Theatre in Wales

Plays and dance productions in Wales since 1982...

A few little drops by ?
First presented in 2007 by Volcano Theatre Company
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In the Summer of 2007, Volcano will celebrate and explore the world's most important substance with an extraordinary performance in a strange and beautiful space.
A FEW LITTLE DROPS will imagine water as it is worshipped, polluted, frozen, melted, cherished, wasted, dribbled, drunk, desecrated, poisoned, carried, spilt or stolen. Water in all its abundance and scarcity; its awesome elemental power and its fragile simplicity. We will invite you to contemplate myths, theories, facts, catastrophes and beautiful objects; to hear the bizarre percussion of a cooling glacier and meet the strange people who sing to ice crystals.
A Few Little Drops  will be made possible by an Arts Ouside Cardiff award from the Arts Council of Wales, and will be produced in partnership with five major Welsh theatres. It will take place in  mysterious watery spaces at five locations around Wales. To make this all as exciting as possible we'll be joining forces with some remarkable and diverse talents including artist TIM DAVIES, poet ROBERT MINHINNICK, video activists UNDERCURRENTS and the award-winning SCIENCE MADE SIMPLE. We found all this talent without even crossing the Severn Bridge, but lest we're in danger of going all parochial, we have cast our net wider across the whole of Great Britainland for six extraordinary performers, whose names will be revealed in due course...

   There is 1 review of Volcano Theatre Company's A few little drops in our database:
An experience that will resonate for years
A few little drops by ?
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National Waterfront Museum, Swansea
To describe this extraordinary project from Volcano Theatre Company as a piece of theatre is to do it a disservice. This is a celebration - incorporating live performance, video and sound installations - which revolves around the most precious resource on Earth: namely, water.

Produced in association with Swansea's Taliesin Arts Centre and performed on a purpose-built set in the open air courtyard of the National Waterfront Museum, this has to rate as Volcano Theatre Company's most successful production to date.

The work takes the audience on a journey through a flood-ravaged house - once a family home but now a semi-derelict testimony to the power of water - and onwards to an outdoor expanse of water and a giant inflatable "wave". By now you will have gathered that this is a "promenade" performance, the twist being that one is free to wander, to retrace one's steps, to stop and stare or walk away.

It is this very freedom that made me feel slightly unsettled when I attended the first performance - so unsettled, in fact, that I did not get the most out of the experience first time around. Happily, however, I was persuaded to make a return visit for the final show, and found it infinitely more rewarding.

The sights and sounds one encounters during the journey range from the comic to the surreal and dreamlike: characters with pig's heads rub shoulders with giant chickens, and the frenetic physicality of the performance is cleverly offset by gentler and more reflective sequences which have a magic of their own.

Volcano stalwarts Paul Davies and Fern Smith are joined here by Catherine Bennett, Jeremy Killick, Trevor Sellers, You-Ri Yamanaka and Liam Yeates, all of whom pull off the trick of encouraging the audience to suspend their scepticism and go(quite literally)with the flow.

The level of audience involvement is high - and while those of us whose inhibitions render us incapable of getting more actively involved might flounder here and there as the madness unfoldsaround us, this is a small price to pay for the privilege of bearing witness to such an innovative piece of work.

During the week there have also been shorter daytime performances for young people, and these have proved hugely successful. One of the most positive aspects of the project - and one which has added greatly to the success of the project and attracted positive feedback not only from the company but also from members of the audience throughout the week - is that members of staff from Taliesin were uprooted from their usual territory and took the helm at the National Waterfront Museum for the duration of the run: not just the technical crew, but also Box Office, Marketing, Front of House and stewards, all of whom clearly relished the opportunity to work on what proved to be an exciting project. There is a sense in which the Front of House officers and the stewards eventually became a part of the performance, intuitively encouraging the more inhibited among us to keep a watch out for sequences which we might otherwise have missed altogether.

This was an experience which will resonate in the memory for years to come - and I for one am glad I saw it twice.

"Let's hear it for water," says Fern Smith at the end of the show. I'll drink to that.
Graham Wlliams

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