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Stage Editorial

braids20.jpg Durham double (in Newcastle)

There’s a sparkling double bill of plays coming to Live Theatre in April, both of which are about growing up in Country Durham.

“Don’t you ever get sick of it?” – “Being the only one?” – “Yeah. Being the Ambassador of Blackness.” That’s from ‘Braids’ (pictured) Olivia Hannah’s play which is about Abeni. She’s new to college. She’s putting braids in Jasmine’s hair and giving her ‘the talk’, opening up Jasmine’s mind to new ways of seeing the world – and the way the world sees them. Hannah’s play was long-listed for the Alfred Fagon Award in 2018. Also showing is ‘Cheer Up Slug’ (“It’s like everyone’s forgotten. Like on the telly when they talk about the North: there’s Yorkshire. Then there’s Scotland. Where the bloody hell do we fit?”). This new play by Tasmin Daisy Rees is all about boundaries and behaviour. Will and Bean have been friends forever. But they’re not kids anymore and the adult world is a scary place. In a tent in Country Durham, a Duke of Edinburgh trip becomes more complicated than either of them planned… Two plays fizzing with real verve for the price of one? I’m in!

Braids + Cheer Up Slug, Thursday 16-Saturday 25 April, Live Theatre, Newcastle, 7.30pm (mats. 18, 23 & 25 2.30pm), £10-£20 (concs. From £6). www.live.org.uk