Square Peg Theatre's Michael White chats about Icarus

Icarus has been developed with the Lowry and it opens next month and the co-founder of Square Peg fills us in.

Can you tell us a bit about Icarus?

© Square Peg Theatre

When the first manned mission to Mars turns into a media circus, the crew start to wonder if they are really pioneers or just monkeys in spacesuits. Inspired by real events, Icarus looks to the future and asks what would drive somebody to leave Earth forever?

How did the idea for the piece come about?

In 2010 a Dutch Organisation – the Mars One Foundation – invited people to apply to go for a one-way mission to Mars. They received over 200,000 applicants. Their plan is to establish a human settlement on the red planet by the year 2024. The project will be funded through the sale of television rights and advertising, with the creator of Big Brother on it's board of trustees. We're doubtful if the mission will ever take off, but we were interested in exploring what might happen if it ever did.

How much help have you had from the Lowry as it's developed with them?

The Lowry's support and advocacy have been instrumental in enabling us to create this production – along with additional support from Harrogate Theatre, Slung Low's HUB, and Unity Theatre. They have provided support in everything from rehearsal space to business mentoring and Claire Symonds (Studio Programmer/Producer) is great at identifying where companies can develop professionally and artistically.

What you you like about The Lowry?

It's is a brilliant venue that brings together work from all around the world and houses it under one roof. We love the variety of it's programme, from large scale work to small studio productions. There's always something to see and do. It's commitment to supporting new work in the North West and beyond has been phenomenal, not just for us, but in developing some of the best new theatre today.

What challenges are there in bringing a new piece to the stage?

Making new work is always difficult, and each production brings new challenges and lessons. Because new work is often untried and untested it makes the entire process a little nerve-wracking, but it's a thrilling adventure that makes live theatre so exciting.

Why should audiences see Icarus?

It's a thrilling adventure about love, loss and the mysteries of the universe.

Icarus is at the Lowry from 3 – 4 July and it also tours to Doncaster, Leeds, Liverpool and Edinburgh Fringe. For more details, click here.