Theatre in Wales

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Dead Cat Bounce     

Dead Cat Bounce Volcano Theatre Company return to Cardigan for the first time in eight years when they perform their new work, 'Dead Cat Bouce' at Small World Centre on Monday 26th October at 8pm. Based in Swansea, Volcano is an international touring company of 20 years’ standing that has produced 25 professional shows and toured to 38 countries from Argentina to Azerbaijan. Their style is bold, exuberant and contemporary, and their mission is to make fearless and inspiring theatre for intelligent, imaginative people of all kinds in Wales, the UK and beyond. They have a reputation for energetic, unpredictable and arresting work that combines strong visual impact, physicality and intelligent text.

'Dead Cat Bounce' began life as a topical look at the current economic and cultural crisis, and a critical exploration of the need to have our relationship with life mediated by “experts”. Volcano Theatre Company did all the research, and even talked a bit about equations. But the topicality gradually disappeared – or at least, it didn’t really disappear but it started to follow resonances, to reach out a bit and pick up different lines of continuity or moments of change. They found ourselves in 1977. A thriving year for plane hijackings, and a busy period for the terrorists of the Red Army Faction. The Sex Pistols and the The Clash released their seminal albums, and Spain’s fascist regime gasped its last breaths. It was also the year that General Zia took over in Pakistan, who would preside over the Islamification of that state and fund the mujahideen in Afghanistan. He was also keen on privatisation and deregulation, nuclear weapons and the curtailment of civil liberties, and would make Pakistan the key strategic ally of the West in that region, with consequences that are still unfolding across the globe. The Vietnam war, of course, was over, although its meanings for American culture and global politics were far from closed.

Which brings us to where Dead Cat Bounce begins, on the set of Apocalypse Now. Coppola continued to shoot his film throughout 1977. One weekend in the autumn of that year, a very different event took place on the other side of the world. At Cardiff University in Wales, a conference was gathering which aimed to take the temperature of a “dying century”. Experts in numerous disciplines converged to present their papers at the Cardiff International Conference on Consciousness and Nihilism. Among the thronging intellectuals there, were two very particular young delegates. A small part of their lives and stories unfold against the twin backdrops of the conference rooms and Coppola’s film. Oh, and somewhere in all this you might well spot a dead cat. Bouncing...


Whatever you might expect from this show, expect the unexpected; Volcano's theatre is determinedly political, setting itself against the complacent, the orthodox, and the bland. Dead Cat Bounce is directed by John Hardwick and features actors Paul Davies, Philip Ralph and Peter Webb on drums. Tickets priced at £10 (£8 concessions) are available through Theatr Mwldan's website www.mwldan.co.uk or by calling the Box Office on 01239 621200.
 
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