Theatre in Wales

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Forest Forge present a new play by award winning writer Kaite O’Reilly – Woman of Flowers at Aberystwyth Arts Centre     

Forest Forge present a new play by award winning writer Kaite O’Reilly – Woman of Flowers at Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Wednesday 29 October, 2014.
New play specially written for RADA trained actress Sophie Stone who is Deaf

Acclaimed theatre company Forest Forge embark on a UK tour this autumn with the world premiere of a brand new play – Kaite O’Reilly’s Woman of Flowers, an innovative retelling of an ancient Welsh story from The Mabinogion. Woman of Flowers will be performed at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Wednesday 29 October as part of the tour.

A story of desire, duty, deceit and revenge, Woman of Flowers explores the lengths someone will go to in order to escape the life chosen for them. The production of Woman of Flowers is presented in association with Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts and features live music, dance, video, surtitles throughout and sections of theatricalised sign created in a collaboration between Kaite O’Reilly, Sophie Stone and BSL expert and visual language director Jean St Clair.

Rose cannot remember what came before the house at the edge of the isolated forest. Gwynne says he magicked her out of the flowers, but she's not so sure. She plays the part of the perfect farmer’s wife for Lewis, who is kept firmly in place by his uncle Gwynne, and accepts her lonely existence, but when a captivating stranger is seen in the forest, Rose must decide on where her future really lies. The cast includes Thomas Brownlee and Andrew Wheaton and is led by Deaf actress Sophie Stone, the first ever Deaf student to win a place at RADA. Kaite O’Reilly wrote the part of Rose specially for Sophie after working with her on In Water I’m Weightless, a Cultural Olympiad commission with National Theatre Wales and Southbank Centre in 2012.

Kaite O’Reilly is a prolific multi-award winning writer whose work has been extensively performed in the UK and internationally. She was the first playwright to be awarded the hugely prestigious Ted Hughes Award for New Works (for her new version of Aeschylus's Persians for National Theatre Wales) and received three commissions from the Cultural Olympiad. Kaite is a veteran of the Disability Rights Movement and has worked extensively within Disability Arts and Culture for over twenty years. She is also a Patron both of DaDa (Disability Arts Deaf Arts) and of Disability Arts Cymru.

Kirstie Davis, Artistic Director of Forest Forge, said:
“I have long been an admirer of Kaite's work and Forest Forge were the first rural touring company to produce her ground breaking play Peeling. I saw In Water I'm Weightless and asked Kaite what she would like to write and who she would like to write for. The answer was this show and we both wanted Sophie to be the lead. We are so excited to be producing this extraordinary piece which will equally challenge and delight an audience in its look at those people who exist on the margins of society.”

Playwright Kaite O’Reilly said: “Inspired by the ancient Welsh treasure, The Mabinogion, and the myth of the ‘ideal woman’ created out of flowers, I wanted to plait together a domestic drama with intervals of heightened poetic theatricality, exploring different forms of storytelling, creating a world out of both spoken and signed language, between Deaf and hearing cultures. Woman of Flowers represents a culmination of a long process of bringing together accessible theatre with a Deaf culture aesthetic.”

Woman of Flowers continues the work of Forest Forge in creating nationally significant work for rural audiences, leading the sector in presenting small-scale contemporary pieces and in integrating mainstream theatre with disability-focused arts. The production will tour to a mixture of professional and community venues with the intention that the work is accessed by the widest reach of audiences. The show is suitable for anyone aged 12 and upwards.
To book please contact Aberystwyth Arts Centre on 01970 62 32 32 or go online www.aber.ac.uk/artscentre
 
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