Whether it’s Chip and Pin (to access your finances), a driver’s licence (for your vehicle), loyalty cards (retail requirements) or a travel pass (transport needs) – they all require personal information about us and in return we are allowed to access a service.
The mother of all cards is about to be unleashed by the government as part of its controversial UK ID card scheme, where the details of everybody up and down the nation will be held on a ‘super computer’.
Many groups, individuals and activists oppose the programme as they feel it will impinge on peoples’ human rights. One of those groups is Newcastle-based charity, Pakistan Cultural Society (PCS) – they are doing their bit for the campaign by bringing to the region the critically acclaimed play Another Paradise by KALI Theatre company.
Another Paradise will take to the stage of Live Theatre in Newcastle on Monday 16th March. The play uses the ID card theme as the nucleus to its comedy-drama (further information about the play can be found in the Notes to Editor section of this press release).
This topical and thought provoking new play takes a sideways look at a controversial government policy that will soon have a deep and far reaching effect on our everyday lives. The dreams, dilemmas and bewilderment provoked by the daily struggle against an increasingly absurd and incomprehensible system will soon be painfully familiar to us all.
“I started to write this play when the identity card debate began to hot up. Around the same time it was becoming clear that huge computer systems were unstable, unmanageable and ridiculously expensive. How could the government even contemplate getting the entire population’s identities on a single database?” Said Sayan Kent, Writer of Another Paradise.
Sayan adds: “The potential for things to go wrong is too great to ignore. What will it actually mean if all our personal information is at the fingertips of a civil servant… or a hacker? Does that violate our individuality? Who we are, what we are? If biometric ID cards become reality, it will move us as a nation into surreal territory. And that’s just where my play is set…”
Another Paradise has been brought to the North East by the Pakistan Cultural Society (PCS) in association with Live Theatre and ARC.
After Monday night’s performance in Newcastle, Another Paradise will go to ARC in Stockton (Tuesday 17th March) – as part of KALI’s national touring programme.
Pakistan Cultural Society (PCS):
Mr. Mumtaz Sanam, Chair of the Pakistan Cultural Society (PCS), said:
“Plays like Another Paradise are an important way for topical issues of the day like the ID cards scheme, to make the transition from the news pages to the stage.
“The PCS is keen to support projects that promote the importance of protecting peoples’ human rights, not only for UK citizens but for those people who plan to live or work in this country in the near future. It also provides an opportunity to show just how powerful the arts can be, in getting across delicate cultural messages.”
“We are also delighted to have Live Theatre and ARC as our partners for this show and hope this partnership will continue in future through more exciting opportunities.”
Jim Beirne, Chief Executive of Live Theatre, said:
“Another Paradise is a great example of the type of work Live Theatre supports; new writing with a hard-hitting message. We’re delighted to welcome back Kali Theatre Company with this commanding play which is one of many productions on offer as part of our exciting visiting theatre programme.”
The Next Move: Please find below the ticket details for KALI Theatre company’s North East performances of Another Paradise.
Duration: 90 minutes – no interval
Date: Monday 16th March
Venue: Live Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne
Extras: £10 / £8 concessions
Box Office: (0191) 232 1232
Address: Broad Chare, Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3DQ.
Date: Tuesday 17th March
Venue: ARC, Stockton-on-Tees
Extras: £10 / £8 / £5
Box Office: (01642) 525199
Address: Dovecot Street, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1LL
For further information about Another Paradise please visit KALI’s official website www.kalitheatre.co.uk
Notes to Editor:
1). Another Paradise is a glimpse of our world, not so far in the future, where Biometric ID Cards have become compulsory and people are validated only by their digital ID in the National Identity Computer. But the system is crumbling. ID fraud is endemic. Identities are being accidentally lost, corrupted and even deleted. Yet the all powerful system still decides who you are, even if you are sure you are really someone else.
In the vivid and contemporary production, five characters’ work lives, homes lives, even their sex lives, are thrown into confusion and chaos when their official identities disintegrate, with surprising and hilarious results.
2). Another Paradise credits – by Sayan Kent, Directed by Janet Steel, Designed by Alice Hoult and Video Designer – Christopher Megginson
3). Pakistan Cultural Society (PCS): The PCS is one of the North East’s most astute arts development organisations with over fifteen years experience of actively promoting the richness and diversity of South Asian Arts. The acceleration and growth of PCS is the result of a being guided by a very forward-thinking group of passionate board members, who represent the organisation’s long term vision.
The board isn’t exclusively Muslim as it holds representatives from a cross section of the community – providing PCS with a culturally diverse make up that will assist in the positive progression of the organisation for years to come. The PCS board still has a loyal presence of local businessmen who almost two decades ago helped to build the foundations of the organisation.
The cultural group prides itself in programming exciting and dynamic concerts, events, festivals, education workshops and commissions for regional, national and international audiences.
For further information about the PCS please visit www.pakistanculturalsociety.co.uk
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4). Live Theatre: Situated on Newcastle’s vibrant quayside in Newcastle upon Tyne, Live Theatre is recognised as one of the country’s leading new writing theatres and has gained a fantastic reputation for the way it finds, nurtures and develops regional talent and transforms ideas into performance of the highest quality for stage, radio, film and television – www.live.org.uk
Founded in 1973, the theatre was recently transformed via a £5.5million redevelopment. The result is a beautifully restored and refurbished complex of five Grade II listed buildings with state-of-the-art facilities in a unique historical setting, including a 170 seat cabaret style theatre, a studio theatre, renovated rehearsal rooms, a series of dedicated writer’s rooms as well as a thriving café and bar.
Live Theatre is grateful to the following organisations for revenue funding: Arts Council England, Newcastle City Council, Coastal Productions, The Big Lottery and Children in Need.
5). ARC in Stockton upon Tees – An Arts Centre is both the space and the people within it. Its concern is with creativity, artistic expression, teaching and learning and personal development. It serves as a focus for the community in celebrating its diversity, its past achievements, its present strengths and its future potential.
For further information about ARC and its work please visit www.arconline.co.uk
6). KALI Theatre company develops and presents new theatre writing by South Asian women. It seeks out strong individual writers who challenge our perceptions through original and thought provoking theatre that reflects and comments on our lives today. No idea is too small; no statement too large. They actively encourage their writers and audience to reinvent the theatrical agenda. Since it was established in the mid 1990’s, this award winning company has established a reputation for taking audiences on unpredictable journeys that inspire, excite and intrigue.