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Regional Tour 2013

The Space Between Us

End of Tour and Catrina's new blog

We ended The Space Between Us tour at Live Theatre on Saturday 20th April - read Catrina's blog on creating this thought-provoking piece of work

"beautiful, heartbreaking, powerful & at times really funny"

Find out what people are saying about Open Clasp's latest tour The Space Between Us.

Casting for The Space Between Us

Open Clasp are looking for female performers who have good vocal and physical training. Strength with accents and an ability to play an instrument and/or sing is an advantage. At this stage we are looking for actors who are based in the North as we will be holding auditions in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Starting A Song To Sing

Artistic Director Catrina McHugh's first blog is about Open Clasp's new project A Song To Sing

A Song to Sing

A Song to Sing is Open Clasp's new project beginning in April 2012. We aim to collaborate with Black, Asian and/ or minority ethnic women including women from Gypsy/ Traveller communities to create a new piece of theatre.

"moving, funny and brilliantly acted.. thought-provoking and heart-warming" The Journal

“Although its roots are deep in this region, Open Clasp’s work is far-removed from Geordie theatre. It shows a grass roots radicalism and genuine commitment, coupled with professionalism” British Theatre Guide 2013

Since April 2012, we worked with 116 women through a series of drama workshops and one-to-one interviews to capture the experiences of minority communities, and in particular Arabic women, Czech/Roma women and Czech/Roma and Slovak/Roma young women, British Travellers both living on sites and in houses and women who have been refused asylum and are now destitute and in fear of deportation, mainly from countries within Africa. Using drama techniques each group created a character with their own story to tell which directly inspired The Space Between Us.

The women who informed The Space Between Us were from:

Roma Family Group - Riverside Community Health Project
Women’s Group - Open Door North East
Time for Me – Tyneside Women’s Health
Arabic Women’s Group – West End Women & Girls Centre,
BME & Gypsy/Roma/Traveller Team – Middlesbrough Council,
Patchwork Girls, Culture Exchange - Sure Start Children’s Centre East

Many thanks to them and all of the individuals who told their stories.

A note from the writer Catrina McHugh:

I have had the honour to work with women who are Czech/Roma, Slovak/Roma, Travellers, women seeking asylum, those who are refused and experiencing destitution, Arabic women, from Libya, Syria and Kuwait; 116 women from over 22 countries, blown from four corners of the earth and living in the North East of England.

Using drama techniques, and one to one interviews, the women shared their stories, views and opinions.  Whilst I got to grips with the detail of the women’s lives, their journeys and experiences, I also wanted to look at the bigger picture.  I wanted to understand why 43 million people are displaced in the world, why one billion women will experience violence.  I have to give credit to Prof Maggie O’Neill and her book Asylum, Migration and Community.  I connected with this book on so many levels, and it gave me the understanding I needed, not only about the why, but also about what we want to achieve for our futures.  This book, and spending time with Maggie, has directly informed the creation of The Space Between Us.

This play is a testament to the strength and courage shown when people are faced with the challenges of inequality, injustice and humiliation.

The Space Between Us is for all the displaced people, both men and women who are making history but not of their choosing.

The North East of England is in the grip of a storm on a biblical scale. Three months of rain fall in one day, roads are closed, rivers are bursting their banks and the region is submerged under water. Blown from four corners of the earth, four women seek sanctuary, security and refuge. However, all is not as it should be and the women find themselves in a battle not only with the rising tide and with each other, but with humanity itself.

The Space Between Us invites audiences into a world that is full of conflict, love and hope.

Audience members say:

"A truly thought-provoking piece of theatre. Excellent."

"Fantastic!! A stunning piece of work. Another Award-winning show, Highly Recommended."

"Epic! Thorough and intriguing storyline with great cast. Well done!"

"Brilliant, thought-provoking - LOVED the soundscape/music and spaces. The quality of acting also brilliant and very moving. More of this please."

"Wonderful! There indeed is no space!"

"It was refreshing and moving to see an honest portrayal and realistic dialogue, thank you soo much, this work really deserves to go to a much wider and larger audience."

Facebook followers say:

"Well it was AMAZING! Breathtaking, upsetting, funny, frightening - every emotion possible."

"It was beautiful, heartbreaking, powerful and at times really funny. Thank you so much. Everyone should go and see this play. Amazing and important!"

The Journal says The Space Between Us is "moving, funny and brilliantly acted... thought-provoking and heart-warming"