Audience at centre of play

Benjamin Rennold awaits Little Rikjord's representatives. Picture by Robert Paul Steadman.
Benjamin Rennold awaits Little Rikjord's representatives. Picture by Robert Paul Steadman.

A new play exploring representation in the lead up to the general election that places the audience at the centre of the problem and demands solutions, is coming to Newbiggin.

The Town Meeting is set in the fictional Little Rikjord – a town in crisis, voted most picturesque town in Greater Doggerland four years running, but the town’s prosperity owing much to the open cast iron ore mine and with the current seam close to exhaustion, uncertainty looms.

On the eve of a crucial hearing, the audience, taking on the role of the town’s residents, must come up with a plan for Little Rikjord’s future assisted only by shambolic junior planning officer Benjamin Rennold.

The Town Meeting has been developed by local theatre company Cap-a-Pie in collaboration with Dr Paul Cowie, a researcher at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University.

The piece is both a chance for the audience to participate and an opportunity for them to help shape research.

Dr Cowie said: “I was really interested in developing this piece as it allows me to understand more about what representation means to different people.

“I research how communities engage with planning processes and I’m really interested and excited to both share my research with people and gain their expertise and knowledge.”

The Town Meeting is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England as well as funding from Newcastle University’s Engagement Team, Newcastle University’s Institute for Social Renewal and Newcastle University’s Institute for Creative Arts Practice.

The show will be at Newbiggin Maritime Centre on Saturday, May 9.

For tickets call (01670) 811951 or visit for a full list of venues and times.