Stars Are Fire26th June 2012 by Martin Gibbons
Stars Are Fire
By Francesca Waite
Stars Are Fire is a new play written by Francesca Waite, directed by Liz Postlethwaite and produced by Monkeywood Theatre for the 24:7 Theatre Festival 2012. This production follows Monkeywood’s previous success in the festival with A Song For The Lovers in 2006 and Maine Road in 2009, which had a subsequent Arts Council England funded tour.
When Carly’s mum dies, her dad decides they need a fresh start ‘back home’ in Northumberland. But Carly’s home is Manchester, it’s what she knows and who she is. As she struggles to adjust to their new, cold, lonely life, she wonders if her Dad really knows her at all…
Though one of Monkeywood’s Co-Artistic Directors, this will be the first time that Francesca’s writing has been produced by the company. A Manchester-based actor and writer, her other writing work includes On Standby for Verbally Challenged at The Contact, which she is currently adapting for film, and the short film The Artful Dodger, nominated for a Children’s BAFTA in 2010 and selected by North West Vision and Media for the Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival 2010.
Francesca explained what it means to produce Stars Are Fire in the festival, “Having been involved in the festival with Monkeywood twice before I’ve seen first hand what a fantastic opportunity it offers to writers to test and explore new work within a supportive arena. I’m delighted that Stars Are Fire is part of such a thriving, celebratory festival of new writing and I am looking forward very much to July.”
Stars Are Fire is the first collaboration between Monkeywood and director Liz Postlethwaite. Liz is founder and Creative Director of Small Things, a Manchester-based theatre company producing brand new participatory and performance work, whose production, The Resonance of Seclusion, was recently performed at The Whitworth Art Gallery. Liz’s other work includes numerous directing credits for The Library Theatre’s Young People’s Theatre Company, Bolton Community Theatre and The Lowry Summer School.
Monkeywood Theatre are a Manchester-based company who have been earning a reputation for creating and producing ambitious, innovative and accessible high quality theatre since 2003. Their latest Arts Council England funded production, Once in a House on Fire, toured to sell-out audiences in 2011 and 2012 and received Manchester Theatre Award nominations for Best New Play and Best Studio Performance for actor and writer Sarah McDonald Hughes.
Following Stars Are Fire, Monkeywood are researching and developing Flesh, a new play based on the true stories of young parents, in association with The Royal Exchange Theatre. Funded by the Arts Council England through Grants for the Arts, Flesh will be written by Sarah McDonald Hughes and performed script-in-hand at The Exchange in October. In August they will take Once in a House on Fire to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in collaboration with Northern Stage at St Stephen’s.
Press information: Francesca Waite firstname.lastname@example.org
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Notes to Editors
Liz Postlethwaite is a Theatre Maker and Writer currently based in Manchester, UK. Alongside her work as an artist and facilitator she is the founder of Small Things and the company’s Creative Director. This is a company making creative adventures that revel in the challenge and joy of existence. Following training as a Theatre Director at Middlesex University, RESAD Madrid and GITIS in Moscow, she has worked professionally for over 10 years. Her work focuses on making inventive and innovative theatre and creative experiences, telling stories that reflect the world around us and help us understand it better. In addition to this she has a wide range of experience developing and delivering creative projects in community settings and formal and informal education settings.
Liz is also interested in sustainability and creative ways that people can engage in projects and activities relating to this. She completed her Permaculture Design Course in February 2012 and is an Associate of the North Britain Permaculture Institute. She is engaged in a variety of different projects supporting sustainable community development in urban contexts. During 2011 she was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust travel bursary to visit Cuba to research Sustainable Urban Agriculture and to undertake a diploma on the subject within the Cuban Ministry of Agriculture.
Monkeywood make new plays that are rooted in our Mancunian community, with a real connection to where we live and work, to tour to local audiences and beyond. Much of our work focuses on the experiences of people whose voices are unheard and whose stories are untold. We believe in the power of theatre as a valuable tool to help explore and understand the world we live in and we work collaboratively with artists and audiences to produce brand new high quality, accessible and truthful theatre.
Previous work includes the 2011 and 2012 tour of ONCE IN A HOUSE ON FIRE (nominated for BEST NEW PLAY and BEST STUDIO PERFORMANCE for Sarah McDonald Hughes, Manchester Theatre Awards 2011); LAST ORDERS (nominated for BEST NEW PLAY, Manchester Theatre Awards 2011); MAINE ROAD; A SONG FOR THE LOVERS; COACH G and CLOSER.
Francesca’s Monkeywood credits: Once in a House on Fire, Maine Road, Last Orders, A Song for the Lovers and Coach G. Other theatre credits: National Express (Re:Play Festival 2011), Verbally Challenged (The Contact), Don Quixote (Kirov Ballet) and several tours with Team Players TIE Company. She has appeared in Dying To Be in Control, a short film by Them Wifies, and several short films by Shameless Films, including the title roles in Nona Transvaal and Avril Tungsten.