A curated selection of FREE cultural & community activities / tasks for you to do whilst Alphabetti is closed, that we have enjoyed.

Click on the titles to be taken to where we discovered them.

Week 23: 28.10.2020


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The Covid-19 Monologues, Elysium Theatre Company


5 writers, 5 actors, 5 new plays available for free online. Adapting to the measures in place this year, Elysium TC commissioned and produced 5 new monologues from brilliant artists, and have been releasing the pieces on Youtube over the last month. It’s a rich collection of work, each piece of which resonates with key issues that have been on our collective minds this year. 5 intimate monologues, elegantly directed and produced, brilliantly performed. Running time: 10-50 minutes depending on each piece




Sunset on Tantobie, Gary Kitching & Gala Theatre


Written by Alphabetti associate Gary Kitching, directed by Jake Murray, and with a stellar cast and team, Sunset on Tantobie is a new audio play set in County Durham. It’s about family, acts of kindness from strangers and how we see the places we call home. We loved listening to this play; the choral music in the opening lulled us in, and the fast-paced storytelling, whipping between funny and moving, kept us hooked the whole way through. 

Running time: 40 minutes

@GalaDurham  @Gartykitching  @Jakesnewvoices

A pink sky with the silhouette of a chimney


Invent Something Spectacular With Wool, Ella Doran for Little Inventors


If you’re looking for some family activities during half-term, or something to do at home under a cosy blanket, designer Ella Doran has created a challenge pack for you to learn how to weave with wool and create your own tapestry. Once you get the hang of the process you can also use other materials like old jeans and t-shirts to make the most of old fabrics and turn them into artwork. With worksheets, videos and guidance along the way, there’s lots of resources to help you along the way.


@LittleInventors  @elladoran

A poster saying "Create A spectacular wool invention"


Headshot of a light brown person smiling.

Five Things to Share on Intersex Awareness Day


This Monday was Intersex Awareness Day, and Anick spoke to UK Black Pride about his own experience of being intersex. As well as sharing his own story, he answers some basic questions and provides us with some tips on supporting the intersex community; namely, allow people to speak for themselves instead of speaking on their behalf, and keep learning about the key issues faced by the community.


@IntersexAF  @ukblackpride


A poster saying "The comedy crowd presents CHORTS!"

Chorts 2020 Submissions


The Comedy Crowd aims to empower everyone to make comedy, helping people get in the game regardless of how new they are. Alongside community, tv and producing arms they run regular competitions for creators to make short sketches and showcase them to industry professionals at live screenings. Their submissions window for Chorts 2020 sketches is now open! They’re looking for script submissions rather than finished videos, maximum length 3 minutes; shortlisted scripts will be reviewed and developed into videos for the live screening and judging portion. Get chortling!


Deadline: Friday 4th December




Three people on a theatre set

Britain Isn’t Eating, Off The Page


Many of us were saddened and appalled at the government’s stance on free school meals over this half-term. This micro-play written by Laura Wade and directed by Carrie Cracknell, is a collaboration between Guardian journalists and Royal Court theatre makers, and shows a politician learning hard truths about the reality for those struggling in Britain. Many organisations are doing wonderful work, often outside of their remit, to help families in need over the holidays; donations have been rolling in to Newcastle Food Bank, and ARC Stockton and others are offering free packed lunches. If you or a family you know is in need this half-term, contact them to reserve your lunches,


information here:

Running time: 7 minutes

@guardianculture  @arcstockton


Week 22: 21.10.2020


A lady in a dance pose by a window with house plants behind her

BGA 2020: Mele Broomes – Surrounding By Listening to Manifestations of Love and Solidarity #4


A part of Black Gold Arts Festival 2020, this gentle dance music video from Mele Broomes slows us down to be a part of Broomes’ tuning in to her body and her words. An award-winning choreographer and performer, her work ‘embodies stories from the collective voice, creating visceral and sensory collaborations through her ancestral heritage’. This short film weaves vocal composition with gentle movement, and is followed by a hosted Q&A with poet Degna Stone. The event is pay what you can, but booking is essential.


When: Saturday 24th October @6pm


Running Time: Approx. 30 minutes (inc. post-film Q&A)


A Small Voice Podcast – Chris Killip


A Small Voice Podcast – Chris Killip

Beloved photographer Chris Killip sadly passed away last week. Living in the North East from 1975 until 1991, his work in Tyneside documents the lives of working people and their resilience of spirit, while recording the decline of industrial Britain. The Laing Gallery has a permanent Chris Killip exhibition showcasing previously unpublished photographs of ship building on Tyneside which we highly recommend if you haven’t yet seen it. The photographer Ben Smith hosts the Small Voice: Conversations With Photographers podcast, and in this episode he is in conversation with the late Chris Killip, discussing his work and career.


A black and white photo of a caucasian boy sitting on grass


Young Musicians Project – Lasses and Lyrics


We Make Culture are running an exciting heritage-focussed song writingproject with young wxmen in Sunderland. Aiming to connect young people with their heritage, they will be researching and exploring female stories in Sunderland’s history and writing songs about them; this includes more prominent historical women, as well as stories from older women and their families. And they want your input: do you have a story about your mam, your aunt, your godmother, your colleague, that you think should be heard? Fill in the form below and share your stories, and they might get made into songs!


@we_make_culture  @eh_shoutoutloud  @HeritageFundUK  @SConnections

Black and white photo of seven ladies in uniforms with bags


A professional headshot of a black lady

Megan Thee Stallion: Why I Speak Up for Black Women


Two weeks ago was #BlackWomenAreDivine weekend, organised by Black Lives Matter. The weekend encouraged Black women around the world to come together in solidarity in the name of Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, and all the Black women lost to violence. American rapper Megan Thee Stallion’s opinion piece for the New York Times is both a personal account of her own experiences as a Black woman, and a wider reminder of racial biases when it comes to sexuality, health, violence and public statements. A well-written and important read that speaks back to criticism.


@nytimes  @theestallion


Poster of a girl dancing with the words "We step outside and start to dance" written in yellow

We Start To Dance


We’re super excited for this new immersive audio project from Alphabetti pals Alison Carr (writer) and Melanie Rashbrooke (director).  It’s inspired by the Dancing Plague of 1518, when a woman in Strasbourg, Alsace (modern day France), stepped into the street and started to dance. She didn’t stop, and over the month up to 400 people joined her. The cause for the dancing is unknown, though one theory is mass hysteria brought on by extreme stress. Which for Alison Carr begs the question: if ever there was a time to start dancing, isn’t it now? From Wednesday 28th October you can download the audio piece, along with a BSL interpreted and captioned film, press play and start to dance!


Available from: Wednesday 28th October @ 12pm


@AlisonCarr_  @rashbrm


three photos of three different ladies. One black, to caucasians

Digital Caravan Theatre Micro Plays


These micro plays from Digital Caravan are designed to keep you company on a neighbourhood walk or simply through your headphones in the comfort of home. They are free to access at any time, and BSL interpreted videos of each play are also available on the website. This second round of micro plays features: WATER by babirye bukilwa; TIME by Jessica Butcher; and RAGE by Chloe Todd Fordham (this last piece carries a content warning of sexual assault and strong language). Next time you’re out for a quiet stroll or relaxing in a comfy chair, grab your headphones and listen in to these thought-provoking stories.


Age recommendation: 16+


Running time: Approx. 15 minutes each