On 17 July 2014 we held our headline young people’s event, Young DaDaFest. This year’s event was our most ambitious yet, taking place at the Everyman, it saw 89 performers showcase a variety of acts to a large audience. Once again, the event proved to be very successful and was enjoyed by everyone in the audience and those who performed in and planned it.
Below you can view photos, tweets, the Young DaDa yearbook and a review from the evening. Stay tuned for a pair short films we will be releasing soon, created by students from Liverpool John Moore’s University.
Photos by Leila Romaya
Review by Michelle Stubbs
Arriving at the Everyman on the evening of Young DaDaFest, you’d have been forgiven for believing that a headline act was in residence. The theatrical setting gave the event an air of grandeur and professionalism, heightening expectations even as people gathered in the foyer buzzing with excitement and anticipation. This was Young DaDaFest’s first foray into the new Everyman, and in this, the 30th anniversary year for DaDaFest, you knew it was going to go off with a bang!
The compères – who had been trained by staff at the Everyman – complete with their witty banter and hilarious headgear eased us into the first act: the Young DaDa and Young Everyman Playhouse (YEP) collaboration, a comedic drama by Fabulous Darlings. They created a piece around ideas associated with the words ‘art’, ‘lived’ and ‘experiment’, in response to a forthcoming DaDaFest International 2014 exhibition. The resulting performance was one that made use of the great technical advantages of the new Everyman, particularly in terms of lighting, filled the stage and called on the audience to examine the subjectivity and inherent value of art. Then, Becky lifted the audience with her energetic solo dance performance, followed by the’12 Direction’ choir. They were down to ten men and women on the night – so were hastily renamed ’10 Direction’ – but didn’t falter as they serenaded the audience with traditional songs and a Coldplay tune.
In both of these acts, the enthusiasm of the performers was clear to see and infectious; so that, by the time we got to Acting Up’s music video introducing the group’s members and sampling the Pharrell Williams track ‘Happy’, everyone seemed to actually feel that way. To round off the first half, we were treated to another energetic dance piece, this time exploring feelings of love, how these can impact on our wellbeing and be expressed in terms of movement. The dancers bounded across the stage with a dynamism that had not been matched previously in the programme; bringing a new and exciting feeling to the space and leaving many in anticipation of what was to come in the second half ‘after an emotional rollercoaster in Part One’, according to a tweet by an audience member.
The second half came and instantly gripped us all – Young DaDaFest was on a roll and had fire in its belly! Sandfield Park Sound & Vision gave a rousing performance of Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ and – not to be outdone by their predecessors – projected their own version of the song’s famous music video behind them, complete with cameos from both students and staff at the school. The evening’s entertainment switched gears again with Katie’s thought-provoking and intensely compelling poetry about her observations of life as a young person with Autism, on children’s rights and what makes someone ‘perfect’. With the spirit of rebellion echoing through the theatre, Amy Andrews returned for her second successive Young DaDaFest appearance, with her powerful and haunting rendition of ‘Already Over’ by the American Metal band, Red.
After a display of such strength and revolution, we took the time to laugh with a fantastically-planned and executed comedy sketch from RAWD about friendships and relationships, priming us for the emotionally-charged performance by LIKEU Dance that formed a fitting end to an electric, confrontational and well-rounded YoungDaDaFest. Throughout the night, the audience were invited to tweet about the event using the hashtag #YoungDaDaFest. This is the first time that social media has been integrated so well into Young DaDaFest and it got some great responses, you can read some of them below.
The performers and organisers showed that they could impress and not be overcome by the reputation of the Everyman stage, proving that they have the artistic strength to draw in the crowds as part of the theatre’s summer schedule for years to come.
— gemma bodinetz (@gemmabodinetz) July 17, 2014
— Deborah Aydon (@debaydon) July 17, 2014
— gemma bodinetz (@gemmabodinetz) July 17, 2014
The young people here tonight @DaDaFest are an inspiration. Everyone who has taken part in the performance and helping should be so proud.
— Danielle Lewis (@DanielleLewis02) July 17, 2014
— FLUX Liverpool (@FLUXLiverpool) July 17, 2014
— Everyman & Playhouse (@LivEveryPlay) July 17, 2014
— Alex McCorkindale (@AlexMcCork) July 17, 2014
— Grace Goulding (@shineyhappy) July 17, 2014
Audience & Performer Feedback
“It was a fantastic evening! I laughed, clapped, and whooped it up through the whole evening and left the Everyman with a big smile on my face. I was hugely impressed by the commitment, guts and talent on show. Pease pass on my congrats to everyone involved behind the scenes and on stage. They left me feeling inspired!” – Marcellina Boyle, Liverpool John Moore’s University
“I really enjoyed being part of the dada fest I wanted to let you know I am going to join the young everyman playhouse group because I had so much fun working with other people at different ages so I hope I can do it again next time thanks x” – Rebecca, Performer
“I saw your performance at The Everyman last night and all I wanted to do today was to write to you all to tell you what an amazing experience it was. Every single young artist on that stage sparkled with joy, enthusiasm and above all TALENT! I was so happy to see such a diverse range of art forms celebrated in your work and the commitment and hard work that went into every performance.” – Adrian Turrell-Watts, Fittings Multimedia Arts
“Thank you so much Sam it was the best night of my life got to live my dreams and the came true xxxxxxxxxxxxxx” – Tyrese, Performer
“The performers were absolutely brilliant, we really enjoyed it and so glad we could come along. Please pass on our congratulations to all the performers but especially to the Young Roots group- they must be busy every night of the week!” – Emma Devlin, National Museums Liverpool
“Thank you for the festival, my mum loved it and she wants to go again the next time we do it again.” – Sarah, Performer
Young DaDa Yearbook
Click here to view it on Issuu.
Young DaDaFest 2014 – The Full Film
Young DaDaFest 2014 – The Full Film (Audio Described Edition)
Young DaDaFest 2014 – The Short Film