By Tony Earnshaw
An inspiring, moving yet laughter-filled theatre project focused around ‘legacy’.
The Causeway is a cross-generational, site-specific, community-centred performance inspired by the journeys of the Lindisfarne Gospels.
About the show
In 2022, the Lindisfarne Gospels were put on display at the Laing Art Gallery Newcastle – the very area of England where they were originally created. The Causeway project celebrates this homecoming.
The play, especially created by writer Tony Earnshaw, is a promenade performance containing drama, story-telling, music, clowning, installations, personal stories and audience participation.
Throughout, The Causeway focuses on the idea of legacy, inspired by the epic journey of the Lindisfarne Gospels:
- what enables legacy, and how we can facilitate preservation
- the power of the small, the individual and the collective
- how we can learn to care for ourselves, each other and the planet
In the performance, we meet the monk Eadfrith in his monastic community over the causeway in Lindisfarne, as he painstakingly copies and illustrates the 4 main Christian texts.
Then we follow the monks fleeing from Viking invaders to find a home in North-East England, carrying – within their precious Gospels – the legacies of beauty, creativity, faith, care and love. Woven into this history are modern-day scenes offering questions, insights and inspirations on the theme of legacy.
(Click to enlarge)
Photos by Chris de Wilde.
For the original 2022 production in Gateshead, during the weeks before performance there were preparatory projects in local schools where children created art work, acted short scenes, learnt songs, dressed up, designed and made elements for the show, while listening and talking about legacy in the world and to each other.
In parallel, students from Newcastle College received mentoring to support their creative talents, and the broader community was involved in ‘making workshops’: creating puppets, sets, costumes and installations, and developing a bank of personal histories, music and choir performances.
The involvement of Age UK Gateshead gave seniors a particular role in the project.
By developing projects with a strong emphasis on community involvement, we encourage people to reach outside their existing context and explore diverse approaches to life. Further, we create a network of interpersonal relationships, inter-organisational connections, social cohesion and teamwork.
We also always aim to deliver transforming benefit, during the duration of our projects and as a lasting legacy thereafter.
The Damn Cheek team for The Causeway is headed by Artistic Director Darren Cheek and writer and Executive Director Tony Earnshaw along with Designer Chris de Wilde plus actors, musicians, stage management, and audio-description/BSL interpretation staff drawn from the existing team of Damn Cheek associates.
The full team for the 2022 Gateshead production is below, along with our generous funders and partners.
We were very grateful to receive financial support for The Causeway from Barbour, The Gladiator Trust and The Souter Charitable Trust.
Want to book The Causeway?
Want to book us to perform The Causeway in your area?
Want to know more about our other projects?
Contact Darren asap for a quick informal chat on 07956 891 110.