True Tales: Undivided // Meet the Gang

With every True Tales we deliver, we work with a new and unique combination of storytellers, sometimes responding to a specific theme, and others simply responding to ‘life’, in the most human way possible. For True Tales: Undivided, we’ve managed to find some of the most insightful, inspiring and politically/morally minded under-30s that Manchester has to offer…and we can’t wait to share their stories with you.

M E E T  T H E  S T O R Y T E L L E R S

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N A M E                Louisa Roberts

A G E                     27 (+1)

D E M A N D       Decisions regarding the NHS and Education to be made by an independent organisation as opposed to the political party in power.

Louisa is a teacher/actor/facilitator/tea drinker from North London. This year she has been taking her first tentative steps into the world of performance poetry which she is finding inspiring and terrifying in equal measures. Her general failings have on a number of occasions been compared to Fleabag….a parallel she tried to fight against until she watched an episode for the first time whilst sitting in A and E…having got earplugs stuck….in both her ears.

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N A M E                Jake Mainwaring

A G E                     17

D E M A N D       Reduction of the legal voting age to 16.

Jake is a student at Xaverian college and a performer with the Royal Exchange Theatre’s Young Company. He writes poetry and spoken word (mostly political) and once got lost on the moors on his way to the dentist.

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N A M E                Justina Aina

A G E                     23

D E M A N D       The dedication of funds towards research and implementation of renewable energy sources.

Justina Aina is a Londoner adopted by Manchester with open arms! She can usually be found residing within the Royal Exchange or Contact Theatre as both a Performer and Stage Manager. Upcoming projects include OUTREACH OPERA at the Bolton Octogon’s Reveal Festival, as well as the return of NOTHING to the Royal Exchange Studio. When not running around like a headless chicken, she can be found at the cinema, enjoying the perks of a limitless pass!

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N A M E               Stephanie Riches

A G E                     29

D E M A N D       Protection of funding for the most deprived areas of our community and a fairer society with equal opportunities and access to free healthcare and education.

Stephanie is a Manchester-based actress who has contributed to many projects both on screen and stage. She is interested in projects which tell stories about real people and their experiences, stories and people that audiences can connect with on a personal level, and most of the work which she does reflects this. Stephanie loves a good statistic and in her spare time can be found looking at pie charts and eating pancakes.

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N A M E                Zoë Murtagh

A G E                     23

D E M A N D       Protect the choice to study Arts & Humanities in all schools.

Zoë is a performance maker and spoken word artist based in the North. Her work is vibrant, interactive and messy. Inspired by music that makes you tingle, science lessons, modern history and Kate Bush’s dancing, she creates work that is fun, insightful and may even put a little bit of fire in your belly. She often finds herself being told off by people over the age of 60 (usually for swearing).

M E E T  T H E  M U S I C I A N

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N A M E                Letitia Gray

A G E                     22

D E M A N D       Better education around life-long skills and career prospects for the next generation.

Letitia is a Manchester-based musician specialising in singing, song-writing and vocal coaching. Originally from Preston, she took to Manchester to study and develop her career. Outside of work life she is a single mother and dedicates her time to projects close to her heart, motivating young people and encouraging self-development by using her music as a platform to connect and raise awareness within communities.

M E E T  T H E  P R O D U C E R S

Collision Theory Theatre Collective

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 N A M E                Ali Ford

A G E                     26

D E M A N D       The introduction of unbiased political and cultural education into the school curriculum.

Ali is a creative maker and doer based in the North of England (usually found somewhere between Leeds & Manchester). In addition to her work at Square Chapel (Halifax), Ali curates regular True Tales events in different communities across the UK with her theatre collective, Collision Theory; continually inspired by the true stories of real people. Her favourite meal is, unashamedly, spaghetti hoops on toast and she’s a sucker for a good board game.

Girl Gang Manchester

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N A M E                Kirsty Morrissey

A G E                     24

D E M A N D       UK to maintain the same commitment to human rights and environmental regulation as the EU.

Kirsty is a producer of theatre, live events and digital shenanigans in Manchester. A London native but Manchester convert she shows her love for the city by posting aggressively sunny photos on Instagram. Kirsty is producer for Girl Gang Manchester, bringing girl power to Manchester through immersive cinema events, club nights and exhibitions. A fan of organised fun, she’s most likely to be found buried underneath colour-coded spreadsheets and abandoned craft projects.

True Tales: Undivided is supported by the national Undivided campaign and will take place at Nexus Art Cafe on Friday 27 January at 8pm.

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True Tales: Undivided // Our Demands

In the run up to True Tales: Undivided, Manchester Evening News came to chat to some of the U30s we’ve been working with at the Royal Exchange over the last couple of weeks.

Click here to watch the video

true-tales-posterTrue Tales: Undivided is a Brexit-fuelled lock-in featuring true stories, live music and honest discussion from Manchester’s under 30s, taking place at Nexus Art Cafe, Manchester. From the light-hearted and anecdotal to the raging and epic, this evening is where passion meets politics and a story shared becomes a call to arms.

Undivided is a national campaign that wants to give young people a voice in the Brexit negotiations. It does not seek to reverse the referendum result, but instead to move forwards by setting out where we go from here as a country. Through an online campaign and live events all over the country, Undivided will gather the top ten demands as stated by under 30’s and present these demands to Parliament.

This evening of performance and debate is our chance to set out our demands for the Brexit negotiations. Leavers, Remainers, and everyone in between are invited to help build a new vision for Britain. Have your say in a welcoming space where there are no wrong answers or aggressive retaliations.

This is Manchester’s moment to be heard. Let’s create a better Brexit for our generation.

To submit your own demands, visit weareundivided.co.uk.

Read the full MEN article here, and don’t forget to reserve your tickets via Eventbrite – they’re going fast!

True Tales: Undivided // Call out for Stories

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Collision Theory Theatre Collective and Girl Gang Manchester are teaming up to bring True Tales to the North West – and we want to hear from you. True Tales: Undivided will feature a mash up of true stories and live music from Manchester’s younger generation of 18-30s. From the light-hearted and anecdotal to the raging and epic, this is a Brexit-inspired True Tales lock-in where passion meets politics and a story shared becomes a call to arms.

We’re looking for stories of 5-10 minutes in length that respond to the theme ‘Undivided Voices in a Divided Nation’, to be told, by you, in front of a live audience. It doesn’t need to be scripted or polished at this stage; we’ll develop our stories together during two workshops in the run up to the event. As long as you have an idea of something you want to say, we want to hear it. This is our chance to shout about what we really care about, as the generation that these decisions will affect most; and set out our demands for the Brexit negotiations. We want to hear from Leavers, Remainers, and those who didn’t get to vote at all.

Your story can be about anything, and you can be as inventive as you like in the way you tell it. Perhaps it’s a conversation you overheard on a bus, or a Facebook debate you accidentally got caught up in. It could be about the logistics of being in a long-distance relationship with someone you met working abroad, and your fears about what the future might hold. Maybe it’s about racial, social or homophobic abuse you’ve experienced since the EU referendum; or an act of bravery and resilience you’ve personally witnessed in response. We’re looking for a whole range of stories and vibes to make for an entertaining and impassioned event which puts the power in our hands for the night.

Got something to say? To submit an idea, email truetalesmanchester@gmail.com with your name, location and a brief summary (up to 250 words) of your story – and make sure you are available to tell it on Friday 27 January, should your story be selected.

See our full guidelines for storytellers here.

True Tales is all about true stories from real people, so no previous experience necessary – if you’ve got a story, we want to hear it, whether you’re a regular performer or a stranger to the stage.

Deadline for submissions: 12 midday on Saturday 7 January

Selected storytellers will be informed by Sunday 8 January. All submissions will be acknowledged.

There will be group workshops running the weeks commencing 9 and 16 January to work on developing and delivering our stories, so please make sure you can be available during those weeks (workshop dates TBC but will most likely happen on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings from 5.30 – 7pm). The final event will take place at Nexus Art Cafe Manchester, on Friday 27 January at 8pm. 

Each participant will be allocated £25 to cover expenses. This event is supported by the Undivided campaign.

Let’s create a better Brexit for our generation.

 

Call out for Storytellers!

True Tales at the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival

Saturday 25 June 2016, 7pm

True Tales is, in essence, a collection of true stories, told by the people who’ve lived them. Placed in a unique setting and punctuated with live music, we believe that the power of a story lies in the simplicity of its telling.

A collaboration between Collision Theory Theatre and inner-i music, True Tales presents a new collection of storytellers with each event to create this charming blend of storytelling and live music in communities across West Yorkshire and beyond.

We are currently looking for stories on the theme of ‘Trouser Town’, in keeping with that of this year’s Arts Festival. Were you, or a relative of yours, employed in the town’s renowned clothing manufacturing industry? Do you own a garment that was made during the ‘Trouser Town’ era? Did you meet the love of your life whilst working in the mills? Perhaps you remember the crises into which the town was plunged after the mills were shut down – or, were a key player in its community revival? We want to hear all of these stories and more, in celebration of the town’s rich and colourful heritage and all those who made it so.

To submit an idea, email truetalesleeds@gmail.com with your name, location and a brief summary (up to 250 words) of your story – and make sure you are available to tell it on Saturday 25 June, should your story be selected.

Remember, this is all about true stories from real people, so no previous experience necessary – if you’ve got a story, we want to hear it, whether you’re an established performer or a stranger to the stage. 

Deadline for submissions: 12 noon on Saturday 11 June 

Selected storytellers will be informed by Monday 13 June. All submissions will be acknowledged.

There will be one-to-one sessions available to run through individual stories the w/c Monday 20 June and a full group ‘cue to cue’ run through pre-event.

Performance date: Saturday 25 June, 7pm at Innovation Mill, Hebden Bridge

Please note this is an unpaid, voluntary opportunity but expenses will be covered.

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Call Out for Storytellers!

Storytellers, day-dreamers, yarn-spinners, big thinkers, mind-wanderers and wishful believers…we want you.

True Tales ‘Cafe Culture’ Special at Hebden Bridge Town Hall: Thursday 4 February 2016, 2.30pm 

True Tales is, in essence, a collection of true stories, told by the people who’ve lived them. Placed in a theatrical setting and punctuated with live music, we believe that the power of a story lies in the simplicity of its telling.

A collaboration between Collision Theory Theatre and inner-i music, True Tales presents a new collection of storytellers with each event to create this charming blend of storytelling and live music in communities across West Yorkshire and beyond.

We are currently looking for storytellers in or with links to Hebden Bridge, to join us in the True Tales ‘Cafe Culture’ Special at the Hebden Bridge Town Hall in February. Remember, this is all about true stories from real people, so no previous experience necessary – if you’ve got a story, we want to hear it, whether you’re an established performer or a stranger to the stage. 

Got a story you want to tell? To submit an idea, email your name, contact details, location and (up to) 250 word summary of your story to truetalesleeds@gmail.com.

See our full guidelines for storytellers here.

Deadline for submissions: 12 noon on Saturday 9th January 2016. 

Selected storytellers will be informed by 5pm on Monday 11 January. All submissions will be acknowledged.

There will be one-to-one sessions available to run through individual stories the w/c 18 and 25 January and a full group run through pre-event.

Performance date: Thursday 4 February, 2.30pm at Hebden Bridge Town Hall

Please note this is an unpaid, voluntary opportunity but expenses can be paid.

We look forward to hearing from you…

Ali-9

Call Out for Storytellers!

Storytellers, day-dreamers, yarn-spinners, big thinkers, mind-wanderers and wishful believers…we want you.

True Tales at Square Chapel: Sunday 13 September, 7.30pm

True Tales is, in essence, a collection of true stories, told by the people who’ve lived them. Placed in a theatrical setting and punctuated with live music and moments of improvisation, we believe that the power of a story lies in the simplicity of its telling.

A collaboration between Collision Theory Theatre and inner-i music, True Tales presents a new collection of storytellers with each event to create this charming blend of storytelling and live music in communities across West Yorkshire and beyond.

Got a story you want to tell? To submit an idea(s), email your name, contact details, location and (up to) 250 word summary of your story(ies) to truetalesleeds@gmail.com. No previous experience necessary! If you’ve got a good story, we want to hear it, whether you’re an established performer or a stranger to the stage. 

See our full guidelines for storytellers here.

Deadline for submissions: 12 noon on Monday 24 August

Selected storytellers will be informed by 5pm on Monday 24 August

There will be a couple of get-togethers / rehearsals the w/c 31 August and 7 September (can be evenings/weekends and will be arranged to suit the group)

Performance date: Sunday 13 September, 7.30pm

This event is a fundraiser for the Square Chapel Trust (Registered Charity 700985).

Please note this opportunity is unpaid but Square Chapel can offer storytellers volunteer travel expenses and a complimentary ticket to a show of your choice (excl. hires, fundraisers and workshops).

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26.2

With our ‘Summer Sublets’ residency at the West Yorkshire Playhouse having drawn to a close, now seems a good opportunity to reflect on the material we made, evaluate our style of working, and determine where to go from here.

Being a relatively new company devising a brand new piece of theatre (and in case that seems too feasible, across three different cities), we have been getting together for Research & Development weekends on average once every 4-6 weeks since January. Through this period we had come up with an overall concept of ‘Generation Y’: essentially looking at people of our generation who have been told throughout school, college, university, that they can be anything they want to be; do anything they want to do…only to come out of education and find that the employment market is heavily over-subscribed and the only jobs going will likely leave them feeling over-qualified and under-fulfilled. From here, we started looking at the idea of ‘ticking boxes’ and the impact that social media has on this. Securing a job, finding happiness in a relationship, buying property, getting married, having children; the pressure to achieve these things by a certain age and of course make sure they are carefully documented through a rose-tinted Instagram filter.

Amongst these milestones we also identified (not without the help of our Facebook feeds of course) the common denominator of ‘completing an extreme physical challenge’ as a box which is currently being ticked by so many. From 5ks to marathons and triathlons to the Three Peaks Challenge: things to which we could all relate, each of us having undertaken a physical challenge of these sorts recently. Incidentally, one of our R&D weekends fell just after Emma had attempted a 20 mile run, in training for the Edinburgh marathon and being witness to the pain and the struggle she was going through at the time, we couldn’t help but question why we put ourselves through these things. Is it really all for the sake of raising money for charity? Keeping fit? Or is it down to something greater; something more internal…wanting to be part of something, feeling like we need to prove ourselves, substituting failure in other areas of our lives with achievement in something over which we have control? We became fascinated with finding answers to these questions, so, laying a temporary focus on marathon-running (which seemed so apt at that moment in time) we began researching, reading and interviewing runners to collect the stories that sit behind the numbers on chests.

Remaining faithful to our simplistic storytelling style, the material we developed during our Summer Sublets residency allowed us to share the true stories of real people alongside those of our own, keeping ourselves fully exposed as the theatre-makers; exploiting poetry, movement, props and live music as punctuation of and transitions between stories. The rehearsal space and time committed was so valuable in allowing us to play without any real pressure, develop our style and learn how we best work as a collaborative team. Devised theatre doesn’t happen instantly, of course – it is about experimentation, research, challenge, and being open to the unexpected. We had decided to create material around the idea of ‘the marathon’ to give us a focus in amongst such a broad subject matter. We’d had no idea that we would become so intrigued by the topic or that it would open up so many other avenues.

What has become glaringly obvious, however, is that 26.2 is already about so much more than just marathon-running.

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Take a look at our rehearsal shots from the week.

Images credited to © mattsim.co.uk