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Live Theatre's Associate Artists for 2023 are gobscure and Kemi-Bo Jacobs.

Two radically political artists from the North East join Live Theatre for its landmark 50th birthday year. Writer-performer and artist gobscure and award-winning writer and performer Kemi-Bo Jacobs will work and develop alongside Live Theatre over the next 12 to 18 months.

Durham-based performer and writer, Kemi-Bo Jacobs won widespread acclaim last year for her debut solo play All White Everything But Me (Alphabetti Theatre) about the life of black tennis champion Althea Gibson which went on to be nominated for a Stage Debut Award and eventually to win Best Writer at the North East Culture Awards 2022. She is also recipient of the New Writing North and Channel 4 writing award 2021.

gobscure has developed a large body of work spiralling out of their lived experiences of homelessness. Live Theatre previously commissioned 'yu cant start revolutions sitting on yr arse' (bilingual BSL & spoken-English film) and premiered their solo show heartfelt as part of Jack McNamara’s inaugural season as Artistic Director. They were introduced to McNamara through Graeae’s Beyond Showcase which Live Theatre hosted in 2022.

Jack McNamara said: “At Live Theatre we’ve been hugely inspired by these two very different and utterly unique artists. Both with such a clear sense of purpose to their work and its political potential. The offer to be an associate is simply to say that we believe in your work and want to do all we can to help. But it’s also about identifying artists who we really think are leading the way, who we can learn from and challenge ourselves with. I’m genuinely excited by what these artists will go on to do and that we can play some part in helping make that happen.”

Kemi-Bo Jacobs said:It's a huge honour to be invited to join Live Theatre as an Associate Artist and to be given the opportunity to work with and learn from this incredible team. I'm really looking forward to using this time to explore new ideas and make work which has the potential to be staged and enjoyed by audiences in the region.” 

gobscure said: “during these tough times, thanx so much for supporting new writing (first typed new rioting) & believing in our work.  proud to be yr associate artist 2023.”

For half a century Live Theatre’s mission has been to bring cutting edge new theatre writing to the stage and to nurture creative talent. The Newcastle Quayside venue will be celebrating the big 5-0 with a superb line up of productions, readings, Live Encounters and special events.

  • Arts Council England
  • Community Foundation
  • European Regional Development Fund


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