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Forward Theatre: Genesis

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Our brilliant Associate Company, Forward Theatre Project, are touring their new show GENESIS this autumn. Artistic Director, Charlotte Bennett, tells us what it’s all about…

In 2013, I met a brilliant, inspiring woman called Morag Siller.

Morag was an actress, had incurable breast cancer and was the patron of charity Prevent Breast Cancer. She told me about this small but radical organisation; the UK’s only charity to solely focus on breast cancer prevention, which had started with a vision of finding an alternative way to achieve a breast cancer free future – and I was blown away.

Morag wanted to create a play to raise awareness of prevention and asked if I would work with her. We wanted to look at how we could reach not only scientific minds but non-scientific ones by telling the human stories behind the science. And so myself and playwright Frazer Flintham, interviewed patients and scientists to create a new play: GENESIS, which tells a story about genetic testing for breast cancer.

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As part of ‘tooling up’ we spent hours ensuring we understood the science and the terms (the sort of stuff that if you are a non-science bod make you want to bolt). We know how to tell human stories, but understanding the science was the real challenge. It was hard but GLORIOUS. And the support from the brilliant staff at Prevent Breast Cancer empowered us to make a play that is now as scientifically informed as it is theatrically crafted.

Morag passed away in April. She was a woman who campaigned right to the end of her life to bring the science of this charity into the fore of the conversation about a breast cancer free future. And she was also a brilliant actress who recognised the ability of theatre to have conversations with audiences about difficult things like genetic testing by using humour, drama and story. And so we make this one for her.

And now here we are, rehearsing this important piece of theatre in Manchester. We premiere at The Lowry, Salford. We then tour to Soho Theatre, London, then to Cumbria, Preston and Doncaster.

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Booking details are here:

11th – 12th November The Lowry (8pm, 2.30pm and 8pm) Tickets £12 / £10 concessions

15th – 19th November Soho Theatre (7pm, Sat matinee 4pm) Tickets £16 / £14 concessions

22nd November Beggar’s Theatre Cumbria (7.30pm) Tickets £10 / £7 concessions

23rd November  Preston Continental  (8pm) Tickets £8 / £6 concessions

24th November Cast Doncaster (7.45pm) Tickets £10.50 / £9 concessions

GENESIS is supported by funding from Arts Council England, the Teale Charitable Trust, the Richard Carne Trust, Talbot Validus, the Granada Foundation, the Unity Theatre Trust, the Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, Morag Siller, other private donors, and our crowdfund backers.

HOPELESSLY DEVOTED (thanks) to you

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It’s just over a month since we brought down the curtain on Kate Tempest’s extraordinary play HOPELESSLY DEVOTED.

Since we premièred the show with our co-producers Birmingham Rep back in 2013, it has visited 43 different theatres. We’ve performed in fields and at German theatre festivals, on campus at Universities and at local arts centres: we’ve been anywhere and everywhere finishing with a bang  at London’s Roundhouse just before Christmas.

We’ve received an overwhelming response to the show over the past few months, so rid us of those January blues we’ve picked our fave bits of your feedback to share here.

Brilliant, great acting, very moving.  Made me cry.  What’s coming next?  Can’t wait!
Karen Raphu, Aylesbury

Saw @painesplough #HopelesslyDevoted by @katetempest @Pegatweet *Brilliant* young people that we took lit up like Xmas trees! Great theatre!
@smacula

Best show I’ve seen since being at uni!  Honestly amazing!
James Ashfield, Lincoln

With the help of the incredible Roundhouse Digital Productions team we also live streamed HOPELESSLY DEVOTED online. We’ve just checked out the viewing figures:

664 people watched the show live with overall playbacks totalling 2,365 in 30 countries.

@painesplough @RoundhouseLDN Wow! amazing stuff. big thanks for bringing #KTHopelesslyDevoted to my kitchen in #Manchester. Incredible show.

Boom. Thanks for tuning in y’all. AND to all of you who came and watched – a MASSIVE thank you.  We loved performing the show for you and reading your feedback.

#KTHopelesslyDevoted