Last week Slap Haddock packed up their bags and went for a day trip up to Newcastle. But seeing the Angel of the North and the Baltic centre were not on the agenda.
We were invited by the fantastic Tender Buttons to go and run a workshop with their participants on how we make theatre.
Tender Buttons are currently working with Launchpad and the Newcastle and North Tyneside NHS Early Intervention in Psychosis Team to run The Theatre Group (working title) who meet once a month in Newcastle City Centre. The idea of the group is to expose the participants to different practitioners who work in different ways. Slap Haddock were lucky enough to be one of the chosen companies to come for a visit.
Our work always stems from the area and the people and history that comes with it. We believe that everything has a story to tell and it's in the telling that you can have fun and build better connections with those around you.
So that's exactly what we set out to explore with Tender Buttons. Our workshop aimed to get participants to look at places in different ways, creating environments and personas to interact with. Needless to say that if you're in a room with a jealous wardrobe, a cool martini glass and an organic food loving fridge there's bound to be a few laughs.
The last task was to match up a local historical event with a public space in Newcastle. We ended up with the Gateshead Millennium Bridge combined with the first public display of the light bulb and the Newcastle Library, with the first ever dog show in Britain. They then had to plan a show in these spaces based on the historical event. The ideas they had were great; including real dogs in the library, audience voting, characters walking up and down the bridge and the use of pyrotechnics and lights. Both concepts were thoughtful, creative and incredibly exciting.
The workshops that Tender Buttons are running, will culminate in the participants making a final show, experimenting with the different techniques they've gained. After only seeing their work for a few hours I am sure their final show will be fantastic (and we also hope includes real dogs)!
Find out more about Tender Buttons and the work they are planning here.