Northern Stage (formerly Newcastle Playhouse) has welcomed this year’s Title Pending winner, writer-director Kirsty Housley, into its city centre venue. Kirsty won the opportunity to embark upon an intensive two week residency, where she has a free reign over using Northern Stage’s facilities to create a new piece of exciting theatre.
Kirsty Housley beat off national competition from over 75 other creative professionals who applied for Title Pending. The unique annual residency, currently in its 2nd year, searches for innovative, thoughtful and intriguing ideas for new theatre. Kirsty’s project is called She Stood at the Window and it will be developed, nurtured and supported by Northern Stage’s creative and technical team.
“It’s really rare to get this level of support when writing a new piece of work, as you normally have to go a long way on your own before you reach this stage. Title Pending has totally met my expectations – it has been an incredible experience!” said Kirsty Housley.
Kirsty is impressed by the way Title Pending has been tailored to her needs and how it’s a really good ‘fit’ to what she’s trying to create.
Kirsty (aged 33) is originally from Southampton but currently lives in Haringey, London with her husband. She studied at the University of Warwick and on the National Theatre Studio’s ‘Director’s Course’. This is Kirsty’s second visit to the North East, her first being to take part in the Great North Run in 2008.
Kirsty added: “Normally at this stage of the writing process, you have to imagine what a scene will be like; but with Title Pending you can actually explore all of the possibilities and get professional actors to ‘road test’ the work. This is a very immediate and priceless function to have at your disposal.”
Kirsty concludes: “The whole fortnight has been massively useful for me; especially being able to collaborate from the very beginning… it has been fantastic.”
Kirsty was able to use her first week as an exploratory writing and directing exercise and then the second week has been allocated as an extended technical rehearsal – where the work comes to life onstage with help from the acting and technical teams.
By the end of the fortnight She Stood at the Window should be close to a finished piece, with all of the layers in place. It will enable Kirsty to later put the finishing touches to the production.
The local actors Kirsty has been working with during Title Pending have been: Gary Kitching, Ruth Johnson, Karen Traynor and Jemma McDonnell.
Mark Calvert, Northern Stage’s Creative Associate, said: “We are really proud of Title Pending as it allows for somebody to explore and push the boundaries of new writing. Giving them the freedom to take a germ of an idea and create something special.”
“Northern Stage looks to provide a unique theatre experience that can help nurture the very best in UK writing and directing talent.”
Northern Stage is recognised for its innovative and engaging approach towards programming new writing on a regional, national and international platform. The Newcastle-based city centre venue allows audiences to be treated to top theatre performances and gives up and coming and experienced creative professionals the stage they require to showcase their work.
Last year’s winners of Title Pending were Greyscale (www.greyscale.org.uk) the scheme allowed them to develop and create a series of ideas that in turn made it to the stage; this just shows how invaluable the theatre programme can be when encouraging new writing.
For further information about the work programmed by Northern Stage (formerly Newcastle Playhouse) or to learn more about schemes like Title Pending please visit www.northernstage.co.uk.