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Five new works showcased as Unity backs arts start-ups; LDP arts edited by Laura Davis.

Byline: HannahNewton

A DARK comedy about loss, a onewoman exploration of grief and a piece of physical theatre based in a call centre are among the projects being presented in The Unity's Making Art Showcase.

Taking place at the Hope Place theatre next month, the programme includes five new works, all created under the venue's support project.

Making Art provides a small loan to up-coming production teams to cover the start-up costs of a performance. Alongside financial support, the scheme offers invaluable creative feedback and backing as well as marketing and technical assistance.

"It is not often that you are offered the chance to get something on the stage," says Matt Kirton, writer of The Daily Times, which is running from September 12-13. "It is a great opportunity."

The play, a topical, dark comedy of heightened reality, tells the story of newspaper duo Payne and Eager as they try to print a story that is 100% factual.

The Unity Theatre provides a venue where the production can develop in its early stages and many Making Arts participants have gone on to tour the country and perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

"The goal for any young artist is to see your work go to Edinburgh," says Kirton.

"I am proud of this work and would love one day to tour the North West with it."

The Unity tries to relieve some of the production team's peripheral tasks, while also giving it a supportive working environment.

"What the Making Art scheme tries to do is to get a project on its feet and get the ball rolling," says the theatre's artistic director, Graeme Phillips. "The projects result in what are called work-in-progress performances.

"We provide a venue in which participants can learn from the experience of presenting to the public and receive audience feedback." Elinor Randle, co-artistic director of Tmesis, an arts organisation named after a piece of physical theatre it originally performed at the Unity in 2003, benefited from the Making Arts scheme in the early stages of her career.

"The work in progress performance gives you the chance to do what you really want to do in a professional setting," she says.

"You finish it for that particular stage and that performance. This gives you room to be experimental, you get the chance to see what is working and what isn't."

The other performances in the showcase are: Tales from Under the Counter (September 9-10), a dark comedy exploring loss, discovery and the blight of all things small; 7 Stages of Grief (September 14-15), a one-woman performance examining the journey you make after a loss or trauma; Reflections of Projections (September 16-17), about souls locked inside a forgotten world; and Plastic Factory, a physical piece examining the mundane life of employees in a call centre.

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Mike Idvis and Carl Roberts Mike Idvis, Oliver Reynolds and Amy Stokes rehearse The Daily TimesPictures: JAMES MALONEY/ jm230811arts-3
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 30, 2011
Words:487
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