Customs House appoints new writer for youth festival

A young playwright will see his first full play on stage after being appointed young writer in residence at a South Shields theatre.

By Tom Patterson
Monday, 22 April, 2019, 06:00
The Customs House, South Shields

Elijah Young, 20, graduated as an actor from a training course at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal in July last year and his latest play. Isolation, is to be performed at The Customs House, South Shields, on Friday, May 31, as the finale of theatre’s annual Takeover Festival.

Takeover is a youth arts festival organised by young people for young people under the age of 25 in the north east.

Elijah said: “I am buzzing to be the young writer in residence as a part of The Takeover Festival.

“The Customs House brings so much great theatre to the north east and has been committed to nurturing so many emerging artists.

“It was at this theatre I was first ever encouraged to write. I am honoured to have my first ever full play commission there.”

Isolation follows the story of six students and their teachers at a school in the north east of England and the week they spend together in isolation.

Cabin fever sets in amongst the students and teachers, which leads them to reveal sides of them they wouldn’t normally share.

Fiona Martin, deputy director – learning and participation at The Customs House, said: “We were delighted with the number of strong applications that we received from young writers who wanted to have their work staged at The Customs House, but for us, Elijah really stood

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out.

“We are really looking forward working with him and to produce a new piece of theatre.

“We already have over 40 young actors lined up for auditions, so are confident we’ll get a fantastic cast to showcase Elijah’s work.

“It’ll be a wonderful night of funny and inspiring theatre by a talented local writer.”

She added: “This work is possible due to the generous support of our funders; South Tyneside Council, Arts Council England, Scottish Power Foundation, The Leche Trust and Noel Coward Foundation.”

The Takeover at The Customs House in South Shields is preparing for its fifth year and the youth arts festival - held during the May half-term holiday.

Takeover is a week-long arts festival that is produced by, with and for young people to develop and showcase their leadership skills.

It features music performances, theatre shows, visual art exhibitions and workshops.

Takeover runs from Monday, May 27, to Friday, May 31, and features theatre, cinema, music, dance, poetry and visual art.