An innovative show exploring the very concept of stories and what they mean to us premieres at the Theatre Royal Plymouth next week.
2000 Stories is part of the Mayflower 400 cultural programme and is by the groundbreaking Beyond Face, a performance company that aims to raise the profile of people of colour in the arts in Plymouth.
After the sold-out success of their previous show Mixed Grill, Beyond Face have created a show about stories; the ones that have stayed with us, the ones we have forgotten and the ones we may have been forced to hear.
It examines the current complex debate around authentication and ownership of other people’s stories and reflects the core Mayflower 400 values of freedom, humanity, imagination and the future.
“I’m bringing everything I ever knew- everything good, strong, kind and powerful. I bring it all with me into every situation” Maya Angelou during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, December 2000.
While 2000 stories don’t individually feature in the show, we are taken through multiple stories of the personal, fictional and political.
One woman shouldering what she perceives to be her responsibility. But how do everyone else’s stories affect her ability to find her own? The books she surrounds herself with on stage are only the beginning.
Our understandings of how stories are told have evolved over time and we look to other people’s stories to help shape our own. The interest in stories is modernised with the popularity of audiobooks, podcasts and other audio mediums breaking into the vast cultural offering available to us digitally every day.
Audiences can expect the trademark Beyond Face stamp on the show: surprising, intriguing theatrical work that challenges perspectives and how we see the world.
With a through-line of political change, parallels to current affairs and a captivating performance, there’s plenty for audiences to get their teeth into.
Alix Harris, Artistic Director of Beyond Face says “We have gone on a really significant journey over the last four years of understanding and being responsive to the people that we work with.
“Our very existence as a company is challenging the theatre ecology within Devon, and who is represented on our stages and within cultural organisations. 2,000 Stories embodies our values and ethos as a company.
“We create conversations and provoke challenging questions through our work and themes that are relevant to everyone but are via the lens of people of colour. We are excited as a company to be recognise for the quality of our work rather than a box ticking exercise.”
Beyond Face have been making ground-breaking work in the city for over a decade from the grassroots of Plymouth’s cultural scene. Specifically focussing on artists of colour based in the Plymouth area, 2000 Stories is supported by Arts Council England and is part of the Mayflower 400 Culture Programme with Plymouth Culture. It’s the first project to come to fruition from the funding, one of 11 each inspired by the legacy of the Mayflower in Plymouth.
You can see 2,000 Stories at the Theatre Royal Plymouth in The Drum from Wednesday June 19 until Saturday, June 22 (7.45pm every day and 3pm on Saturday). Visit https://www.theatreroyal.com/whats-on/2019/2000-stories/
It will also be performed at the Exeter Phoenix, the Voodoo Lounge on Saturday June 29 and Sunday June 30 from 7pm on both nights. Visit https://www.exeterphoenix.org.uk/events/2000-stories/
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