On Tuesday, 11 November, members of our Young Company met internationally renowned writer Jackie Kay and Associate Artistic Director, Matthew Xia to generate ideas for a new show, BRINK.

"BRINK will be a unique collaboration between the Young Company, Jackie and Matthew. It is a fantastic opportunity for the young company to work alongside such renowned theatre makers whilst still developing their own skills and practice. BRINK will look at moments of change and turning points in life. Tuesday marked the start of this process with Jackie and Matthew meeting the young people and listening to their experiences and stories. We are adamant that the show will be reflective of the young people we work with and to realise their stories and experiences in a creative and theatrical way. Stories were shared about moments of being ‘on the brink’ and what brink means. Jackie was also interested in stories related to shoes – shoes we might be wearing when we step over the brink. She will then use the material shared by the young people to begin developing the play. This collaboration will continue into the new year before the play goes into rehearsals with Matthew in January."
 Matt Hassall, Young People's Programme Leader

We are keen to hear your ideas for BRINK…

- What is the brink to you?
- When have you been on the brink?
- What could #BRINKING mean?

Get involved on Twitter now! #brinking

@rxtheatre @JackieKayPoet I did some serious #brinking on Monday at an open mic spoken word night by forgetting the words one minute in...

Me and @Tiffster221 #brinking to the extreme today in our quest for take that tickets ;) @rxtheatre @JackieKayPoet #rxyc

The unknown abyss or the edge of a brilliant idea? #brinking #rxyc @rxtheatre @JackieKayPoet

@jackiepoet @rxtheatre #brinking the fear of a drastic change

Presented by Royal Exchange Young Company, BRINK is written by Jackie Kay and directed by Matthew Xia. It will receive its world premiere in The Studio from 26 - 29 March 2015.

What brings you to the brink? When you are so close to the edge - do you go forward or turn back? What happens if you cross over? Who are you on the other side? At a crucial point in your life, at the steep place, the threshold, the fork in the road, the turning point, did you move towards success or head for catastrophe? It is make or break time on the brink. These are pivotal times. Vital days. Life offers you chances that bring you to the brink. Small changes. Big changes. Everything is possible when you are so close to the brink.

"I knew that my first show in Manchester would, for me, have to be a statement of intent and an exemplary beacon of what I believe theatre is truly for. So when asked if I wanted to direct the Young Company's first show in 2015 I leapt at the chance. I'm genuinely excited to be working with them and to be involved in an opportunity to make a professional show in which they have a majot input and ownership of. I look forward to building a brilliant ensemble company to lead the audience right up to the brink... and beyond." Matthew Xia, Associate Artistic Director

JackieKayJackie Kay MBE is an award-winning writer of fiction, poetry and plays, whose subtle investigation into the complexities of identity have been informed by her own life. Jackie's awareness of her different heritages inspired her first book of poetry, THE ADOPTIONS PAPERS (Royal Exchange Theatre, 2007), which was a critical success and won the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year, as well as a commendation from the Forward Poetry Prize judges. Subsequent collections and her celebrated first novel, TRUMPET, have contined to explore issues of cultural and sexual identity as well as the intimacies and upheavals of love. Kay  She has won awards for Guardian Fiction Prize and Lambda Literary Award for Transgender, and has received nominations for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Carnegie Medal and Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry. Jackie has also written poetry for children and he first children's novel, STRAWGIRL (Royal Exchange Theatre, 2007) was published in 2002. 

MatthewXia250pxMatthew Xia is the Royal Exchange Theatre's Associate Artistic Director. Matthew is an award-winning theatre director, composer, journalist, broadcaster and DJ. Matthew received the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme bursary in 2013, taking up the post of Director in Residence at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres. Matthew’s theatre credits include SCRAPPERS and the Young Vic’s sell-out production of SIZWE BANZI IS DEAD, for which he won the Young Vic’s Genesis Future Director award. Known for promoting new UK talent under the pseudonym DJ Excalibah, Matthew won the Best Radio Show and Best Radio Presenter awards in the hip-hop press for his BBC 1Xtra show, TALES FROM THE LEGEND in 2003, 2004 and 2005 - giving initial airplay to artists including Estelle, Professor Green, Example, and Plan B. Excalibah performed for a global audience as headline DJ at the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony.