Theatre in Wales

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OPENING DOORS IN ABERYSTWYTH     

In March some of the best actors, dancers and story-tellers will gather in Aberystwyth for Opening Doors – Wales International Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences. Here, between 15-19 March there will be an opportunity to see some of the best theatre productions for young people from Wales, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Australia, Austria and Hungary.

This is a biennial festival and this year the festival is bigger and better with 50 performances of 20 productions in five days. Following the festival many of the companies will tour throughout Wales with their productions, so even if you cannot make it to Aberystwyth you may yet be able to at least see some of the action. More information on the Aberystwyth event and the tours can be found on the web site www.agordrysau-openingdoors.org.

There is literally something for everyone aged 5+ in this year’s programme and although the festival is geared to young audiences, those over 18 will surely find something to their taste. With such a wealth of theatre it is difficult to pinpoint highlights – but it’s worth mentioning some just to give you a flavour of what’s on offer.

“Freefall” is billed as a “must-see”. This show combines contemporary dance, extreme sports, skate-boarding and skating on a half-pipe-on-stage, breakdance and footbag coupled with live music and drum rhythms. In contrast there is “Henry V” – but with a difference. This version is performed around a crumbling castle on a table in a boxing ring! Certainly a great way to introduce any youngster to Shakespeare.

Another classic is adapted in ‘Wonderfully Grimm’. This show is based on the fantastical world of The Grimm Fairytales but combines dance, storytelling, innovative use of props and mesmerising film images. And there is an opportunity to be hands-on with youngsters invited to explore the set and the ideas of the performance before the show starts.

And of course there is much more – juggling, characters are created from newspaper, and then there is the double bill that closes the festival on the Saturday evening. “The Shadow of a Boy” and “Waves in the Chatroom” are very contemporary pieces by The Sherman Theatre Company. The Shadow of a Boy asks how, in a world where terrifying things happen on a daily basis, do we tell our children the truth without scaring them half to death. “Waves in the chatroom” deals a very modern phenomenon - friendships formed on the internet.

Arad Goch Theatre Company which organises this event should be congratulated on bringing people together not only to enjoy live theatre, but also to allow us to look beyond Wales to see what is happening in this field in other countries and to showcase what is happening here in Wales. All in all this promises to be an exciting and entertaining festival, and what’s more it’s right here on our door-step.

Many of the shows are also touring to venues throughout Wales – Pwllheli, Cardiff, Abergavenny, Rhondda-Cynon-Taf, Cardigan, Port Talbot, Swansea, St Asaph, Ystradgynlais, Llanllechid and Mold.
Tickets and more information (01970) 617998; post@aradgoch.org or visit our website www.agordrysau-openingdoors.org
Arad Goch  
web site
: www.agordrysau-openingdoors.org
Dana Edwards
e-mail: post@aradgoch.org
Friday, February 18, 2005back

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