‘It’s a beautiful sequence, hypnotic even’ – Circle & Stalls UK

‘What is especially striking about this piece of theatre is the sense of buttons being pushed, boundaries being challenged and risks being taken.’ – Live Art Alive


In Autumn 2019 Contact Young Company worked with multidisciplinary performance-makers Theater DEGASTEN.

Co-produced by SICK! Festival, this show addressed the main question proposed by this year’s festival: What is the value of a life?

CYC young artists explored the commodification of happiness. How have everyday milestones in life been affected by materialism in today’s society? How much pressure are we placing on young people to conform to society’s norms, and to associate happiness with material goods and success? How does this relate to race, disability and mental health? And how does the younger generation feel about wanting to have children? Can they afford to? Do they even want to? This intimate performance zooms in on loneliness, happiness and bonding.

DEGASTEN is an Amsterdam based youth theatre group. DEGASTEN creates raw interdisciplinary montage theatre with youngsters (12-25 years). Every season 70 youngsters are being accepted during the audition day in September. These youngsters are divided into 4 different groups that have weekly theatre trainings: two training groups, one production group and one performance group. With each group, DEGASTEN develops customised performances, productions and presentations.

Diversity is something that runs into the company’s veins. It plays a big role in the mission statement, in the style of work and in the composition of the staff, the youngsters and the audience. The stories and the disciplines of the performances are diverse, because DEGASTEN thinks that everyone has the right to take cognisance of culture and art as a participant or as an audience.

DEGASTEN guides talented youngsters to find their way into art schools, follow-up courses and the (semi) professional field of work. On a yearly basis, approximately 27% of the students move on to other fields of theatre and arts.

Contact Young Company (CYC) is Contact’s renowned, Manchester Theatre Award-winning young ensemble. CYC is made up of young performers, actors, dancers, musicians, stand-up comedians, poets and MCs. Each year, the company creates brand new professional standard shows in collaboration with major national and international artists, such as Forced Entertainment, Lies Pauwels, Stacey Makishi and Slung Low. Shows are premiered in Manchester, and often then tour nationally to leading venues and festivals.