REVIEW: You, Me and Everything Else, Northern Stage, Newcastle

The two couples who form the centre of the team in You, Me and Everything Else.

The two couples who form the centre of the team in You, Me and Everything Else.

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Remember those days of making mix tapes?

Here, the concept is much bigger than trying to persuade a mate to like your favourite bands or, in the least subtle way, tell someone your true feelings without, you know, saying it.

But imagine putting together the compilation of all compilations - one which would be sent into space for other forms of life to discover, decipher and learn about earth.

You, Me and Everything Else takes the story of the ‘golden record’ which was put together and launched on Nasa’s Voyager in 1977 as what the experts called a cosmic “yoohoo.”

It contained hello messages from 55 countries to pieces of music to represent cultures and eras, from Mozart, Chuck Berry and old English songs, to a Chinese piece written thousands of years ago. It turns out the a Beatles track could not be included after their record label, bafflingly, raised concerns about copyrighting issues.

Images of the basics of human life, landscapes and equations of maths, molecules and more joined the final sounds, in a “mixtape of humanity.”

The spotlight is shone on Voyager in You, Me and Everything Else.

The spotlight is shone on Voyager in You, Me and Everything Else.

It was the team of scientists and creative minds who put together the tracks which form the focus of this drama, as a story of love and heartbreak is interweaved with the tale of their work and a lot of science.

The cast of eight, dressed in some pretty brilliant 70s gear thanks to Scarlet Ribbons vintage shop in Durham, took on the roles of narrators or characters, with a model of the space ship and torches used to represent scenes of it as it travelled billions of miles from the earth.

The Nasa website helpfully tells us just how many - 19,881,942,895k and counting at the time of writing - and this play did a great job of explaining the science and sparked an interest in space through the most human of things - love, humour and a desire to discover.

You, Me and Everything Else is back on today, Friday, September 25, at 7.45pm.

The team work on images and languages to feature on the Voyager message in You, Me and Everything Else.

The team work on images and languages to feature on the Voyager message in You, Me and Everything Else.

Tickets are available via www.northernstage.co.uk

It has been put together by Bridging the Gap, a project developed by Washington Arts Centre, the Customs House in South Shields, ARC Stockton Arts Centre, The Maltings in Berwick and Newcastle’s Northern Stage and Theatre Royal.

It has also been supported by the Unity Theatre Trust and Sunday for Sammy.

A dinner party scene in You, Me and Everything Else at Northern Stage.

A dinner party scene in You, Me and Everything Else at Northern Stage.