Notice to Move – Northern Stage
A north east theatre company is touring a new production timed to coincide with Remembrance Sunday after spending three years researching, working with veterans, looking at the impact conflict has on members of the armed forces who train, work, and face the unknown together.
“Notice to Move” will tour the region from Hartlepool to Berwick and play to audiences including some of the veterans, serving personneland charities who all helped Blowin’ A Hooley Theatre ensure that the production was as authentic as possible. ‘Notice To Move’ has brought together members of the Armed Forces Community, civilians, organisations, and theatre professionals to collaborate on an impactive play that’s relatable and insightful as well as celebrating the lifelong bonds that form amongst those who serve.
Blowin’ a Hooley Theatre is led by Tyneside actors Harriet Ghost and Micky McGregor. Micky was a participant in BAFTA’s Elevate 2019 programme which supports actors from under-represented groups moving forward in their careers and helps to tackle the issue of diversity in the industry. Harriet trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York, and the two Geordies have worked steadily in the region for over a decade, most notably with Ken Loach on I, Daniel Blake and Sorry We Missed You as well as ITV’s Vera, BBC’s Wolfblood and numerous theatre productions. Micky has recently had a role in the Netflix movie “I Came By” starring Hugh Bonneville.
To ensure that the play did justice to the men and women who served in the armed forces, Harriet and Micky worked closely with veterans charitiesincluding Operation Veteran in North Shields and Launchpad in Byker. They also spent time talkingto personnel at Help for Heroes Recovery Centre at Catterick Garrison and organised creative writing workshops where people shared their stories and experiences by telling the stories theway they wanted to tell them rather than the action-packed sequences seen on film or TV.
“We discovered that camaraderie is an important part of forces life,” said Harriet. “Real relationships are made which last a lifetime and sometimes beyond. When people live together under the pressures associated with conflict, they form a tremendous bond and we found that most of the stories weren’t about war at all, they were about friendship, playing practical jokes or simply the lengths they would go to to protect each other’s backs.”
The play centres on the relationships and camaraderie of six soldiers which is challenged when mistakes are made just hours before deployment. Each of the characters brings their own individuality and issues to the production and ultimately there are big decisions to be made by the soldiers who can only ‘hurry up and wait’.
“We have trialled the play with Operation Veteran,and we know that anyone who has served in the past will see characters on stage who they can relate with. Our main goal was to be authentic and thanks to all the help we’ve received from the people who’ve lived and breathed life and death military situations we hope that we have achieved this,” said Micky.
“We’re very grateful for funding from the Sunday for Sammy Trust who are an amazing support to emerging talent in the region, the Armed Forces Covenant Fund and Arts Council England as well as Trusthouse Charitable. We have also received script development support from award-winning writer, Sarah Tarbit, from Ashington.”
As well as roles for Harriet and Micky, four other talented north east actors star in the play: Daniel Watson, Carl Wylie, Jake Jarratt and Jack Lloyd.
The production can be seen at the following venues:
Fri 4th November 2022 | The Exchange Theatre, North Shields | 8pm
Sat 5th November 2022 | Bishop Auckland Town Hall | 7.30pm
Mon 7th November 2022 | Meadow Well Connected, North Tyneside | 1pm
Wed 9th November 2022 | The Gymnasium Gallery – The Barracks, Berwick | 7.30pm
Thurs 10th November 2022 | Blackhall Community Centre, Hartlepool | 12.30pm
Sat 12th November 2022 | Northern Stage, Newcastle | 7pm
Sun 13th November 2022 | Seaton Delaval Arts Centre, Northumberland | 7pm
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