Live Age Festival 2019


The idea for a festival originated through the activities of a research project called ‘Ages and Stages’: a continuing collaboration between Keele University and the New Vic Theatre which began in 2009. Led by Professor Miriam Bernard, ‘Ages and Stages’ was also linked with a partner project based at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, where an annual ‘Creative Age Festival’ has been held since 2008. It was our experiences on the ‘Ages and Stages’ projects, combined with two visits to the Canadian festival in 2011 and 2013, which prompted us to scope out the potential for holding such an event in North Staffordshire. As a result, in the spring of 2014, fourteen organisations came together to plan and put on this area’s first ever ‘Live Age Festival’. Held at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery and the Mitchell Arts Centre on October 1st and 2nd 2014, the festival celebrated continued creativity in later life and showcased the work and talents of local older people, arts organisations and practitioners across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.

Programme of Events

Friday 4 October

Sign up and welcome.

10.30am – 12.20pm
Told By an Idiot
The Way of the Idiot
An introduction to Told by an Idiot’s playful, risk-taking approach to making theatre, led by long-term Told by an Idiot collaborator, performer and director Stephen Harper. This two-hour physical workshop will be practical, anarchic and fun!
Suitable for practitioners, students and anyone who enjoys a creative challenge and learning more about theatre making in a fun and welcoming atmosphere.
Location: Workspace

11.00am – 12.20pm
Creative Writing with Kevin Fegan
Kevin is a highly experienced writer and theatre maker and currently an artist working with us on our Live Age Connects programme. Don’t miss this opportunity to share ideas and stories and develop your skills.
Location: Youth Room (first floor)

12.30am – 1.00pm
Ages and Stages performance
Join us for a performance by the Ages and Stages Theatre Company. Now celebrating 10 years of the Ages and Stages project with a new piece of work by the Company, Directed by Bryn Holding and funded by Arts Council England.
Location: Auditorium

1.00pm – 2.00pm

2.00pm – 2.15pm
FRONTLINE Dance Performance
Location: Auditorium
Join FRONTLINEdance’s engaging Moving Stories Dance Co, as they share a selection of duets and solos of some of the work they have co-created during the year… witness poignancy, beauty, skill and honesty

2.15pm – 3.30pm
Live Age Conversation
A lively and fascinating session with Emily Bradfield, Arts Consultant and researcher at Derby University. Emily will be presenting an interactive session giving an overview of her research and crucially including us, the audience. Emily tells us:

 I’ve been researching creative ageing for my PhD. Through a study of literature and conversations I have investigated experiences of participatory arts engagement in later life, with a focus on promoting quality of life and maintaining cognitive function. I have developed themes relating to arts and ageing, which I explored with groups of older people to see whether they resonated with their own experiences of arts engagement. In this session I will introduce you to my research findings and invited you to engage in the process through a participatory activity.

This session will be introduced by Professor David Amigoni, Pro- Vice Chancellor, Research and Enterprise at Keele University and long-time researcher, collaborator and supporter of the work of Ages and Stages and Live Age.
Location: TBC (New Vic Theatre)

David Amigoni conclusions and goodbyes.
Location: TBC (New Vic Theatre)