What is The Meeting?!
Two weeks ago we had little to no idea. All we knew was that The Meeting was about community, The Meeting was about a city, artists, collaboration, people, concerns, celebrations, ideals, attitudes and most importantly - Newport.
I've lived in Newport since 2005 and back then I remember feeling a great sense of comfort from the city. Having lived in a small village all my life I found the closeness of people and the sense of community welcoming and warm. Although I will admit, my (perhaps) rose tinted glasses have dissolved a little, they have become eroded by pessimistic notions and peoples overall attitude towards Newport.
Tin Shed Theatre Co. has lived in Newport since 2010 (officially) although the three of us have been making work here for almost 8 years now. We've been criticised by Londoner's, invited to make a new home for ourselves in Bristol and are constantly left a bowl of food by Cardiff, but for some reason we've become attached to our Newport. In these (as my Grandfather might say) "Harsh Economic Times" it might seem stupid to stay in a city which isn't only lacking in interest but also in funding opportunities, an established arts scene, and more importantly, a true identity. But if we don't stay, who will? Where's the fun in waltzing into an already established artistic centre, surely there's far more exploration, spontaneity, meaning and adventure in creating our own... Right?
The good news is we are not alone. Since starting in Newport we have met many creatively-minded people all striving to make Newport a place where exciting live entertainment can happen. Two of these people are Gareth Clark and Merega Palser (AKA - Mr & Mrs Clark). The Meeting is our first collaboration together.
Along with Lauren Brown, Peter Farago, some friends, some artists and the words of the community we have created an immersive exploratorium of ideas, sketches, concepts and formats which have actually re-introduced all of us to the reasons why we love Newport and have decided to create work here.
The Meeting is happening in Newport from the 16-22 of November at the U.R.B.A.N Arts Space in John Frost Square.
Matinee's 2:30pm. Evening's 7:30.
Newport, weather your love it or hate it you want want to miss The Meeting.