National Youth Theatre of Wales - Back on the road

The National Youth Theatre Wales is back on the road again with a re-mount of their co-production with Frantic Assembly.

Tomorrow 12 young creatives, 9 production team staff, 3 welfare staff are heading to Aberystwyth for AGOR DRYSAU-OPENING DOORS,  Wales International Festival of Performing Arts for Young Audiences, organised by Cwmni Theatr Arad Goch.

They will be performing 'dead born grow' a devised piece around the concept of illusion versus reality. This was the basis from which the company created a dark, energetic and risk taking piece of theatre last summer.

For many years I visited the festival with the, sadly now defunct Gwent Theatre in Education Company, it was the highlight in my bi-annual calendar. It was an opportunity for those companies who were mostly invisible from the greater arts world in Wales, to be seen, to share their work and get to talk with one another rather than be hidden away in their communities and schools. Not only that but it was an opportunity to meet international guests and festival organisers from the rest of the UK and abroad.

The festival is about showcasing work, discussion seminars and the opportunity to network and share ideas. Oh and yes a bit of eating and drinking together! because this is really how people relax and get to know each other and make life-long friends and hopefully even start to talk about collaboration and visiting other countries...then maybe the magic starts to happen of a journey into the unknown.

I know that when we began discussions with Frantic Assembly last year we began to imagine that our young people could be a part of something very special, something that was beyond all our expectations and would be full of surprises. Certainly every day in the dead born grow rehearsal room was a complete surprise and like any true devising process you begin with the germ of an idea but do not know where that can possibly lead you. The process was an exhilarating experience for both the 12 members, and myself, watching each day as they built trust and respect for one another and dared to be braver each time they worked on a new exercise. And in a short period of time they discovered 'dead born grow' and each performance was different, the process continued. Which ending worked best? What new things would emerge? What would the directors Eddie Kay & Jess Williams from Frantic Assembly discover and change?

I know that the 12 members of NYTW are excited beyond belief, in a tweet from Jessica Tait this week she said she took these things away from the process. 1) A strong sense of achievement being involved in such a great show 2) A more fearless approach to work. Rhys Warrington said 'great friends!!!.... a greater understanding of oneself...and ABS'

These things for me are meaningful, life affirming and life changing experiences.

I hope the NYTW members will re-discover another 'dead born grow' and also meet more new friends through the festival and who knows what will grow from that?

'dead born grow'

Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 1st April at 8pm

The Dance House, WMC, Cardiff, 3rd April 3pm & 8.45pm

Come and join us!

Jain Boon

Creative Activist



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