NEW work commissioned by York Theatre Royal from dozens of York and North Yorkshire professional artists will be premiered in Green Shoots on June 7 and 8.
Poets, performers, singers, dancers and digital artists will take part in this sequel to Love Bites, last May’s two-night showcase that marked the Theatre Royal’s reopening after the lifting of Covid lockdown restrictions.
Forming part of the Rumours & Rebels season, Green Shoots’s diverse bite-sized performances will be focused on “rebooting post-pandemic and looking to the future of the planet”.
Twenty commissions have been selected by the Theatre Royal from the call-out for submissions for a scheme that offers £1,000 per commission plus £150 each time they are performed.
Theatre Royal creative director Juliet Forster says: “Love Bites last year was a joyous event that will live long in my mind, not just because we were re-opening after 14 months of enforced closure, but also because our stage was filled to overflowing with the tremendous talent and ingenuity of local artists.
“It was moving, spectacular, surprising, thought-provoking and funny in equal measures. We have created this new opportunity with Green Shoots because we are excited to see what they will do next.”
Those who were commissioned have been asked to respond to the title Green Shoots in any way that it can be interpreted. “Pieces might be about hope, recovery, new beginnings, revolution, new life, growth, the environment or anything else that can be imagined as a response,” says Juliet.
Participating next month will be Hayley Del Harrison; Dora Rubinstein; Sam Bond; Fladam; Bolshee; Butshilo Nleya; Ana Silverio; Esther Irving; Gus Gowland; Nettle Soup and Polychrome Studios; Paul Birch and Sam Conway.
So too will be Ella Portnoy; Kate Bramley/Badapple Theatre Company; Robert Powell, Ben Pugh and Kitty Greenbrown; Libby Pearson and Emily Chattle; Alexander Flanagan-Wright; Hannah Davies and Jack Woods; Joe Feeney and Carey Simon.
Hang On Little Tomato, Hayley Del Harrison.
HANG On Little Tomato is about a young woman, growing her very first tomato plant. Some people believe that plants respond emotionally when you talk to them but our novice gardener takes this to the next level. It turns out the shared experience delivers mutual support, faithful companionship and that tiny bit of vibrancy they both needed to feel a little less alone.
Spring In My Step!, Dora Rubinstein
THIS contortion and acro-dance piece is a physical exploration of how it feels when the sun shines again after a long winter. The feeling of sunlight on your skin; the smell of freshly cut grass; the sight of daffodils. The feeling that light, connection, joy, is back, and the dark days are over.
All The World Is Green, Sam Bond
LONELY retirees Jamie and Clara meet by chance at a concert in their Yorkshire Dales village, bringing love unexpectedly back into their lives. A story of new beginnings, All The World Is Green blends live performance and film to look at the power of memories, life after loss and finding love again in old age.
DID you ever hear the tale of Greenfingers? The wicked boy born with unsightly green hands, who spoils all he touches. But has history misjudged this green-fingered boy? Is he even a boy at all? Find out in this deliciously Dahl-esq treat from madcap musical duo Fladam, alias Adam Sowter and Florence Poskitt.
BOSS B***H, Bolshee
BOSS B***H explores the infamous statement made by influencer Molly-Mae Hague and celebrity media personality Kim Kardashian that we all have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce. Cue five minutes of female voices, beats and moves. “Let’s challenge the toxic boss bitch narrative,” say Paula Clark, Lizzie Whynes and Megan Bailey.
Tatu Dances: Stories Of Healers, Butshilo Nleya
A PLAY with dances, songs, poetry about healing the mind, the body and the spirit celebrated by three generations of displaced, dejected, denigrated and defiant African healers.
Green Shoots, Ana Silverio (Terpsichoring)
ANA’S solo dance piece, specially created for the Green Shoots commission, explores the processes and emotions of starting over again after an unexpected interruption. This work is about perseverance and the search for possibilities.
Her Face/My Face, Esther Irving
WHAT do you do when you no longer recognise the face that looks back at you in the mirror? How can you re-connect the life you had with the one you live now?
Your Own Road, Gus Gowland
THIS original song takes its inspiration from a quote from James Herriot’s memoir All Creatures Great And Small: “When all t’world goes one road, I go t’other”. Performed by Joe Douglass, this uplifting and empowering anthem encourages you to follow your own path and see hope in the world around you.
Stones On The Riverbed! Nettle Soup and Polychrome Studios
HAVE you ever heard of the legend of the five white stones? This piece of verbatim theatre explores what the residents of York are looking forward to in the future, unearthing their hearts’ truest desires.
Beanstalk, Paul Birch
FOR hundreds of years, you have been telling the story of Jack And The Beanstalk completely wrong. Beanstalk is the recently discovered true account of the tale, told from the Giant’s point of view. Any similarities to any persons now living, lying or misusing public funds is entirely coincidental.
‘Don’t Mow, Let it Grow!’, Sam Conway (Little Leaf Theatre)
THIS piece extols the benefits of letting the grass in your garden grow throughout spring. Incorporating dance, music and video, Little Leaf Theatre endeavour to bring a serious message to the stage in a light-hearted and engaging way.
Baby Bird, Ella Portnoy
A MONOLOGUE about breaking out of an egg and feeling new-born after lockdown – being a gosling and pottering around in the world, full of curiosity.
The Three Allotmenteers, Kate Bramley/Badapple Theatre Company
A CURIOUS late-night game takes place at The Gardener’s Arms as The Three Allotmenteers play for what was left after the sudden death of their friend. An unexpected discovery sows the seeds of a joyous outcome to their current situation
Beckon, Robert Powell, Ben Pugh and Kitty Greenbrown
THIS five-minute performance and film-poem drew initial inspiration from a remarkable medieval church window in York. Beckon invites its audience on a brief but powerful journey through a landscape of shared memory, confusion, fear and wonder towards a sense of hope.
The dramatic collage of spoken word, film and sound conjures both past and present times to address our current situation – a world at once treasured and threatened.
The Sapling!, Libby Pearson and Emily Chattle
SASHA’S history has bonded her to nature in general and to trees in particular, and she knows that sometimes even the smallest of gestures can have the biggest of impacts. Meet Sasha as she tells her personal story of discovery and making a difference.
If There Was Ever Anything Worth Hoping For Then I Hope, Alexander Flanagan-Wright
“THIS is a story. It’s a short story. It’s only five minutes long. But it’s about loads of stuff. It’s about everyone, I guess,” says Alex. “It’s about everything that got each of us to here and it’s about what we do next and, importantly, what we hope will happen after that.
“It’s just words, and a little bit of music. But it’s come from your yesterday, your week before, the years that got you here. And it’s about tomorrow, or next week, or next year. If you’re after a fresh start, they perhaps don’t exist. But tomorrow does, so let’s pin some of our hope on that, shall we?”
The Ballad Of Blea Wyke!, Hannah Davies and Jack Woods
THE traditional selkie myth is reworked for the Yorkshire East Coast, set against the dramatic landscape of Ravenscar. Here the ancient story of the seal-people is re-imagined, placing it in a world not too far off from our own, where cliffs are crumbling and some people have never seen the sea, despite the rising water levels.
Green Man!, Joe Feeney
AT the end of his tether witnessing the climate emergency’s destructive charge towards certain oblivion, and feeling utter powerlessness, an ordinary man calls on the mythical Green Man of yore to save the world.
Ocean/Jura, Carey Simon
PRESENTING two poems with a backdrop of classical music. Ocean focuses on the seething fury of the mighty unabashed ocean, the passion and the volatility of its rolling motion that conceals its briny, gloom-shrouded depths from frail eyes above.
Jura is an elixir that transcends the bounds of the spirit-taste divide. Smoothness, translucence overflowing the senses into something more. Deliciousness, a notion leading to Nirvana’s devotion.
Tickets for the two 7.30pm performances are on sale on 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.