Audience invited to Gatecrash party at Hartlepool theatre

Gatecrash gives members of the audience the chance to become part of the performance.
Gatecrash gives members of the audience the chance to become part of the performance.

People have the chance to join in a hi-tech theatre show which will see the audience acting as part of the set.

Audiences of young people can become gatecrashers as they infiltrate an intimate gathering which uses ‘Silent Disco’ headphones to either listen to the variety of simultaneous conversations happening around the room or just dance to the music.

The show called Gatecrash is coming to Hartlepool’s Town Hall Theatre later this month, and will give audiences the chance to wear headphones to listen to the performance and also take part.

In a custom-built living room, partygoers have complete freedom of movement to eat, drink, look through the bookshelves, join in the games and make as much noise as they like as they add to the chaos of Sam’s disastrous birthday party.

With his parents on holiday, Sam is having a house party, but his sister invites the audience.

Throwing out the theatre rulebook, audiences can join different parts of the party at the press of a button, choosing whether to listen to Jonno as he tries to chat up everything that moves, Imogen as she gets increasingly drunk, Sam’s sister Jazz as she vies for popularity, or poor Sam himself as he attempts to regain control and find his wayward hamster.

Gatecrash toured widely in 2014 and now returns as part of the Strategic Touring initiative from Arts Council England.

In the lead up to each residency, Zest Theatre’s artistic director Toby Ealden will also work with groups of young people in each venue to help organize, produce and promote the performances.

Peter Knott, Area Director, Midlands, Arts Council England, said: “One of the Arts Council’s ambitions is to give children and young people opportunities to be creative.

“Gatecrash has been designed with teenagers and that’s why we’re investing in Zest Theatre’s plans to take the production on tour.

“It will be a fantastic opportunity for more young people to get involved with the theatre-making process.”

Writer and director Toby Ealden said: “Using Silent Disco headphones, not only can we make actors’ voices audible over the noise of the party, but it brings the exciting addition of performing dual content simultaneously.

“This means that whilst the 60 people in each show attended the same party, no two people’s experience will be the same.

“Following the success of our national tour, we are delighted to be gatecrashing venues across the country again.

“Gatecrash puts young audiences in the centre of the action and lets them control the experience theatre on their terms.

“It’s fun, energetic and sometimes just very messy. We can’t wait to harness the excitement the show creates to inspire a new generation of young audiences in each venue.”

The show will be held from Tuesday, February 23 to Friday, February 26 and lasts one hour.

Tickets cost £8, or £5 for students. To book call the Box Office on 01429 890000 or go to www.destinationhartlepool.com