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The Deadlies: performance & participation project

A new way of involving local people in professional performance

The Deadlies is a performance and participation piece offering a new way of involving local people in professional performance; it is being created in partnership with York Theatre Royal as part of On Our Turf .

This is a new touring project by Trestle Theatre Company initially for audiences and participants across Yorkshire.

The Deadlies’ tells the story of Archie, a Yorkshire lad who has traded his home for a map that promises him adventures beyond the horizon. Having enjoyed his travels and encounters with extreme characters inspired by the Seven Deadly Sins, Archie wishes to return home; however, he has given his home away and needs the help of the inhabitants of Yorkshire to create a new sense of belonging.

All of the characters in the piece will wear half masks. The masked participants will be integrated in a way that makes them crucial to the telling of the story and enables elements of improvisation and audience interaction, creating a performance event that spills beyond the confines of the conventional theatre space.

The creative team consists of Audrie Woodhouse and John Cockerill as performers/workshop facilitators, Emily Gray as Director, Hannah Davies as Dramaturg and Ben Glasstone as Composer.

The Project:

Trestle will deliver a half mask workshop over one day or a series of weeks to a community group, this will involve young people aged 9 upwards and adults

Every group which works on the project will be receive 16 Trestle Half Masks and the skills to work with these through the project and beyond. The masks represent the 7 Deadly Sins, The Deadlies, and the process will explore how the sins are unleashed in our communities and how we can enjoy, tame or counteract them.

The main outcomes of the project are to:

  • Encourage people to engage with the arts in unexpected ways through mask theatre; masks help to liberate the performer in everyone and allow people to be expressive and creative
  • Empower people to make new and different connections with each other in their local community and with others in the final performance
  • Give groups the interest and ability to use the half masks in the future

Participants will be introduced to the masks through performance, taught half mask and devising techniques and be inspired to create vibrant characters in effective scenarios. We deliver teacher and practitioner training as part of a process, to instill further development of the work in education environments.

March to May 2014

As part of ‘On Our Turf’ we are working with six groups from York and surrounding towns, including Helmsley Arts Centre youth theatre, Selby High School, a group of learning disabled young adults in Easingwold. These groups will come together at York Theatre Royal as the central culmination performance of the project.

‘Thank you for coming in and working with us, it was fantastic and extremely good fun’ – Student, Selby High School Students enjoyed a great day with Trestle Theatre: www.selbyhigh.n-yorks.sch.uk