Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

The Outsider

Theatr Iolo , Welsh Folk Museum , June-01-87
THE HISTORICAL buildings of the Welsh Folk Museum took on the role of a theatrical set yesterday as a new drama company turned the clock back 300 years for school pupils.
The children, aged 11 and 12, followed actors from Theatr lolo Morganwg around the grounds at St Fagan's as they acted out a play based on Welsh community life in Puritan times.
The acting troupe found their stage in five of the museum's buildings, including the chapel and the blacksmith's as they acted out a play called The Outsider, The company brought tales of witchcraft, superstition, farming and marriage to life in a bid to educate children in the ways of 17th century Wales.
Company administrator Dr Christine Gillies said, "The purpose is to give schoolchildren a fresh insight into the past, showing them the differences and similarities between life then and now.
"The principle behind the link-up with the folk museum is that we both deal with education in a non-institutional sense."
She added, "It is a project that actually takes the children around about five of the buildings, giving them a picture of 17th century community life. They see how religion, superstition, and custom each play a part. It is intended to give them an insight into the way people behave to one another, and has a degree of contemporary relevance."
The children play a part in some scenes, acting as guests in the wedding feast, for example.
Dr Gillies added, "When the drama stops, the actors stay in role and are accountable to the children for the way they behave. The idea is to show that nothing is clear-cut, nothing is black and white."
Mr Walter Jones, the museum's education officer, said, "It is a very exciting project and we arc delighted to play a part."
Mr Jones added, "It can bring out various things from an education side. It really brings the place to life, and is quite an attraction for visitors to the museum."
The company, named after the Welsh poet of the same name, began life earlier this year through funding from South Glamorgan County Council and the South East Wales Arts Association, among others. Theatr Iolo Morganwg will be making 32 performances of The Outsider until December 4

Reviewed by: David Cornock

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