Cast’s Second Space & why it’s important to support your local theatre by Michéle Beck

As the dark nights draw in and summer clicks to autumn, when contemplating how to pass the long cold evenings…look no further – welcome to Cast’s Second Space.
The dynamic nature of the Second Space gives the theatre goer a 3D theatre experience, directly engaging them within the performance. As a willing participant there is no distinction between wealth or class.

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When you go into theatre and the lights dim, you want to entertain people from the beginning to end. You want them to be swept up in your story, on the edge of their seats…” (John Lasseter)

Long gone are the days where the gentry paid to be in the galleries, using cushions for comfort and the peasants paid a pretty penny to stand in the yard. The elitist theatre dwellers are behind us, theatre is here, in all its contemporary accessible glory and it’s here for the good people of Doncaster to devour.
The concept of space is a very important one in the theory of theatre as it is used to identify very different aspects of performance, the second space at Cast is a flexible performance area – the pull out raked seating can be removed for standing events and to maximise performance space. The seating is flexible and usually three sided but the view is great from all angles.
Employment: all ranges of skills will be used in the development and production of plays in the Second Space, talent real talent, writers, actors, costume designers and lighting specialists all partake in these productions. Doncaster has known its high level of unemployment through the years, we still suffer high numbers now. Cast gives opportunities to up-and coming artists and writers. The importance of the second space is a voice is given to those productions which won’t feature in the main theatre, this is for a range of reasons, the content.
Tackling difficult subjects and equality: The second space is daring, edgy but mostly it’s relevant. To mention a few of the productions; Bin Laden: The One-Man Show (Thur 5th Oct) looks at the events which surrounded 9/11 and the character of Bin Laden directly interacts with the audience. Giving the audience a different perspective, will they have an open mind and emphasise with the protagonist? Habeas Corpus (Thur 28th Sep – Sat 30th) through slapstick humour explores our society’s obsession with body image. The amazing Dark Horse Company is entirely made up of adults with learning difficulties and they bring their comedy You Have Been Watching (Wed 11th Oct – Thur 12th) to the Second Space.
I caught up with Chris O’Connor the script writer for Marching on Embers – a new play about the aftermath of violence in Northern Ireland and how it affected two generations of the same family. This showcased at Cast’s Second Space on 20th September.
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‘As an emerging writer having the opportunity to have my work performed at Cast’s Second Space is something I am incredibly grateful for. It gives young, emerging artists the chance to showcase some of the new and exciting work being developed in the region and beyond and without these sort of platforms a lot of these artists might never move on to the next level. Buglight, who I collaborated with on this project, are a new theatre company and like to make work that is bold, challenging and offers a new perspective on things so they feel like the perfect fit for the Second Space.’
If you missed Marching on Embers at Donny you can catch it at the below venues.
Harrogate Theatre: Fri 29th & Sat 30th 7.45pm
Oldham Library: Weds 4th Oct, 7.00pm
Square Chapel, Halifax: Thurs 5th Oct, 8.00pm
Bradford Playhouse: Fri 6th Oct, 7.30pm
Lantern Theatre, Sheffield: Sat 7th Oct, 7.30pm
The second space is everybody’s theatre, it is engaging, daring, dynamic and brilliant! To book your tickets and see the listings visit HERE.

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