Cause UK is working with The Civic Arts Centre in Barnsley for the next three years to promote their ‘Moved by Art’ community engagement programme.
The Civic is a vibrant arts centre in the heart of Barnsley with a 336-seater theatre, gallery, exhibition and workshop spaces.
The Civics’ community engagement programme ‘Moved by Art’ is a progressive programme of festivals, exhibitions, performance and events taking place at The Civic and within non-traditional theatre settings. The Civic provides Barnsley and the surrounding communities with a culturally significant voice whilst also entertaining and encouraging debate.
‘Moved by Art’ is taking high quality theatre to unlikely venues, such as working men’s clubs, bringing culture into the heart of communities.
The community engagement programme begins with a new play called Glory by Nick Ahad which delves into the larger-than-life world of British wrestling. The play grapples with the themes of identity and race in multicultural Britain and takes place on Saturday 23 March, 7.30pm: Jump Club, Wentworth Road, Barnsley, S74 0JX.
As British wrestling experiences a resurgence across the UK, Glory will immerse audiences into the larger-than-life world of the sport. Set in a decrepit gym in the north of England, the stage at the working men’s club will be a pop-up wrestling ring.
Jason White, Community Engagement Officer at The Civic, said: “Moved By Art really offers the chance for people in my home town to connect with culture on a really personal and visceral level. The Civic hosts and develops the very best in performance and visual arts and we want the wider community to feel like they are part of it. Moved By Art’s ambition is to take what we do here out to people and make them part of The Civic family.”
Glory sees faded star Jim ‘Glorious’ Glory and amateur wrestlers Dan, Ben and Sami confronting their demons and each other, as their lives collide – inside and outside the wrestling ring. The unique world that British wrestling inhabits provides a backdrop to Nick Ahad’s state-of-the-nation play, as it grapples with race, identity and what it means to be British today.
Playwright Nick Ahad said: “I used to watch wrestling when I was a little boy. I still remember the excitement of seeing Giant Haystacks fight Big Daddy at Victoria Hall in Keighley in the 1980s. But I thought British wrestling was a relic of the past. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Wrestling is alive, well – and as entertaining as ever. With larger than life characters and a perfect combination of sport, performance, blood and sweat, it is pure theatre. It is also the perfect arena to explore the Britain we all share today. I can’t think of a better place for drama to play out than the inside of a wrestling ring.”
Glory is a co-production by The Dukes Theatre and Red Ladder Theatre Company in association with Tamasha, marking the first collaborative partnership between the three organisations. Directed by Red Ladder’s artistic director Rod Dixon (The Damned United/ Mother Courage and Her Children), it is performed by Josh Hart (Dan), Jamie Smelt (Jim Glory), Ali Azhar (Sami) and Joshua Lyster (Ben).
Tickets for GLORY (£4) at the Jump Club are on sale now via The Civic Box Office: 01226 327 000 or online: www.barnsleycivic.co.uk
Photo credit Andrew Billington.