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Make a drama in the month of May with Sunfest 2017

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Published on 27 April 2017

Performers on stage for Sunfest
Performers on stage for Sunfest

Sunderland drama students will perform a series of critically acclaimed plays at Arts Centre Washington as part of the annual arts festival ‘Sunfest’ (4- 27 May).

The students will bring several plays to life at the venue, featuring the work of some of UK’s greatest playwrights, presenting some unforgettable nights of drama.

‘Sunfest’ is organised by the University’s Faculty of and Creative Industries in which students take over the Theatre space at Arts Centre Washington for a whole month to run their own exciting programme of theatre.  This will be the fifth year that the festival of drama has taken place.

Arabella Plouviez, Academic Dean of Arts and Creative Industries, said: “There are some really challenging performances being undertaken, and giving our students the opportunity to plan produce and perform at Arts Centre Washington gives them a fabulous opportunity. Our partnership with Arts Centre Washington continues to be a valuable opportunity for our students.”

Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly said: “Alongside regional themes, some of theatre’s greatest names and greatest plays are being staged at the centre as part of Sunfest.

Visiting Sunfest is a great opportunity to catch-up on the stage classics – new and old – and to show support for our city’s university, its students and their work.”

Matthew Blyth, Audience Development Officer at Arts Centre Washington said: "We are delighted that the students are returning to Arts Centre Washington and looking forward to seeing their hard work come to life on stage.

“These students represent a future generation of artists who we hope will go on to live, work and thrive in the cultural landscape of the North East and beyond.”

Performances will include:

On the Wrong Side of the Tide on Thursday 4 May - A night of ghostly goings on await a group of students visiting Holy Island in this new play inspired by the work of David Almond and North Eastern folklore.

Fractured Voices / Patterns of Purple Flowers on Saturday 6 May - Verbatim theatre based on the true and poignant stories of domestic abuse survivors and their family and friends.

Gut Girls on Thursday 11 & Saturday 13 May by Sarah Daniels - Gut Girls is the moving story of the girls who work in the gutting sheds of the Cattle Market and how their lives are changed when the sheds are closed down.

Caucasian Chalk Circle on Thursday 18 May - An epic play by Brecht. The play is a parable about a peasant girl who rescues a baby and becomes a better mother than its wealthy natural parents.

Mother Courage on Saturday 20 May - Set during the Thirty Years’ War, Mother Courage, a canteen woman, pulls her cart with her three children in the wake of the army, trading with the soldiers and attempting to make profit from the war.

Coriolanus on Thursday 25 May - Shakespeare’s searing tragedy of political manipulation and revenge.

Romeo and Juliet on Saturday 27 May - Shakespeare’s most famous romance and one of the greatest and most tragic love stories of all time.

Sunfest runs at Arts Centre Washington from  4- 27 May.  Tickets for all performances are  £7.50 / £6 (concessions )/ £5 (NUS) and start at 7.30pm.

To book or for more information visit the Arts Centre Washington website.