Live Age Festival celebrates creativity in later life

Live Age, the annual festival led by the New Vic Theatre, Keele University and Age UK North Staffordshire is back this month, celebrating creativity in later life.

Taking place at the New Vic Theatre on Friday 28th September, and at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th September, Live Age 2018 is packed with opportunities to see performances, listen to talks and get involved in workshops. The festival will highlight the work of Meet Me at Live Age – the year-round programme of creative outreach activities between artists and older people’s community groups, and the annual Live Age Conversation that debates a key topic will this year focus on dementia and creativity.

Highlights of the festival this year include a performance and question and answer session from Ivor Novello Award-winning poet Simon Armitage, who will perform live on the New Vic stage following the Live Age Conversation on Friday 28th September. Across the weekend of activities, audiences can also enjoy story and imagination workshops with SOAL Theatre; an exploration of music and memory with Chloe Knibbs; and Spitfires and Oatcakes – an opportunity to share family stories to commemorate the First and Second World Wars, organised by the Vintage Volunteers, plus much more.

In a series of workshops, six artists will be showcasing the work they have been doing with Grocott Community Centre, Age UK North Staffordshire, Haywood Community Hospital, Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme and Whitfield Valley Community Centre, as part of Meet Me at Live Age. Workshops include visual artist Jo Loki showcasing the benefits of movement and drawing; musician Mika De Oliveira of Art Brasil exploring links between drumming, dancing and wellbeing; In-Public Art’s Sarah Fortes Mayer and Ian Andrews teaching fine art techniques for all abilities; infuseDANCE co-director Mark Anderson who will explore movement in photography; Jo Ayre and Alice Thatcher (British Ceramics Biennial) leading a creative workshop allowing participants to make their own piece; and a drama workshop from theatre-maker Tom England. Supported by Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation’s Celebrating Age programme, Meet Me seeks to create new relationships between artists and groups and supports older people to develop creative skills and cultural leadership.

Now in its fifth year, the Live Age Festival originated through the activities of research project Ages and Stages, a continuing collaboration between Keele University and the New Vic Theatre which began in 2009.

Jill Rezzano, Head of New Vic Education, said:

“The Live Age Festival has gone from strength to strength. This year’s festival is packed with a programme of events that will truly celebrate the creativity and vibrancy of older people in North Staffordshire. We invite people of all ages to come along and join in the lively debates and discussions as part of the weekend, and to have a go themselves in our exciting workshops led by some incredible artists.”

For further details about the Live Age Festival, visit