By this time next Thursday I will have finished my last performance of One and be on my way home from Stockton.
(I say it is the last… It is the last one that I know about at the moment. I would like to think I will do it again. But, I may not)
I am excited to be doing it in Stockton. It feels sort of right.
ARC is a venue that has supported me since I first set my stall out and said, “I’m not quite done with my dream of being a performance maker.” Since 2010 when Jill and I walked in to a meeting room in Theatre Royal, Newcastle to successfully pitch for the very first Bridging the Gap support scheme. Since then they have supported the development of The Reservation and One. I’m a member of the ARCADE scheme for supporting artists’ development and although I don’t get to as many workshops or use as many of the (often) free tickets as I would like, I consider myself very lucky to have had ARC in my corner.
ARC is a big tardis of a venue, with so many different spaces and a big beating heart. It’s foyer and bar are light and bright. It’s staff are friendly. I always get a buzz, just walking in to the building.
On Mondays, they have a little meet and greet with the companies working in the building. With cake!
It is a venue that has people at the heart of everything it does – as well as welcoming them in, it reaches out, working to be part of the community. To prove that places like Stockton, and the people who live there, deserve good art too.
And so next week, I am going to try and give them some. In my own, funny, cheesy little way. I’m going to welcome everybody in to my space, look them in the eye, offer them a drink and (for those who are inclined) a dance. I hope they will enjoy it as much as I usually do. After all, it might be the last time…