Theatre in Wales

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Aberystwyth family drama comes full circle     

Aberystwyth family drama comes full circle

When Emma Decent was a drama student at Aberystwyth in the late 1980s little did she know the town held a secret from father’s past that would bring her back over 20 years later.

A few days after he died 5 years ago Emma was shocked to discover her father had a child she had never known anything about.

“My father left the woman heartbroken and pregnant in the early 1950’s and never met his child. He left the country shortly after and didn’t return for 20 years.”

Finding out the secret took her on a journey no one could have imagined - a journey that started in Aberystwyth. “Because strangely enough that was where my father had the relationship.

“He trained in drama himself. In 1951 he was in rep at the Little Theatre in Aberystwyth.” The Little Theatre was on Bath Street. It was converted into a cinema in 1961 and demolished in 1976.

Discovering her father’s secret took Emma on a journey which became a kind of quest. Following his footsteps around the world she discovered their Jewish roots in Eastern Europe, his film star dreams in the Far East, and finished where she was born - Toronto.

Her story and journey inspired a piece of new solo theatre Beyond Dreams of Aberystwyth which Emma brings to Aberystywth Arts Centre on Thurs 16 Oct. The show was developed with support from the Arts Council of England and featured on BBC Radio 4’s Midweek.

After her student days Emma moved to the north of England where she has lived ever since, writing and performing solo work for the last 15 years. “My writing is often inspired by personal experiences.”

“I am thrilled to be coming back to Aberystwyth with the show. Going on this journey has really brought me full circle. To be back in Aberystwyth is the icing on the cake.”

Emma adds, “And if anyone remembers my father from when he was here in 1951 I’d be delighted to meet them!”
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014back



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