Interesting news from the Ambassador Theatre Group, which owns and runs the Liverpool Empire, as it has announced a new writing project.
The Empire is home to many a touring show, including many produced by ATG, but certainly not known as a champion of new writing, so this is something very different indeed.
Forming part of the London 2012 Festival, ATG will premiere and tour its venues with The Ripple Effect by Ursula Rani Sarma, who has written for companies including the National Theatre, Traverse Theatre and the Abbey Theatre.
The Ripple Effect has been commissioned by the ATG Foundation, a charitable trust that supports creative learning projects in ATG’s 39 venues nationwide. The aim of the project is to connect with young people from diverse backgrounds with limited experience of arts engagement.
“As a company, we are all excited by the London 2012 Festival and are well placed to deliver such a large, ambitious project.,” said Rosemary Squire, ATG’s joint chief executive.
Ursula Rani Sarma said: “As a playwright, this is an incredibly exciting and ambitious project both in terms of its affiliation with the London 2012 Festival and the opportunity to work with so many individuals throughout the UK. I have seen first-hand how much it means to these young people living all around the country to be part of the Olympic celebrations and to serve as the inspiration for an original play written for them to perform. It feels like a truly groundbreaking project and I am thrilled to be involved.”
Ursula will be working with 27 groups of young people across the UK to produce five short plays of approximately 20 minutes that are linked thematically, and loosely inspired by the concept of the ‘Olympic truce’. Each piece will stand alone and will also fit together chronologically to deliver a complete full length play.
The initial creative consultation phase will involve Ursula travelling to meet with several hundred young people from various backgrounds around the UK. After this, she will then write the five plays that will make up The Ripple Effect.
The Liverpool Empire is one of the organisations funding the project, and will host a one-off performance of The Ripple Effect on July 31.