BETTi RECOMMENDS

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 7: 04.07.2020

TO WATCH:

We will we will rock you by gobscure, for Crips Without Constraints with GRAEae Theatre Company

 

A monologue written in Isolation. We will we will rock you by Gobscure takes us on an eight minute journey that is as raw as it is beautiful. Powerful and belly punching in its delivery. This commission for deaf and disabled artists could not be a better way to spend eight minutes of your time.

Running time: 8 minutes
Age Rec: 12+ (contains strong language)

 

TO READ:

The Rape Kit’s Secret History by Pagan Kennedy for the New York Times (June 17th 2020)

This New York times article focuses on how the Rape Kit came to fruition. Namely, how one woman pushed and pushed to get the police to treat Rape and Sexual Assault seriously, even as a crime at all while also giving us an exploration of how misogyny trumped to give us the account that a male invented and initiated the creation of the rape kit, which after reading this article is clear is wholly untrue. 


Age Rec: 16+

Running Time: Dependent on your reading speed

TO LISTEN:

What Matters – a podcast from Black Lives Matter

Keeping in the spirit of developing and learning this podcast from the Black Lives Matter organisation offers regular episodes, currently on no.5, where further learning and listening can take place. This podcasts included numerous voices and explores key and current topics. 

https://blacklivesmatter.com/WhatMatters/ 

 

Running Time: Average 30 minutes

 

Age Rec: All Ages

TO EXCITE:

The Betti Show - feat. Ruth Patterson - 01.07.2020

 

This is our new monthly live stream chat show, Ali Pritchard our Artistic / Executive Director comes live from the theatre, there are games and performances and lots of fun. 

Why does it excite us? We're making work in the theatre once again! It's odd not having an audience but at least we can engage with our live audience on the live stream! 

Age rec 12+ 

Running Time: 60 mins

TO DO:

Make Your Own Puppet with Beverley Puppetry Festival

 

The wonderful Beverley Puppet Festival have been running their 2020 programme online this year due to Covid-19. Their online programme contains 25 puppetry activity videos, which guides you to make and perform with a range of puppets and theatre techniques. They then invite you to send in pictures and videos of your creations, which will put you in with a chance to win some fantastic prizes including passes to the 2022 festival! 

Age Rec: 6+

Running Time: 35mins

TO DISCOVER:

The Protest: Black Lives Matter By Bush Theatre

 

Two weeks ago, unable to come together in solidarity with its community in person, Bush Theatre released six pieces of work, created by black artists as expressions of protest. The result is a collection of powerful, moving and incredibly important work. We can’t recommend them more highly - we all need to continue to listen and to learn.

 

Age Rec: 12+ (All at parent/guardian’s discretion)

WEEK 6: 26.06.2020

TO WATCH:

Binary Bullshit by Richard Boggie

 

Thinking about Disability as a binary really is bullshit. This expertly crafted and performed poem by Richard Boggie takes us through that journey. Watch this beautiful piece and start to see people less in binary, and in more infinite numbers. Bogsey has performed at all three of Alphabetti venues and we have been trying to persuade him to make his debut hour long show with us in 2021. His work is entertaining whilst still a compelling reminder for all of us as we go about our lives.

 

 

Age Rec: 12+

 

Running Time: 3 mins

TO LISTEN:

Forgiving Light by Neev, for Mahogany Songs

In a 2020 that is filled with so little tranquility this musical offering from Neev, for Mahogany Songs, is the perfect opportunity to find some of that all important calm. This really is a beautiful artistic offering.  Listen and Enjoy, simple as that. 

Age Rec: Any

 

Running Time: 5 mins

TO DISCOVER:

Wild Thyme Story by Zoe Lambert with RSC

 

The RSC is releasing a series of these ‘video-story love songs to the natural world’ on their Youtube channel. The words are inspired by Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and given a personal touch with each member of their current cast’s experiences and paths travelled during this lockdown. Zoe Lambert is a wonderful associate artist of Alphabetti's, and we found her take on the Wild Thyme Story - a delicate love letter to the North East - completely lovely.

Age Rec: All

Running Time: 2 mins

TO READ:

How White Parents Can Talk To Their Kids About Race by Michel Martin

Vital but uncomfortable conversations are finally being had, but how do you broach complex issues with children. How White Parents Can Talk To Their Kids About Race gives anyone who is having these conversations with kids a valuable resource on how to begin and navigate that journey. 

Age Rec: Personal Discretion 

Running Time: Dependent on your reading speed

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TO EXCITE:

Virtual Museum from Natural History Museum

 

It's hard to experience the quiet joy of wandering round a museum right now, and even when many can a lot of us can’t make it to London. Enter the NHM’s Virtual Museum! You can dive inside their exhibits, learn about the history of the blue whale and the oceans, hang out with scientists online with their bi-weekly interactive talks, and go on a tour of the museum’s Hintze Hall narrated by the nation’s grandpa David Attenborough himself. We love this because it lets us feel like we’re travelling and escaping into the natural world for a while. Go exploring!

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TO DO:

Sense Sign School

 

In these free videos, you can be led by 15 year old Mr. Tyrese through basic BSL (British Sign Language) lessons. Many of us at Alphabetti have been wanting to learn BSL, so we love this freely accessible guide to start us off, and we hope you do too! Continued improving of our accessibility in theatre is very important to us, and by learning BSL we can all help spaces become more and more inclusive.

 

Age Rec: 7+

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WEEK 5: 17.06.2020

TO WATCH:

Isolations by Elysium Theatre

Writtten by Gary Kitching

 

Three voices, three minds, a single day. How are we all connected? Are we separate or one? Do we feel the same, do we live the same, or are we different, existing in our private worlds? How do we interact in our individual isolations? Gary Kitching’s new play is a funny, poignant, haunting and moving account of how we live, and what it means to be human.

Not only did we really enjoy this piece of work from Alphabetti associate artist Gary Kitching, it feels very relevant in that it reflects tensions and questions we’ve all felt simmering through the recent past, with the gentle touch of eye-to-eye conversation.

 

Age Rec: 12+

 

Running Time: 24 mins

TO LISTEN:

About Race Podcast with Reni Eddo-Lodge

Featuring key voices from the last few decades of anti-racist activism, About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge (author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race) looks at the recent history that lead to the politics of today.

This podcast looks at where we were, where we are now, and what if anything has changed. We at Alphabetti along with so many others have been working to better educate ourselves on race and racism, and to get better at listening, and we’re finding this podcast really interesting. Let’s keep up the conversation.

 

Age Rec: At parent/guardian’s discretion

 

Running Time: 9 episodes, approx. 30 mins each

TO READ:

Diet Coke Racism by Obsidian Tea

We first came across Grey Armstrong’s blog Obsidian Tea through his excellent piece on how to actually be helpful in the wake of the George Floyd killing and ensuing protests (https://obsidiantea.com/2020/05/31/feeling-helpless-about-police-brutality-things-you-can-do/).

This article reframes the way we think about racism, portraying it not as a handful of absolutes but a sliding scale, through the analogy of fizzy drinks. From Monster Energy drinks (“when you know it’s bad and you just don’t care”) to Diet Coke (“it’s not Coke so it’s harmless”) and the shades in between, we found Grey’s approach really interesting and helpful for how we can address each category, whether for ourselves or for the people we know.

Age Rec: 12+

Running Time: Dependent on your reading speed

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TO EXCITE:

I Shag Newcastle from Swing Tyne

 

This isn’t as salacious as you think…Swing Tyne are a Newcastle-based community of swing dancers, providing classes and social dancing. The main styles they dance are Lindy Hop, Balboa, and – the style in this video – Collegiate Shag (now you get it).

 

Accompanying the fabulous shag dancing all over Newcastle are the musical stylings of Rob Heron & the Teapad Orchestra – double whammy! Our Exec Producer Esther is a member, and we love this video because it’s full of joy and gives us (and hopefully you) something to look forward to once we can all be together again.

 

Running Time: 4 mins

https://swingtyne.com/

TO DISCOVER:

Abyss Dive Centre, Bali

 

This Balinese diving centre’s Instagram shows you beautiful images and videos of wildlife, and tells you all about them. Their whole collection is calming as well as captivating, and reminds us all of the natural beauty outside our lockdowns.

 

We’re suckers for interesting wildlife (please see our specimen known as “Rex”), and we invite you to fall down the marine rabbit hole with us!

Age Rec: 6+ 

TO DO:

Home Time from New Writing North & Helen Shaddock

 

Lockdown has been and continues to be tough for us all, and we keep trying to find small positive things to focus on. It’s a strange time, but we ought to try and pay attention to it. That’s why we love the Home Time project from New Writing North and Helen Shaddock – Helen had been carrying out the Locked In – Lockdown Diaries project, where she recorded details of her day (a song she listened to, a piece of news, the weather, activities etc), noticing the little things and making them into little events. These templates allow you to have a go yourselves – what are you cooking, what made you happy, what surprised you today? We’re having a go at this lovely project, and if you’re feeling rudderless in lockdown maybe it’ll help you focus on the music and the sunshine.

 

Age Rec: 8+

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WEEK 4: 12.06.2020

TO WATCH:

Saturday Night Live At The Stand

 

Live and interactive comedy show, from the fabulous Newcastle venue. Celebrating local artists hosted by the fantastic Sammy Dobson. There’ll be a live interview with none other than Chris Ramsey, some live stand up from Carl Hutchinson, Lauren Pattison, and Matt Reed, and a video from Game Of Thrones’ Commander of the Nights Watch Ben Crompton.

When: Every Saturday at 8:30pm

Age Rec: 16+

 

Running Time: Approx 2 hours

TO EXCITE:

Listen Up - Writing Commission

We’re super excited about our new Listen Up project - 9 micro-commissions (£100) to writers to write a short audio play that will last no longer than 10minutes with a maximum cast of 2 actors.

We’re committed to expanding the diversity of artists in the North East, and providing as many opportunities as we can. We like hearing and telling stories we haven’t heard before, and ensuring the Alphabetti family is as vibrant as possible. That's why we are specifically looking for writers who are in one or more of the following categories:

1. Identify as a woman

2. Identify as LGBTQ+

3. Identify as a member of a BAME (Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic) group

4. Live with a physical or cognitive disability

TO LISTEN:

Chessington World of Adventures by Beans On Toast

 

We adore Beans on Toast, the food and the artist. For his last gig in Newcastle our trustee - Ruth Patterson shared the bill with him, launching her new solo project.

 

Here's a new song about the clowns in charge, written and recorded from lockdown.

 

Beans on Toast is Jay McAllister, a folk singer from Essex whose songwriting deals openly with tough subjects like politics, drugs, and love. This new song whets our political whistle, we hope it does yours too.

 

Age Rec: 12+ 

Running Time: 4 mins

TO READ:

 

Forgotten Civil Rights Pioneers: A Reading List, by Jill Watts for LitHub

In continuing the fight for freedom, equality and justice, we must all strive to educate ourselves and better understand the social and political history that we did not learn at school. There is always more to learn and unlearning ignorance is a good place to start. There are lots of wonderful reading lists being shared currently – here is just one of them, focussing on civil rights figures from the 20th Century.

 

Age Rec: 12+

Running Time: Dependent on your reading speed

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TO DISCOVER:

 

All Houses Matter – the Extended Cut by Kris Straub

Many people, when discussing the Black Lives Matter movement (https://blacklivesmatter.com/), have been hit with that well-known counter of “All Lives Matter”. This comic by Kris Straub uses an analogy to explain the difference between these two statements, and the destructive ignorance from which ‘All Lives Matter’ springs. If there’s someone in your life who isn’t getting it – here’s a comic to help you out.

 

Age Rec: All

TO DO:

Crossword by Ali Pritchard

 

To while away the boredom of lockdown our Artistic/Executive Director decided to create his own crossword!

Can you complete it? 

You may need to think a little bit differently!

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WEEK 3: 05.06.2020

TO READ:

Black Lives Matter

 

Educate yourself and join the movement to fight for Freedom, Equality and Justice by signing up for updates, supporting their work, checking out their resources, following their social media, or wearing their official merchandise.

We all need to do more.

Age Rec: 12+

Running Time: Dependent on your reading speed

Additional links:https://www.vox.com/2016/7/11/12136140/black-all-lives-matter

https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/

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TO DO:

HITRECORD

Created by Joseph Gordon-Levitt

 

Hit Record is designed for us to be creative together.

'Find collaborators. Finish projects. Or start your own. On HITRECORD, people don't just post their own stuff - they make things together. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, whether you're into writing, film, music, or any other kind of art, you'll find our community a welcoming and positive place to be your creative self.'

People post what they need for their project - someone to illustrate a scene, to create a harmony to a new track, to write a poem around a theme - and you contribute to create something together!

Age Rec: 12+

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TO LISTEN:

Probably, written & performed by Degna Stone via Coracle’s Playstream

 

Originally produced and performed in 2019 by Coracle in association with Alphabetti Theatre, as a reaction piece for the co-production Down To Zero by Lizi Patch. This poetic monologue was adapted for radio in 2020, and in the current climate this is an essential listen. It’s tough, yet inspiring – let’s all fight to make the world a better place.

 

Age Rec: 15+

 

Running Time: 16 mins

TO DISCOVER:

 

The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things

 

You could lose yourself in here for days and never know what you’re about to discover! A treasure trove of the weird and the wonderful – a fascinating way to while away your time.

 

Age Rec: 12+

Running Time: Up to you

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TO EXCITE:

Curious Monkey

 

A company that makes the world a better place. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Curious Monkey are an independent, award-winning  theatre company who give a voice to under-represented people and raises awareness of the issues that they face.

Just before the UK went into lockdown, the Monkeys were about to open a new production that they'd been developing for 2 years - HERE. They could have gone home and waited for the world to return to a sense of normality, they didn't. They reacted and ensured that the marginalised groups that they work with - Sanctuary Seekers and Care Leavers - were supported. The Monkeys overcame the financial and logistical issues to be able to safely deliver care packages including art supplies, recipe ingredients and dongle wi-fi to help alleviate the loneliness, boredom, and ensure that their participants could keep in touch with friends and loved ones in this extremely tough time.

In a time when we need people to be and do better - Curious Monkey  are leading the way and that excites us.

TO WATCH:

Stems by Ainslie Henderson & Poppy Ackroyd 

 

This beautiful, award-winning, stop motion short film really made us smile. Despite it only lasting 2 minutes it took the best part of six months to make, which can be seen in the detail and skill in this wonderful piece of work.

Age Rec: 8+

 

Running Time: 3 mins

WEEK 2: 29.05.2020

TO WATCH:

Where Do We Go Next? Presented by The Bunker Theatre & W14 Productions

 

From the award-winning (and Alphabetti Friend) The Bunker Theatre comes this beautiful and crucial film project. Featuring six new short plays from underrepresented writers, interrogating the importance of diverse, political theatre in an increasingly hostile environment.

 

Age Rec: 16+ (mature content)

Running time: 6 videos overall varying in length from 6min – 16mins

TO READ:

Get That Balance by Kirsten Luckins, featuring Esther Bonner, Juley Easley & Tony Gradd

 

Kirsten Luckins has performed on every one of Alphabetti’s stages since we opened in 2012. Get That Balance was posted on her website in March 2020: the week we had to close our doors due to Covid-19.

We think these words represent so much during the current lockdown.

Age Rec: 12+

Running time: Dependent on your reading speed – approx. 5mins

TO DISCOVER:

Art Speaks: Rowan McCabe

 

Rowan, like Kirsten, has performed at all three of Alphabetti’s venues, and we’ve just stumbled upon this piece commissioned and filmed back in

2017 – it's important to talk about and it really made us smile.

Age Rec: 12+

Running Time: 2 mins for the film and approx. 5 mins to read accompanying material.

To Do:

Beverley Puppet Festival

 

The wonderful Beverley Puppet Festival always lead the way in how to overcome barriers, so when the world went into lockdown, did they cancel their festival? Did they heck! They moved as much of it as they could online. Here we recommend the 25 puppetry activities for all ages.

 

Age Rec: All

 

Running Time: Up to you 

TO LISTEN:

Dead Men's Clothes by Arabella Arnott, via Coracle’s PlayStream

 

Alphabetti associate company Coracle are still producing new work while the theatres are closed. Performed by the brilliant Jude Nelson, this is a short radio drama that will warm you through and through.

Age Rec: 12+

 

Running time: 12 mins

TO EXCITE:

Ali's been getting his DIY on!

 

Look what our Artistic Director has been doing!

 

We’ve had this in our plans for some time, and it’s finally coming together - when we are at last able to open, we will have a new music/poetry stage in our bar!

Fun Fact - Ali has knocked himself out in all three of our venues!

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WEEK 1: 22.05.2020

TO WATCH:

Rosie Stancliffe:

If Bozza Wasn’t Posh

 

Alphabetti associate artist Rosie Stancliffe has gone viral whilst experimenting in lockdown, using a verbatim performance technique called Recorded Delivery.

Age Rec: No swearing/unsuitable content

Length: 5 mins

Available until:  Indefinitely/YouTube breaks

TO READ:

Harry Low, featuring Alphabetti Trustee Ruth Patterson - How disabled people are problem-solving in the pandemic.

 

Alphabetti Trustee, lead singer of Holy Moly & The Crackers and disability advocate Ruth Patterson was interviewed by Harry Low for BBC Ouch, for this great piece about how disabled people are coping during this pandemic.

Age Rec: No swearing/unsuitable content

Length: 5 mins (depends on your reading pace)

Available until:  Indefinitely / BBC Ouch takes it down

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TO LISTEN:

Martha Hill:

Be Still (An Acoustic Lockdown EP)

 

Alphabetti associate artist Martha Hill has re-recorded a selection of songs from her debut album Be Still, and released it as an acoustic lockdown EP. You can listen to it for free on Spotify or buy it for £3 on her Bandcamp page

Age: No swearing /unsuitable content

Length: 20 mins

Available until: Indefinitely/Martha removes it!

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TO DISCOVER:

Alphabetti Associate Designer:

James Pickering’s artwork through #artistsupportpledge

 

#artistsupportpledge & @artistsupportpledge set up by Mathew Burrows is a simple concept, artists post images of their work which they are willing to sell for no more than £200 each (excluding shipping.) Each time an artist reaches £1000 in sales, they pledge to buy a piece of another artist’s work for £200. This creates a small but dynamic market where all can contribute whatever their level of success. This is a culture dependent on the honesty and generosity of our artistic communities at every level.

 

We have been really enjoying our associate artist James Pickering’s artwork along with the thousands of other artists joining the movement

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TO EXCITE:

Alphabetti’s first online performance LIVE on ZOOM!

Wednesday 24th June 2020 – 8pm

 

Uninvited Guests, Fuel & Alphabetti Theatre Presents:

Love Letters Straight From Your Heart

 

Wednesday 24th June 2020

Show begins: 8:00pm 

Tickets: Donate if you can Booking essential

Age recommendation: 12+

Running time: Approx. 60 mins

It’s a joyful, open-hearted show – an antidote to isolation. Join us online and we’ll raise our glasses to long lost loves and current lovers, to mums and dads, and to absent friends.

 

Every show is different, so we need your song dedications.

 

Choose a song for someone you care about, tell us what that person means to you and why you’ve chosen this piece of music.

“ It is a marvellous piece of theatre that blowtorches away Britishness and forces you to feel.” 

Time Out 

"You can't help but fall in love with it"

The Guardian 

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TO DO:

Collect WildFlowers for those who can't go out. 

 

It’s a beautiful time of year and lots of people can’t go out to enjoy it, So why don’t you bring a little joy to them?

WHEN PICKING FLOWERS, DON'T...

❌ 1. Pick flowers in public parks or community gardens

❌ 2. Pick flowers on National Trust property or nature reserves

❌ 3. Pick flowers from roundabouts, which are maintained by the council

❌ 4. Intentionally pick, uproot or destroy any plant without permission from the landowner or occupier

❌ 5. Pick any flower found on the Schedule 8 list of protected plants

❌ 6. Disturb wildlife within the area

 

WHEN PICKING FLOWERS, DO...

✅ 7. Pick flowers which are not privately owned or critically endangered

✅ 8. Pick only one flower out of every twenty. If there are fewer than 20 you should leave them

✅ 9. Pick flower from patches where there are lots of flowers, leaving plenty for others to enjoy

✅ 10. Leave a substantial amount of the plant to allow it to continue to grow

You will need: gloves/anti-bacterial wipes, scissors, string, a piece of kitchen roll, some water, a piece of tin foil, a paper luggage label (or make your own with a piece of paper/cardboard and some string).

 

Following the guidelines above and abiding by social distancing:

Write a message to the person you are delivering to on your label, then head outside!

 

Once you have picked your bunch, wet the kitchen roll and wrap it around the stems of the flowers, wrap this in the kitchen foil, hold the bunch together with the string and attach your label.

 

Deliver your bouquet! Before you put it down give the foil a wipe with the anti-bacterial wipe/spray.

 

Don’t know who to deliver to – your neighbours maybe? Or your local care home? Or you can look on this website for groups providing support to your local community: https://covidmutualaid.org/

© 2019 Kerrin Tatman for Alphabetti Theatre

Registered charity no. 1166449

St. James' Boulevard, Newcastle, NE1 4HP

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