East Midland's based New Perspectives are celebrating their 50th anniversary. With a strong rural core, they are starting their anniversary season by touring Model Village to arts venues and village halls. In addition, they have just released their second podcast series, Where I Belong, pairing artists from two UNESCO cities of literature, Nottingham and Baghdad.
A subversive satire with a hint of surrealism, the new comedy from New Perspectives sees the miniature residents of a model village rebel against plans from a radical urban artist to update their charming 1930s landscape. With the village in decline and visitor numbers low, the model-makers hope an update will put the attraction back on the tourist map. But they are brought eye-to-eye at a grassroots level with the residents of the waist-high houses who want to return to the halcyon days, and they must learn to collaborate across the divide. Model Village is the story of a community hankering for an idyllic past, asking if it's possible to restore it or whether to embrace a bold new future. In the end, the audience will vote to decide on what the outcome will be.
Writer Anita Sullivan said, "I grew up in a rural community and first encountered theatre in the village hall. I'm delighted to be turning that full circle with Model Village. It's written with heart and playfulness. What is a model village today? What do the little people want? I hope you'll sing along, vote for the village you want to see."
Director Angharard Jones said, "Model Village is unique, fantastical play that sees two worlds collide. It speaks to the idea of change, progress, tolerance, and rebellion asking us to examine where the power in communities' lies and how different factions of society can co- exist as one. Anita has crafted a brilliant and thoughtful script that traverses across realities whilst remaining relatable and recognisable. Model Village is full of surprises, humour and quirk with a hint of the absurd and is a joyful challenge to direct. We are thrilled to be sharing this with audiences for the first time in their own community spaces and look forward to seeing what decisions the audiences will make for how we leave the play."
Anita Sullivan is a stage and radio playwright, her 2022 BBC radio drama, End of Transmission, won the Tinnswood Award for writing, the BBC Audio Drama for Best Single Drama, and was a finalist for the Writer's Guild Award. Other recent work includes Silos and Heart of Darkness for BBC Radio 4, and her stage plays range from The Owl Service in 1967 (Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal) Monumental (Citizen's Theatre, Glasgow) Midsummer York Mysteries (RSC) and Clearance (Traverse).
Model Village is supported using public funding by Arts Council England and with the kind support of The D'Oyly Carte Chartiable Trust and Unity Theatre Trust