Berwick-Upon-TV is a blend of theatre, film and art coming to Berwick-Upon-Tweed this month between 10th and 12th September 2021.  The event starts at Berwick Visitor Centre but carries on throughout the town. Berwick-Upon-TV has been created in partnership with the local community to help boost interest in the local high street and bring people together  at a time when people are struggling  from the effects of Covid-19.

“Save Local Business. Save the Arts. Save Berwick-Upon-Tweed.”
-     Scott Thomas, Director.

These are three aims by theatre makers Emma McNeill and Scott Thomas in their newest venture- Berwick-Upon-TV. The two creators are recent graduates from Queen Margaret University’s Drama and Performance course.  Emma and Scott are based in Glasgow, Scotland, but they want to travel around the country doing projects which can help connect the local people with their locality and heritage.
The project is a multi-media heritage tour which uses a careful blend of audio guided narration, short films, live performance, and an art installation to bring Berwick-Upon-Tweed’s exciting history into the 21st century. The audience put on a pair of headphones while a narrator’s voice tells them where to go and what to see. It guides them across the town to see the hidden pieces of history which are on every street corner and every shop window.

Berwick-Upon-TV started as an online survey asking Berwickers for their thoughts on Berwick and on a possible heritage tour. People in Berwick feel alone and isolated. The town is so far away from other big cities and towns and as a result they cling to their strong heritage. But even that isn’t well advertised around the town. The high street is losing its popularity and empty shop windows are scattered across the small town. This isn’t helped by the affects of a global pandemic closing businesses for over a year.
So Berwick-Upon-TV is here to bring the community together. Theatre and the arts have also taken a huge hit from the Covid-19 pandemic, so this is the perfect time to be coming back and putting on new creative work. This kind of multi-media performance challenges the normal style of performance in a way that keeps people safe. The show is experienced alone, through a set of headphones, so the listener has full control over how fast or slow they go.

At nine points, the audience are brought to nine local businesses within the town. These include gift shops, cafés, the Visitor’s centre and much more. Here, the audience watches a short film created by amateur actors from the local community. One of these short films is a recorded live performance that took place last month at the Berwick-Visitor’s Centre. A few months ago, Berwick-Upon-TV hosted an introduction to performance workshop led by theatre maker Rebecca Donati.  This gave the public an opportunity to try their hand at acting, many for the first time. The actors were then offered roles in the short film elements.

Berwick-Upon-TV has brought together local businesses, amateur performers, professional film makers and a wide range of people from the local community. Together they are building connections and helping to make this town a better place to live and visit. Everyone who has taken part is very excited to share their hard work with the audiences this September.

BERWICK-UPON-TV is at Berwick Visitor’s Centre from the 10th-12th September. Ticket’s available online from Ticketsource.co.uk by searching for Berwick-Upon-TV or from the following link: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/berwick-upon-tv