Spinning a Yarn with Grace and the Sea
In 2011-12 MATE Ensemble produced ‘The Yarn’ by playwright Rob Brannen and once again challenged the traditional boundaries of community theatre combining dark comedy, physical storytelling and original folk music in a highly entertaining community production.
‘The Yarn’ performed at Unity Theatre and Edinburgh Fringe in 2012 received 4 and 5 star reviews (locally and in Edinburgh) and was listed in MADE UP in Liverpool as Best Community Production 2012 http://madeup.lv/173200248/
“Everything that is good about theatre….an incredibly joyous piece. It felt like I had a smile on my face from beginning to end” Liverpool Theatre’s Best of 2012 Made Up 30th December 2012.
“An extraordinary theatrical production…poetic, engaging and identifiable…by the end, their joy becomes your joy and their sorrow your sorrow” 5 stars, Three Weeks, Edinburgh Fringe 2012
After seeing the short promo film of ‘The Yarn’ (see link) on social media Rob Brannen contacted MATE and began a dialogue which firstly led in him coming to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012 to see the production and then resulted in him making an approach to MATE to work with him on the creation of a brand new play – ‘Grace and the Sea’. Supported by De Montford University where Rob Brannen works as Head of Creative Arts. The play has been written with and especially for MATE Ensemble. The play is set on Crosby and Formby beaches and is inspired by the fascinating history of the Sefton coastline – including 5,000 year old footprints on Formby beach, the first lifeboat station in the world and Anthony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ on Crosby beach. Each character has been written especially for individual cast members based on creative workshops led by Rob Brannen and Director Gaynor La Rocca.
‘Grace and the Sea’ tours locally and to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the summer of 2014 and is supported by Arts Council England, the BBC Performing Arts Fund and Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley and Halewood councils.