Asking the earth to listen - new play in Brighton

Earth Teeth (contributed pic)Earth Teeth (contributed pic)
Earth Teeth (contributed pic)
ThirdSpace Theatre is offering a new social issues play co-created with young people in Brighton.

Earth Teeth is a striking new piece by ThirdSpace associate artist Sarah Leaver. It explores the responsive power that young people possess to bring about change in a world they did not create. Ritual, superstition, myth, and chaos. These are the only tools they have when all hope is lost as they ask the Earth to listen. But what will the Earth want in return?

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Written for young adults and developed alongside award-winning youth theatre group ThirdSpace Theatre, as part of her Developing your Creative Practice funding, Sarah has spent the past eight months working with the young people to write and develop the script.

“It's been an absolute honour to work with these amazing young actors to develop my new play Earth Teeth,” she said. “Seeing these ideas come to life with such a passionate and committed cast has blown my mind. This story is a response to the times. It is about hope; it is about collective faith, about understanding over knowing, about reconnecting with nature and looking to ancient practices to find out how. It is also about despair; it is about a group of people on the cusp of adulthood and in the midst of a climate crisis trying to understand how to be on this planet.

“The planet is dying and civilisation has well and truly gone off the rails. The voice of the people has been left unheard for too long. Protests and chants have resulted in nothing. In the face of hopelessness and overwhelming odds, a group of friends turns to the Earth itself for help. Earth Teeth is a heady mix of stark naturalism, dark humour, poetry and ritual. It is a play of the times; hopeful and desperate.”

Rosa Yates, an actor from ThirdSpace Theatre, said: “Earth Teeth is so relevant to young people's exasperated attempts to make things right in the world. The characters' methods are so surreal and otherworldly.”

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Earth Teeth has been partially funded by the Chalk Hill Community Trust Fund and will be performed at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts on July 12 and 13 at 7.30pm.

ThirdSpace Theatre currently runs 17 drama clubs at different locations across Brighton, Hove, and Lewes, including Brighton Youth Centre, The Crew Club, and Hollingdean Community Centre, as well as other schools and community centres. Over one third of places are currently attended for free, and heavily subsidised places are available for those who otherwise could not afford access to the arts.

Sarah Leaver has worked in theatre for 25 years as an actor, teacher, and youth director. Sarah wrote and toured her solo show, Memoirs of a Hermaphrodite, from 2010. As an actor and deviser she worked extensively with Company Collisions and Periplum Theatre, touring the UK and internationally. Sarah has taught, directed and trained young adult actors for 15 years (Northbrook College, Institute for Creative Training, Academy Creative Training, Brighton). She has completed an MA in Creative Writing and received a DYCP to develop her writing for young adults.

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