1980s punk rock is celebrated in a new production at Newcastle’s Live Theater

A new production at the Live Theater in Newcastle is a wild celebration of punk rock and the 1980s.

Charged with the lawless spirit of the Northeast, We Are The Best! is a high-energy ensemble comedy about finding your voice, the power of friendship, and the joy of holding up two fingers to a society trying to define you. The staging is based on the cult 2014 film of the same name.

Set in Stockholm in 1982, the story follows friends and misfits Bobo and Klara. Tired of oppression from classmates, parents and teachers, Bobo and Klara decide to start a band, joined by Hedwig, the shyest girl in school. They are on a mission to change their world and their hair.

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We are the best! is directed by Jack McNamara, Artistic Director and Co-CEO of Live Theatre. This will be his first production at Newcastle Quayside. Jack says, “It’s a piece about the unapologetic joy of DIY creative expression. To be who you are and find your own way against the endless tide of adult banality. For this opening show, I wanted to give everyone a messy, massive, loud hug.

“It’s been a nightmare for a few years but there’s always joy to be had, there’s always friendships worth fighting for and there’s always art to be made. And sometimes, more this art is loud and messy, the better. How else to express the craziness of the times we are in?”

We are the best! at Newcastle’s Live Theater captures the spirit of the 1980s and punk rock

The show’s writer, Rebecca Glendenning, adds, “I’m so excited to be working on this loud, rambunctious anthem of a show. It’s a love letter to the days before you started learning what real life was and before the boring administration of life set in.”

Jack McNamara continues: “Our production of We Are The Best! currently showing at the Live Theater is set in Stockholm in 1982. At that exact time, here in the North East, there was an explosion of punk and DIY happening mainly in Gateshead and documented in the glorious book From the Garage to the Station and Beyond, published by Amorphous Pieces .

“Punk” is of course a massively overused word, and “post-punk” is beginning to suffer the same fate. But in a way, its overuse is a positive thing. Punk is less about specific bands or styles. It’s kind of a spirit that can belong anywhere and to anyone. It becomes synonymous with doing what you want in an energetic and unrefined way. This is not a historical description.”

We are the best! runs until Saturday, June 18. Tickets are priced from £10 to £24, with discounts from £6. To book tickets and find out more, contact the Live Theater box office on (0191) 232 1232 or visit www.live.org.uk


Diana J. Carleton