Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Preview: The Savage at Newcastle Live Theatre

Carnegie Medal-winning author David Almond adapts his acclaimed novel The Savage into a new stage play for Live Theatre, Newcastle
The Savage
Newcastle Live Theatre
Thursday 30th June to Saturday 23rd July 2016

Written by David Almond
Directed by Max Roberts
Associate Director Jamie Jackson
Designed by Alison Ashton
Original music by Beth Brennan

David Almond
Photo: Donna Lisa Healy
Carnegie Medal-winning author David Almond is adapting his uplifting illustrated novel The Savage for the stage, in his first full length commission for Live Theatre. The play has its World Premiere at Live Theatre, Newcastle, between Thursday 30 June to Saturday 23 July 2016.
The Savage is a contemporary fable about creation and renewal, wildness and civilisation and the importance of creativity in making us whole. The novel is popular for reading in schools and also used discuss behaviour with young people.

David Almond, said: "It's a real thrill to be working with the great Live Theatre, to bring this story to vivid life in Newcastle, right on the banks of the river. Tyneside is my literary heartland. It's where my stories, my dreams and my language come from, and it's where the strange, scary, tender savage was born."

The Savage is a family friendly play suitable for ages 9+ with music, movement and eye-catching visuals that will appeal to young people, families and adults alike.

The Artistic Director of Live Theatre Max Roberts said: "It's great to have a writer of David's quality and reputation writing for Live Theatre. I'm very much looking forward to bringing David’s play to fruition moulding his rich lyrical writing with music and beautiful settings that will appeal to a wide age range of audience.”

In the play, Blue Baker wants to write a story. After the death of his dad and to escape the unwanted attention of Hopper, the neighbourhood bully, Blue imagines a ‘truely wild’ character - full of anger, adventure and thoughts of revenge. Life is dark and complicated and so is Blue’s story. Helped by his friend Elaine, his mum and baby sister Jess, he tries to discover where life starts and the story ends.

The Savage it is an uplifting contemporary fable about creation and renewal, wildness and civilisation. It shows the importance of creativity in finding consolation, redemption and fulfilment in the world around us.

The Savage has been commissioned to coincide with the launch of Live Tales, Live Theatre’s new writing centre for children. This new strand of Live Theatre’s education programme is an extension of its successful playwriting initiatives for young people. Live Tales will offer creative story writing sessions to pupils aged 7-12 from September 2016.

Max Roberts added “David’s enthusiasm and support for Live Theatre has been enormous. We have commissioned The Savage to mark the opening of Live Tales, our new children’s writing centre, of which David is a champion.”

A series of events accompany the play including two free talks for audiences. In Live Tales Introduction, David Almond will discuss the importance of children’s writing and creativity, with Christina Castling from Live Theatre’s Education & Participation team, and discuss the plans for children’s writing centre Live Tales, of which he is a champion, following the 2pm performance of the play on Saturday 9 July. In a Meet the Writer Event David Almond and Director Max Roberts discuss the making of the play, and transforming the story for the stage, after the 7.30pm show on Tuesday 12 July. David will also be available for book-signing after this talk. Both events are free but booking is essential

David will also lead a Wild Writing Workshop between 11.30am and 1pm on Saturday 16 April, at Live Theatre. Participants will be encouraged to lose their writing inhibitions and explore their imagination to discover their inner wild writer. The Wild Writing Workshop costs £10, £6 concs and is suitable for young people age 9+ and adults.

For school groups a free 90 minute Telling Tales Workshop is available for groups visiting daytime performances of the Savage at 2pm on Wednesday 6 July, 10.30pm on Tuesday 12 July, 1.30pm at Tuesday 19 July (also a captioned performance) and 10.30pm on Thursday 21 July (which is also designated as a relaxed performance for young people with special educational needs). Workshops have limited places and must be booked in advance.

Dates: Thursday 30 June to Saturday 23 July
Location: Main Theatre 
Duration:  Approx 90 mins
Suitability:  9+
Performances: Tuesday to Sunday 
Previews:  Thursday 30 June, 7.30pm, Friday 1 July, 7.30pm, Saturday 2 July, 2pm & 7.30pm
Opening Night:  Tuesday 5 July, 7.30pm
Friends 241: Thursday 30 June, 7.30pm & Saturday 2 July, 2pm
Captioned: Tuesday 19 July, 1.30pm
BSL: Tuesday 19 July, 7.30pm
Relaxed performance: Thursday 21 July 10.30am
TT: Thursday 21 July, 6pm
Audio Described: Thursday 21 July 7.30pm

Tickets: £22-£10 full price, £22-£12 over 60s and £15-£6 for other concessions.
For more information or to book tickets visit or contact Live Theatre’s box office on (0191) 232 1232.

Saturday 9 July (after the 2pm show)
Live Tales Introduction
David Almond, champion of Live Tales talks about the importance of children’s writing and creativity, with Christina Castling, from Live Theatre’s Education & Participation team. Free, booking essential.

Tuesday 12 July (after the show)
Meet the Writer and Book signing
Writer David Almond and Director Max Roberts discuss the making of the play, and transforming the story for the stage. Followed by a book-signing. Free, booking essential

Saturday 16 July, 11.30am -1pm
Wild Writing Workshop with David Almond
Join David for a creative writing workshop to discover your inner wild writer and set it free. £10, £6 concs Suitable for ages 9+ and adults.

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