Our arrival at Pontardawe Arts Centre was a test of Bridie, Dai and my forward planning of how we tour our complicated set structure. It took all day and was only just ready in time for our first workshops with local circus company Organised Kaos which was a very busy, funny and energetic session at a lovely venue with very keen staff.
Next was an overnight jaunt up the west coast of Wales to Harlech. It’s such a privilege to be taking the cast to some of the most beautiful parts of Wales. Theatr Harlech has always been my personal favourite of the venues we’re visiting, it’s quirky, friendly and they have incredibly close links with their surrounding community.
Onto Galeri, Caernarvon where the fantastic in house technical team helped us to build the set in just 2.5 hours! We were always looking forward to our time at Galeri and our first experience in leading a full day’s workshop for a large, teenage school group, finishing with a presentation for local press, all yn Gymraeg. We finished our time in Caernarvon with a good, tight show played to almost 150 people. Many thanks to Elen and Gwion.
The journey from Caernarvon to Wyeside Arts Centre, Builth Wells via Snowdonia National Park was way too hurried for my liking. This was our first experience of building our set on our own, which we did in 4 hours, and made me feel proud of the company. Circus artists will always know how to install their own kit, and are willing to work hard. Tamzin got some great kids to come along to the workshop which was by far, the most unplanned and most enjoyable of the tour so far. We’re going to stick to this style in the future, if we can. At the close of this show Bridie, Dai and I are all fairly happy that our previous technical and transitional issues have been dealt with.
It was nice to return to Cardiff yesterday where, as the Italian contingent touchingly said, it feels at home. The house is again full with us all getting in each other’s way as we cook pasta and crank up the bloody internet bill, there’s a tangible enjoyment in what we’re all trying to do.
I can’t believe we’ve just got through this leg of our away from home tour, without any serious logistical hitches. All credit due to Bridie and Dai.
Tomorrow we go to Weston Studio in Cardiff, where Dai is looking forward to impressing his colleagues at Wales Millennium Centre with his lighting design, and the audacity of our small touring company in what we’re trying to achieve on a low budget. For the rest of us, Wednesday will be a pretty big night too. We’re playing to a “home crowd” with many peers, family and friends in the audience, as well as having our video guy in.
Now that I feel that we’ve done as much as we can with our technical and transitional issues, I feel comfortable enough to post this link to our review by Chris Paul of Theatre Wales:
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