Passion for the Planet: About the project
A community-centred, site-specific theatre project, a multi-faith exploration of Creation stories with an environmental core.
The piece centres on the crucial themes of sustainability and care – care for the Earth and all its guests, care for self, care for each other.
In partnership with Gateshead Deanery, Damn Cheek CIC is currently working with schools, colleges and community groups from the Gateshead area.
Through COVID-secure experiential workshops, participants are exploring Creation stories and environmental themes through drama, narrative, letter-writing, music, artwork, costume, scenery and installations. Where possible, all making is done using recycled or sustainable materials.
We’ve designed this preparation process to develop and enhance personal creativity, self-esteem, mental well-being, and artistic skills.
In July and August 2021, the inspiring creativity and art emerging from the community culminate in a specially commissioned, sustainability-based, ecologically themed professional production.
This site-specific promenade performance, for adults and children of all ages, takes place within and around the beautiful building of Christ Church Felling.
Damn Cheek’s actors and musicians lead the audience on an immersive, 50-minute journey combining music, song, dance, mask, puppetry, storytelling and multi-media installations. The performance will be fully COVID-secure.
Passion for the Planet places community at its heart. Local participants help shape the performance content material, and take the lead in creating scenery, costumes, masks, puppetry and installations.
Community members also support practical aspects of the performance, including front of house, marketing and publicity, stage and production management.
In these challenging times, Damn Cheek CIC is thrilled to be bringing together performers, supporters and audience in a professional production – and, post-lockdown, helping reunite the community in a COVID-secure yet playful, family-friendly environment.
Past and future
Damn Cheek CIC’s experience in large-scale community theatre, including The Malvern Mystery Play (2019), led to the invitation to develop a Mystery Play for the Gateshead Deanery.
When COVID-19 took hold and the Mystery Play became unfeasible, we instead grew the vision that has become Passion for the Planet.
We hope this will be the first of many inspiring partnerships with the Deanery – including the original Mystery Play, now planned for 2022.
Passion for the Planet is an exciting co-production between Gateshead Deanery and Damn Cheek CIC.
Damn Cheek was born out of 24 years of collaborative practice and from a deep commitment to accessible, inclusive theatre. With wide experience of community projects – small-scale, large-scale and everything in between – we are also proud to have so far produced 16 new shows during the pandemic.
We’re delighted to be supported in the project by our vibrant and inspiring Steering Committee, a multi-talented core team of professionals from diverse beliefs, local churches, organisations and institutions, including:
We’re also hugely grateful for the funding support we’ve already received for Passion for the Planet, including the many generous people who have so far sponsored Darren’s (COVID-delayed!) upcoming run in the London Marathon.
Our wonderful funders so far include:
We are very keen to partner with other funders and organisations and also with local organisations and businesses who may want to be involved in this timely and important community-centred production.
Passion for the Planet (July/August 2021) and our subsequent large-scale production Mystery Play (summer 2022) are 2 amazing opportunities to partner with us – and to make an important, active difference to the Gateshead community as well as to place your organisation visibly at the community’s heart.
Community creator volunteers
We’re inviting anyone, no matter what age, background or experience, to come and play, create and explore with us.
Learn how to make a mask, a puppet, a set, costume or props – all out of recycled materials! No experience necessary and all materials provided.
Community production volunteers
We’re inviting anyone, no matter what age, background or experience, to work on all areas of support and production, including:
- box office
- front of house
- marketing and publicity
- set and costume design
- stage management
No experience necessary and full training given.