Theatre in Wales

The latest theatre, dance and performance news

Unreasonable Behaviour at RWCMD - wed 25th –Sat 28th June.     

Unreasonable Behaviour at RWCMD - wed 25th –Sat 28th June. Unreasonable Behaviour is a giant melting pot of design, puppetry, music and story-telling, performing, light, sound and making. These cruel, comic and heroic tales taken from a selection of Grimm’s fairy stories, have been adapted by renowned Welsh dramatist, Greg Cullen, ‘one of the very best writers working in Wales’ (Guardian).

‘The puppets distil the essence of a character or an emotion, imbuing an inanimate object with feelings and creating a poetic language’ says writer Greg Cullen.

The Grimm’s tales are encased in the story of a ‘family’ who are in the audience, the kids are fighting and think their parents are boring, old and embarrassing. But, as they travel through these tales they meet extraordinary characters: the singing donkey, bouncing millstone and the green-fingered enchantress reveal secrets to the children that change their view of each other and their parents forever.

Puppetry is making a comeback in the UK: puppets feature in Welsh National Opera’s current show Hansel & Gretel, at the Welsh Millennium Centre after performing in New York last Christmas, and in Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades, another WNO production that has toured the world.

‘The amazing thing about using puppets is that they create a huge element of surprise, and the students manipulate the extremes of scale and unique inventiveness of design to create the sense of theatre,’ says John Macfarlane, painter and designer of Opera and Ballet and designer of the puppets in the WNO productions. “The puppets have an ability to move between extremes of emotion, and there is a rich fusion of music, writing and design.”

This year the students face a new challenge; for the first time the show will be inside, in a theatre space instead of being a promenade production as in previous years. ‘This allows for more theatricality. We’ll be in control of the elements and be able to create more intimacy. In a theatre space an audience enters a contract, they have an expectation and are more ready to open up to new beliefs,’ says Director Emma Williams. ”But we still want to get the audience moving around, to use their mobility and change the idea of how they watch theatre.”

This puppetry element of a Theatre Design course is unique to RWCMD as it’s so practical and students spend a whole term working on it – it’s been called the best Theatre Design course for that reason.
 
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