
The New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, presents an ambitious five-week festival of new writing about The Staffordshire Hoard. The festival features 19 new commissions and 22 plays in total, including a community project for 500 people. Please note: there will also be press nights for other shows within the Festival on 7 July (The Throne and Larksong) and 16 July (Gold).
6.00pm: the New Vic Studio
written and performed by Caroline Horton
A funny, inspiring solo performance about underdogs and the Midlands spirit, Tranklements is brought to the Studio stage by Olivier award nominee and Edinburgh Fringe favourite Caroline Horton.
(Running Time: 45 minutes)
6.45pm: The Bar
A selection of five minute monologues by some of the UK’s most talented writers performed for guests at their tables by members of the Hoard ensemble cast. There are ten new Table Plays, plus two extracts – from Beowulf and Mercian Hymns by Geoffrey Hill.
The ten new plays are: My Name is Freda by Samuel Adamson (book and lyrics The Light Princess), The Foreigner by Lydia Adetunji, Rune by Stoke-born April De Angelis (Jumpy, After Electra), Out of the Dark: The Hoard Speaks by novelist Alan Garner, The Rime of the Staffordshire Hoard by Staffordshire Poet Laureate Gary Longden, Hoarder by comedian Sara Pascoe, Magic by Darren Sharp (the winning entry in the Hoard Festival Playwriting Competition), Inscribed by Lemn Sissay MBE, Half a Horse by comedian Isy Suttie (Peep Show) and Hwaet! by Tom Wells (Jumpers for Goalposts).
7.30pm: a main-house double-bill
Unearthed & The Gift
Unearthed written and directed by Theresa Heskins
The Gift written by Jemma Kennedy, directed by Gemma Fairlie
(Running time 2 hours 20 minutes inc. interval)
Based on 80 hours of original interviews conducted by New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins from 2013 – 2015, Unearthed pieces together the story of the Hoard direct from the mouths of those who found it, and those who have been trying to understand it ever since.
A documentary-drama in the New Vic tradition, we hear the words of Terry Herbert, the metal detectorist who found an astonishing hoard of gold in a Staffordshire field, of Kevin Colls, one of the first archaeologists on the scene, the historian Michael Wood, the conservationists and experts who try to unravel its meanings. The show features extracts of interviews with 44 different people in total.
Unearthed follows Theresa’s critically-acclaimed Around the World in Eighty Days and Dracula.
This is followed by The Gift, an epic of romance and adventure from playwright and novelist Jemma Kennedy. In the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, a kingly gift sparks a deadly struggle for the future…
When the warriors return victorious from battle, they bring with them a great gift – gold, stripped from the weapons of their defeated enemies. They plan to use the treasure to build a new way of life and to gain the favour of their king. But the women think the price is too high, and are determined to hold on to the world they know. And, when the argument turns murderous, each must choose their own fate, risking all they have for freedom and for love.