A new paradigm can be created with theatre.

A new paradigm can be created with theatre. We've done it, you may have done it too.

Recently Small World Theatre has been touring Wales and Ireland with The Healing of Bran an out door performance event using one of the biggest , if not the biggest human powered, Human shaped  animate (puppet / Giant) 25ft walking, 90 kilo dry weight

Until now the story of Brân was alive only in an old Welsh classic tucked safely away in the Mabinogion. Missing for over a millennium, Brân’s scattered body has been discovered by Small World Theatre’s ‘Society of Brân’. 

Brân’s HQ is set up on the waterfront, marina or riverbank. It is the crucible, the melting pot of history and myth. The old story reinterpreted, the new myth emerging. 

Bendigeidfran is brought to life by the harmonic sounds of choir, and intensely focused retro-engineered ritual, conducted by giant tricycle riding necromancers. Fresh from the boat his head is the last to arrive – still talking. "There is no leader who is not a bridge"

THE HEALING OF BRÂN THE BLESSED takes up the story in the present day, the performers re-assemble the giant, bringing him to life, helping him stand and walk. 

This is a very magical and people have said emotional moment for the audience. The healing of Brân represents the healing of his people and in turn the healing of the Celtic nations. As Brân speaks, his voice, deep and sonorous, recites in the Welsh language. The performers’ English commentary helps the audience understand the tale. 

Brân is a hero, a King and a Bridge to his people. The nature of that bridge to the ancient Celtic-Brythonic-Welsh mind must have been multi-layered This seems to have been what audiences especially in Ireland have picked up on.  The discussion in Wales was focussed  more on the frailties of the sound bite masquerading as a policy called the Big Society. The ambition of the show to heal the Celtic nations Ambitious? Yes, achievable ? well yes, in small ways for those who came to speak to the performers post show. They talk about ways to look at  where people can a bridge to each other especially when world politics and economics are failing them. This is not by any means a discussion about Royalty or hierarchy.  it seems to develop on the lines of people realising their connection with each other. In societies that are more and more screen based this seems to offer a rare shared space, a shared experience that is as sophisticated as it is emotional. 

Bran is coming to Newport (gwent) on the 9th of October see for yourself

Bill Hamblett June 2011


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