Cheryl Martin – Who Wants to Live Forever?


  • Touring windowAutumn 2017 - Spring 2018
  • CreditsDeveloped as a Divergency micro-commission with support from hÅb + STUN; supported through the Black Gold Arts Festival and an Artist Residency at Lawrence Batley Theatre Cellar.
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Cheryl Martin – Who Wants to Live Forever?

Writer, director, performer, poet and jazz singer Cheryl Martin is taking her Billie Holiday inspired show Who Wants to Live Forever? on tour this year, following the show’s success in Manchester last Autumn.

The hour-long, one-woman show told from the heart will be performed at theatres across the UK in March, April and May, visiting towns and cities throughout the North and South.

A jazz fantasy about loss, love and hope, set among the stars, Who Wants To Live Forever? combines science fact, real-world psychological observation and autobiography with lots of live jazz vocals to ask why some stars shine more brightly than others, human and celestial, and why people love to watch them falling.
It’s all channelled through the music of legendary African-American jazz singer Billie Holiday, the first star Cheryl wished on as a child.
The tour will begin on Thu 15 March in Oldham, before stopping off in Sheffield, London, Brighton, Leeds, Liverpool and finally, York.

Cheryl Martin explains: “My father had a really good jazz collection, lots of be-bop, Thelonious Monk, Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday. Billie was my main influence, and I talk about singing along when I used to share a bunk bed with my little sister.
“In the show, I wonder why people are so fascinated by falling stars, both human and the real thing. I talk about how stars are formed and why I love to go camping and look at the stars.
“I also talk about my family, about my little brother and how he died. They told me a white guy was shooting into cars with Black people in them.”
Martin’s brother was hit, finally passing away 20 years later at the age of 39.
She adds: “Like my other show Alaska, Who Wants to Live Forever? ended up being about my own life because I didn’t know how to digest what happened any other way. Most people in society don’t talk about these things either, and people don’t know how to talk to you.
“The show is also very funny though. The truth of life is that nobody cries all the time.”
Who Wants to Live Forever? is directed by Darren Pritchard, with lighting and set design by Andrew Crofts and dramaturgy by Sonia Hughes.
A work in progress version was previously part of the 2017 PUSH Festival, the annual celebration of some of the North West’s most creative and exciting talent. The Dukes in Lancaster also provided a week’s residency for the show this September.

Cheryl Martin – Who Wants To Live Forever Press Release

‘“It’s both intelligent and beautiful… A production that gets you deep down in your mind, heart and soul.” Quiet Man Dave

OLDHAM
Oldham Library
Thu 15 March 2018 @ 7pm
www.oldham.gov.uk/info/200395/find_a_library/722/oldham_library_and_lifelong_learning_centre
0161 770 8000

SHEFFIELD
The University of Sheffield
Tue 17 April 2018 @ 8pm
www.enableus.group.shef.ac.uk
0114 222 0200

LONDON
The Albany, London
Wed 18 and Thu 19 April 2018 @ 7.45pm
www.thealbany.org.uk
020 8692 4446

BRIGHTON
The Marlborough
Fri 20 April 2018 @7.30pm
www.marlboroughtheatre.org.uk
01273 273 870

LEEDS
Slung Low
Sun 13 May 2018 @ 5pm
www.slunglow.org

LIVERPOOL
Unity Theatre
Thu 24 May 2018 @ 8pm
www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk
0844 873 2888

YORK
York Theatre Royal
Fri 25 May 2018 @ 7.45pm
www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk
01904 623568
 


Cheryl Martin was born in Washington DC, grew up in nearby Maryland, and went to university at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts in the States and Emmanuel College, Cambridge in England. She loves Manchester, her adopted city.
Cheryl Martin is a unique voice in today’s theatre, both in her own performances and in the work she makes with others as a director. In both kinds of work, she examines experiences that most people are afraid to talk about, but approaches them with a humour, warmth, and raw honesty that draws audiences in and allows them to explore with her, fearlessly.
Whether directing a writer like Alan Bissett in unearthing Scotland’s uneasy colonial history, or performing in her one-person show, Alaska, to unearth a personal history of hospitalisation and mental illness, she brings a lightness and wealth of imagery to create worlds audiences love to dwell in.
That relationship with the audience is always key, creating a bond, creating trust, carrying them with you into a world they may think they fear to enter. In many immersive shows created with refugees, she invites the audience to live, for a short time, what other people’s lives feel like. With the joy and the wonder and the beauty that entails, as well as the harsh edges.
Cheryl has won Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards as both writer [ Best Community Production, Heart and Soul (Oldham Coliseum) and director, Best Studio Production, Iron by Rona Munro (Working Girls/Contact); an Edinburgh Fringe First as co-director and producer of Traverse Theatre’s Breakfast Series The World Is Too Much, and in 2015, a Lloyd’s Bank Regional Award for the immersive play she directed for Community Arts Northwest, Rule 35. She was longlisted for the 2015 Polari Book Prize for her collection of poems, Alaska (Crocus/Commonword) that was made into her critically acclaimed debut show Alaska.

 


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