Today, whilst the team open Of All The People In All The World in Manchester Art Gallery, I’ve been on a site visit to Newcastle (or perhaps more properly now days – NewcastleGateshead). The potential venue looks ideal, an office space waiting to be let. It’s spectacular, vast, a U-shaped room with a metal floor and views of the Tyne and Sage. A low ceiling will suit the broad mountains of rice – more Fuji than Everest. We have spent so long rehearsing and performing in former factory spaces it will make a great change that for once people will be forced to do administration work in a former Performance space. With no drafts, no leaks, no dust, no oil, no sub-zero or super-tropical temperatures we won’t feel at home at all – it will be fantastic.
Yesterday the War Cabinet gathered for the first time; Rob, Gerv, Nick, Charlotte and me plotting to finally get Stan a permanent base. Somewhere that brings together office, rehearsal and storage space; like we had on New Canal Street but with no drafts, no leaks, no dust, no oil, humane temperatures and a life expectancy closer to fifteen years that fifteen months. We’ve been on this mission since long before New Canal Street got demolished. Are we the only theatre company in the world to have their rehearsal space knocked down turfed over and turned into fields?
I remember when all this was nothing but buildings.
Our vision for the new space is fluid. We could be in it alone, be tenants or be landlords. It could be snug just for us or be closer to a punk Arts Centre. Our deadline is 2008. This time we’re serious and unstoppable. The problem has always been circular: “how do you raise money for a space that doesn’t exist? How do you raise a space with money that doesn’t exist?” Yesterday we identified a path to solving this problem and the first steps have been taken. Where better to tap out the future than on the quasi-infinite train journey from NewcastleGateshead to BirminghamSandwellDudleyWolverhamptonWestBromwichWalsallSolihul?