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Mind the Gap by Abi Brown at the Royal Albert Hall and Picturehouse Cinemas nationwide

25 February, 2011

PRESS RELEASE

Issue date: 25 February 2011

Mind the Gap by Abi Brown at the Royal Albert Hall
Monday 14 - Friday 18 March 2011
Mind the Gap screened live to Picturehouse Cinemas
Wednesday 16 & Thursday 17 March 2011

A young man pushes a girl in front of a passing tube train; a devoted boyfriend is left struggling with the trauma; an old woman suffering from the onset of Alzheimer’s is unable to remember whether she met her long lost son.  This very contemporary play, Mind the Gap, by Abi Bown questions the suffering we all endure on a daily basis whilst exploring where we have come as a society through the advances in brain research.

For the second year running, the Royal Albert Hall’s Learning and Participation team and Y Touring Theatre Company are staging a week long theatre residency as part of National Science and Engineering Week and Brain Awareness Week 2011.  Each performance will be followed by a debate to encourage discussion around the ethical questions posed by advances in neuroscience and the future of brain research and will feature a guest expert in the field of neuroscience.

For the first time, a screening of the live performance of Mind the Gap from the Hall’s Elgar Room will take place in eight Picturehouse cinemas nationwide on Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 March 2011. This pilot of national screenings aims to enable more students to participate in this creative and engaging way of exploring the ethics of science whilst increasing the reach of the hugely successful partnership between the Hall’s Learning and Participation team and Y Touring. The live screenings will be introduced by a facilitator and followed by a live debate with a leading neuroscientist, including eminent scientists such as Professor Colin Blakemore, Professor Richard Ashcroft and Professor Lewis Wolpert.

Mind the Gap explores the lives of three disparate people who find themselves stranded on the deserted platform of an underground station: Vijay, caught in an eternal moment of remembering a crime he’d sooner forget; Maya, slowly descending in to a world of chaos, her memory crumbling away; and Dino, whose fractured psyche is soothed only by the drugs he takes and thoughts of escape. They are ministered to by Silas, the lone kiosk attendant, self styled healer and purveyor of Kit Kats and crisps. Together on platform 2B these four minds are compelled to confront the devastating nature of Alzheimer's disease, the agony that is post traumatic stress and just what it is that could drive someone to kill at random.

Nigel Townsend, Y Touring’s Executive Director said, ‘We are hugely excited to be piloting screening our work in this way. Screening live theatre in cinemas is a crucial way of expanding the reach of the work, while retaining a live discussion element.’

Debra Cougill, Deputy Head of Learning & Participation at the Royal Albert Hall said,
‘The Royal Albert Hall was built for the advancement of arts and sciences so our partnership with Y Touring is vital, not just in expanding our outreach programme, but in creating opportunities for young people to have direct access to some of the country’s leading scientists.’

The production has been developed in partnership with the Association of Medical Research Charities and funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Royal Albert Hall, Central YMCA and The Hobson Charity and is presented on screen in partnership with Picturehouse Cinemas and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA).

Mind the Gap
Written by Abi Bown
Directed by Nigel Townsend
Designed by Jaimie Todd based on an original idea by Ben Dickens

Live at the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room, Monday 14 – Friday 18 March 2011
In Picturehouse Cinemas, Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 March 2011

Participating cinemas:
Wednesday 16 March 2011 at 10am
Norwich Cinema City
Liverpool Picturehouse at FACT
London Stratford East Picturehouse

Thursday 17 March 2011 at 10am
Oxford Phoenix Picture House
Cambridge Arts Picturehouse
Exeter Exeter Picturehouse
York City Screen Picturehouse
Southampton Harbour Lights Picturehouse

For more information and for details on how to book:
www.theatreofdebate.com or www.royalalberthall.com/explore
or ring the Picturehouse booking line on 0871 902 5747

Notes to editors

For more information please contact:
Ellen Morgan - 020 7959 0500 ext. 3004 or ellenm@royalalberthall.com 

Y Touring

Y Touring Theatre Company is an operation of Central YMCA, the UK's leading activity for health charity and the world's first YMCA. It is an ITC/Equity registered, award winning professional theatre company, established in 1989 by Nigel Townsend. Y Touring audiences are young people and adults. Its mission is to produce quality theatre, new media, drama workshops and educational resources that enable audiences to explore and debate difficult and sensitive health based issues. Y Touring pioneered Theatre of Debate® and continues to use this format in many of its productions.

Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall is the world’s most famous stage. Its breathtaking auditorium hosts over 370 shows a year by the world’s greatest artists. The magical atmosphere combined with inspired artists creates legendary events.  Opened in 1871 as part of Prince Albert’s vision for a centre for the Arts and Sciences, and a registered charity operating without public funding, it remains true to his founding ambitions within a modern context.

Extending the brand with over 120 events outside the auditorium, the Hall has broadened its appeal to younger, diverse audiences whilst still engaging its existing customers. It also works extensively with schools and young people through its Learning and Participation programme, reaching over 30,000 participants each year.

For more information, please visit www.royalalberthall.com

Contact Us

For press enquiries, please contact:

Press Executive

Rick Burin
rickb@royalalberthall.com
020 7959 0531

Marketing Executive

Ellen Morgan ellenm@royalalberthall.com
020 7959 0500 Ext 3004

Senior Marketing and Press Manager

Jessica Silvester
jessicas@royalalberthall.com
020 7959 0510

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