Just over a month ago I started running a series of workshops in Bleangarw on behalf of NTW. It was great to be asked having been involved in the companies inaugural production “A Good Night Out In The Valleys”, Bleangarw was one of the venues where we rehearsed, developed and performed the piece and the community’s input was invaluable.

I had a strange sense of nostalgia driving up the Garw valley, stopping for a cup of tea in Creation cafe before finally arriving at the Workmen’s hall. It was great to see that it’s still the hub of the community. Though the staff have changed the new team are as warm, welcoming and enthusiastic as ever.

The aim of the workshops was to create a piece of theatre to be performed at their summer carnival. The title of the project- “A Walk Down Memory Lane”.

The first couple of workshops were great. We had a fairly consistent turnout of a range of talented and committed individuals- all a joy to work with! For those first couple of sessions we looked mainly at ensemble and improvisation exercises in order to develop a language we could use to help us devise the piece. The groups produced some fantastic work, focused, imaginative and often hilarious.

Over the next couple of workshops the heat kicked in and many of the group had other commitments that they had to prioritise. The one exception being Luke Biddle.

Luke is a talented young poet who occasionally runs poetry workshops at the Workmen’s hall. He has been a shining light for me during this project, turning up consistently and punctually, his energy and enthusiasm has been impeccable.

As concerns started to grow around devising piece with inconsistent attendance and time running out, i decided to work solely with Luke, who will now be performing a virtuoso poetry piece at the carnival, including a newly penned poem entitled “ A Walk Down Memory Lane”.  

We have three sessions left before the carnival and I am delighted with the progress we’ve made to date. Big thanks to Luke, Scott, Paula, Laura and everyone who has been involved so far.

More to follow soon x


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Comment by Luke Biddle on August 8, 2013 at 17:41

This is the only example of me being described as punctual... I'm putting it on my C.V

Comment by Devinda De Silva on July 23, 2013 at 16:00

Thanks for this Ollie. Have fond memories of Blaengarw and Creation Cafe. 

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