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NEWS: Immersive audio experience We step outside and start to dance by Alison Carr is now available

We step outside and start to dance is a new immersive audio experience – now available – written by award-winning North East playwright Alison Carr (National Theatre Connections Festival 2021; The Last Quiz Night on Earth, UK tour; Iris, Live Theatre).

We step outside and start to dance is a new immersive audio experience – now available – written by award-winning North East playwright Alison Carr (National Theatre Connections Festival 2021; The Last Quiz Night on Earth, UK tour; Iris, Live Theatre).

The piece was recently awarded an OnComm which celebrates the best work presented online or broadcast during the Covid-19 lockdown, and is available to download now.

We step outside and start to dance is directed by Melanie Rashbrooke (Redcoat, Live Theatre; W*nk Buddies, Soho Theatre, Mixtape, UK tour) and features local North East actors Karen Traynor, Dale Jewitt, Sarah Lewis Obuba and Eleanor Chaganis.

The full team behind new immersive audio experience We step outside and start to dance

The project is inspired by an outbreak of uncontrollable dancing recorded in the 1500s when a woman did, indeed, step outside and start to dance. And kept dancing. Within a month, 400 people had joined her.

Why did this happen? Experts have put it down to mass hysteria brought on by extreme stress and hardships. Which surely begs the question – if ever there was a time to start dancing, isn’t it now?

Participants are invited to download the piece, press play and start to dance. Alongside the audio experience, there is also a BSL interpreted and captioned film. It’s free and any dancing is welcome, from brilliant to terrible, it’s just about taking part!

As Alison Carr explains: We step outside and start to dance isn’t explicitly about Coronavirus or lockdown, but it’s definitely a piece for now. It’s about an extreme uncontrollable reaction to extreme uncontrollable conditions, which is something we can all relate to.

“We’re inviting participants to let loose, to lose themselves in this world for half an hour and have fun. Participants so far have called it ‘much needed’, ‘uplifting and engaging’ and a ‘brilliant distraction’ which has been really lovely to hear. And it’s something people can take part in within the current restrictions. Alone, with their household or bubble, then potentially in small groups as and when things change.”

From school disco triumphs to ballet class embarrassments and glitter-soaked nights outs with friends, We step outside and start to dance is interwoven with real-life tales of dance successes and disasters.

Alongside the audio piece, the team have also released a series of Creative Challenges inviting anyone who’d like to to make, move, be inspired and keep creative during Lockdown #2. For more information, head to

If you are a community group who would be interested in accessing these activities, which can be hosted in-line with the Government guidance, please contact

Production manager and sound designer is Craig Spence, the producer is Emma Biggins and the piece is BSL interpreted by Caroline Ryan.

We step outside and start to dance is a 30-minute piece suitable for 14-plus and tickets are ‘Pay What You Decide’. This project is made possible thanks to public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England.


Alison Carr is an award-winning writer whose work has been performed on stages and in non-traditional theatre spaces across the North East and beyond.

Theatre credits include: Tuesday (National Theatre Connections Festival); The Last Quiz Night On Earth (Box of Tricks Theatre Company); Caterpillar (Theatre503/Stephen Joseph Theatre, Nominee – Theatre503 Playwriting Award); Remains (troublehouse theatre, Octagon Theatre); Iris (Live Theatre, Winner – Writer of the Year, Journal Culture Awards); Fat Alice (Traverse Theatre/Oran Mor/Aberdeen Performing Arts); The Soaking Of Vera Shrimp (Winner, Live Theatre/The Empty Space Bursary Award); A Wondrous Place (Northern Spirit, Nominee – Best Studio Production, Manchester Theatre Awards); Can Cause Death performed by Olivier Award winner David Bradley (Forward Theatre Project – National Theatre/Northern Stage/Latitude Festival).

Audio credits include Stuff performed by Olivier Award winner Sophie Thompson (Painkiller Podcast); Drenched (Nominee, Nick Darke Award); Dolly Would (BBC Radio 4).

(clockwise) Sarah Lewis Obuba, Dale Jewitt, Eleanor Chaganis and Karen Traynor recording We step outside and start to dance

Melanie Rashbrooke is a theatre director and producer who tours work throughout the UK to theatres, outdoor spaces and unexpected places. She is also the founder and artistic director of Newcastle based theatre company The Six Twenty.

Directing credits include: Redcoat (Live Theatre), W*nk Buddies (Soho Theatre and Traverse Theatre), Club Six Twenty (Alphabetti Theatre), I Made You A Mixtape (Summer Streets Festival), Mixtape (UK tour), Fans (the Albany, CAST, Northern Stage & Live Theatre), Breakfast Hearts/Choirplay (Live Theatre), Nthatu (Port Elizabeth Operahouse, South Africa) and Hamlet (Star & Shadow Cinema).

Producing credits include: GIFT: Gateshead International Theatre Festival, Ask Me Anything (UK tour), Goldfish Bowl (Battersea Arts Centre), Mobile (UK tour).

from News, Reviews and Features – My Theatre Mates

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