Skimstone Arts are in residence at Queens Hall 18th – 23rd July and would like to thank Queens Hall for this opportunity of development and peer mentoring.
In today’s world of supposedly connected social media, how do people cope when they live alone behind their doorbells?
Doorbells is a humorous, poignant and reflective theatre show about the wonderful world of imaginative and surreal lands that enable survival of being alone, and where magical journeys unfold to transport us beyond the everyday.
The performance features original compositions with double bass, guitar and voice, alongside projections and soundscapes.
An earlier version of Doorbells, called Doorbells of Delight, was inspired by artistic interventions with residents living in Newcastle, during a week-long residency exploring how in our later years, we feel about our homes, neighbourhood and opportunities for connecting with others. This commissioned work is part of a research project between The Elders Council Quality of Life Partnership, Northumbria and Newcastle Universities, and Skimstone Arts, focusing on how our communities are changing, and how we may explore opportunities, choices and challenges that this presents.
By 2025 almost one in every four people in the UK, will be aged over 65 (ONS 2011)(1) and currently in Newcastle 37% of people aged 65 and over, live alone (2). Such statistics raise critical questions such as whose responsibility is it to secure all our futures, our individual and collective older age.
Performance photography © Ali Pritchard
Office for National Statistics (ONS) (2011) National population projections, 2010-based, Office for National Statistics
Know your city: a profile of the people living in Newcastle (2014) Accessed 12th June 2014
Claire Webster Saaremets – Kathleen / vocals
Peter Saaremets – Paul/ guitar
John Pope – Johnny / Double Bass
Josep De Garcia – Lighting & AV Technician
‘The music was magical and the non-existent stage design (apart from a few props) worked extremely well …and the story, which I loved because my eyes were drawn to the actors at all times.’
‘Love the bells…Good mix of theatre and music,loved it …Raised some important issues of loneliness.’
– Audience responses, Scratch Night at Northern Stage, Newcastle Dec 2014
“Skimstone Arts skillfully capture the tension between people being anxious about contact with strangers and the self-made enjoyment of the imagination – the bitter sweet mix of being alone”
– Prof Charlotte Clarke, Edinburgh University