Guy O'Donnell

Hi I am Guy the project coordinator for Get The Chance. I am a trained secondary teacher of Art and Design and have taught at all Key Stages in England and Wales. I am also an experienced theatre designer and have designed for many of the theatre companies in Wales.

Audio Description for Welsh Dance with Owen Pugh

The Director of Get The Chance Guy O’Donnell recently got the chance to meet with actor, facilitator and audio describer Owen Pugh. We discussed his career to date, recent audio description training with Coreo Cymru for The Family  Dance Festival and his thoughts on the arts in Wales. 

You can listen to this interview through the sound file below

Hi can you please tell us a little about yourself and your practice?

Hello! Right, well I am an actor and facilitator based in North Wales, originally from Penarth, via London now living with my family in Mold. I’ve been a performer for quite a few years now and worked on numerous theatre tours, film as well as radio and voice over. As a facilitator I’ve worked with young people on various topics as well as in more corporate environments.

You have recently received audio description training from Dr Louise Fryer, BBC Radio 3 Presenter and Audio Describer, and Anne Hornsby of Mind’s Eye, both pioneers in UK audio description as part of the Family Dance Festival. The training was organised by Carole Blade, Creative Producer for Dance in Wales with Coreo Cymru. Can you give us more information on this training?

Certainly, well I heard about the training after going to Taking Flight’s ‘Breaking out of the Box’ symposium at Theatre Clwyd a couple of months ago and I jumped at the opportunity. The theme of the symposium was Access and how can access across the board be improved by the industry in Wales. Audio Description was brought up in the conversation briefly along with many other access issues. I’ve always had an interest in radio drama and have done a couple of radio plays myself, that I was really intrigued by the idea of potentially using skills I have as an actor and applying them to a role I didn’t know too much about. We started with introductions meeting Louise, Anne and Carole, from whom I heard of the training via her company Coreo Cymru. We then flew into the training, learning about various sight afflictions and what effect the have; to get an understanding of how vast and varied the pool of people are who require AD services. We also discussed the possibility of how you could incorporate AD into a performance, making it more of a fluid form of access, which really appealed to myself. We learnt about scripting the action; this was particularly hard in the medium of dance as it is so visual that you feel you are describing absolutely everything. Through the company’s dress rehearsals you’re looking out for everything; subtle movements or the environment or specific dance moves. It was incredibly challenging, yet highly rewarding.

We then took part in a seminar where we heard from representatives from the Cardiff Institute for the Blind about their experiences; positive and not so positive, in theatres and other cultural venues across Wales. As well as hearing from Megan Merrett from HYNT who represent Welsh cultural venues that push for better access in their buildings as well as getting people who have additional access needs into cultural venues. It was particularly key to hear from the people who actually use this service, I definitely picked up some good tips! On the final day we took a performance each and Audio Described the whole piece. It felt great to be chucked in at the deep end, you really learn to understand the challenges that are faced in a live performance. The whole process was really rewarding, it has definitely encouraged me to explore AD as a career path, I’ll definitely be looking for future opportunities.

Prior to this did you have any knowledge of audio description for theatre/dance?

Very, very basic. As I mentioned before it was briefly mentioned in the symposium I attended earlier in the year. I have also seen it is available to use at numerous cinemas as well as TV channels and streaming services, but hadn’t much prior knowledge of it in regard to live performing art at all.

Get the Chance works to support a diverse range of members of the public to access cultural provision Are you aware of any barriers to equality and diversity for either Welsh or Wales based artists?

Speaking from experience I have seen first hand at castings the lack of diversity, or perceived lack of diversity and equality. It’s a hard industry to get seen for projects in general: work is of a premium. I feel gatekeepers at organisations have the biggest responsibility to how wide they spread their nets, as well as more encouragement from producers to new writers that demonstrate something that represents the wonderful diversity that is available in Wales so that their voices are heard in the places that matter. And I really hope we are seeing a shift toward that.

If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?

I would give it to the Arts Council and encourage them to back every company that has strong beliefs in promoting their work in communities all over Wales, not just the popular spots!

What excites you about the arts in Wales?

It is a forever growing menagerie of talent across the board. Such brilliant new writing, acting and directing. Such exceptional theatres and companies producing top quality, award winning work. We are pretty spoiled really!

What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

‘Black Men Walking’ was a brilliant piece of theatre from Eclipse Theatre Company that I saw at Theatr Clwyd, a bold and diverse piece that struck you in your soul. A great mix of storytelling, music, rhythmic poetry. Loved it.

There will be Audio Description at The Family Dance Festival at the Wales Millennium Centre on Saturday the 14th April.

Audio Described performances and Touch Tours Sat 14 April @ 12.15 for Welsh show and 15.45 English show.

Welsh language taster workshop led by Cêt Haf, (S4C’s Nansi in Follow M) following the 12:30 shows each day.

 

 

Ioan Gwyn and Innovation in Audio Description for Welsh Dance.

The director of Get the Chance Guy O’Donnell recently met with actor and audio describer Ioan Gwyn. They discussed his background, his recent audio description training supported by Coreo Cymru and his thoughts on the arts in Wales.

You can listen to this interview with Ioan at the link below.

Hi Ioan, a pleasure to meet you can you tell me more about  yourself and your practice?

Hi, I’m originally from Tal-y-bont in Ceredigion and I’ve been an actor for over ten years now, having trained at The Central School of Speech and Drama. I’m a bit of a newcomer to the world of Audio Description and I’m loving it!

You have recently received audio description training from Dr Louise Fryer, BBC Radio 3 Presenter and Audio Describer, and Anne Hornsby of Mind’s Eye, both pioneers in UK audio description as part of the Family Dance Festival.

The training was organised by Carole Blade, Creative Producer for Dance in Wales with Coreo Cymru. Can you give us more information on this training?

It was very whoooosh! Louise and Anne gave us a thorough breakdown of the function and importance of Audio Describing for a blind or visually impaired audience and also explained the process of crafting a script for a live stage production. This was all done over a long weekend so it was a lot to cram in but every piece of information and advice was golden and they were both so open to my myriad of questions and queries, I am forever in their debt. They both admitted that dance is by far the hardest art form to Audio Describe so I’ve hit the ground running!

Prior to this did you have any knowledge of audio description for theatre/dance?

Last year I worked with Taking Flight Theatre Company who do fantastic work with producing plays that provide access to D/deaf and visually impaired audiences. Thus whilst playing both Caliban and Ferdinand, I also had to AD a few bits throughout the show so perhaps that was my maiden voyage into the AD world.

Ioan (left) in the Tempest with performer Sam Bees. Photographic Credit Jorge Lizalde

Later in the year I worked with Chlöe Clarke and Sami Thorpe’s company, Elbow Room Theatre, on their production “The Importance of Being Described Earnestly” which wove the AD into the fabric of the text and was a terrific experience.

I’ve also recorded an audiobook for the RNIBs library.

Congratulations you are Wales first audio describer in the Welsh Language! What interest have you had in this new service to improve access from the Welsh speaking community?

Diolch yn fawr! As there hasn’t been a Welsh speaking audio describer before, it may well be a case of making communities and companies aware of this now, but based on the interest I’ve encountered and the random emails asking if “Are you actually a welsh speaking audio describer?” I can confirm the demand is there! We took the dance festival to Galeri in Caernarfon and I met a visually impaired Welsh speaking lady who regularly visits Galeri for various audio described events. She attended our show and she was very enthusiastic about the prospect of being able to go to Welsh language theatre that was audio described.

Get the Chance works to support a diverse range of members of the public to access cultural provision Are you aware of any barriers to equality and diversity for either Welsh or Wales based artists?

There will always be barriers in various guises and it’s up to everyone to spot them, acknowledge them, and remove them. Sometimes knocking politely isn’t the answer, sometimes you have to kick the door in.

If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?

Film. I did my B.A in Film Studies and it’s a long-standing ambition of mine to make a film one day! Wales has a wealth of stories to tell, and not merely from our folklore like Y Mabinogi, but in contemporary Wales. Why are other countries able to regularly fund and produce relevant vital films and Wales aren’t? One day I’d like to go to the cinema to see a macabre comedy set in Llandudno, or a Welsh Language Sci-fi film set in post-apocalyptic Aberystwyth.

What excites you about the arts in Wales?

There’s always something going on in some capacity. Whether it’s a small music festival, a touring theatre show, or a new piece of writing on S4C. I think there’s just about something for almost everybody going on at some time, and personally I just enjoy working with such talented people from Wales and those who have settled here and are making the arts scene richer with their presence.

What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

It was a while ago now but I had a great time at Flossy & Boo’s Alternativity, bursting with originality and The Other Room is a great space to see theatre.

As a side-note I’d add that as a self-professed comic book fan, seeing the Welsh flag at the end of Black Panther had me struggling to contain my inner-nerd…

Thanks for your time Ioan

“How well do you know Cathays Park, Cardiff?” A research study

The Civic Centre area of Cardiff known as Cathays Park is the subject of a new piece of research by Mari Lowe and Carrie Westwater. They teamed up with Nerys Lloyd-Pierce of Cardiff Civic Society to take a walk around the space. Nerys wrote her reflections after a slightly chilly but very peaceful walk…

“I recently read Rob Cowen’s Common Ground, a beautiful, reflective book in which the author becomes immersed in the minutiae of the natural environment of the ‘edge lands’ on the outskirts of his home town, Harrogate.

Cowen gets to know this relatively small patch of forgotten land intimately: he knows its moods, feels the vibrations of the past, fears for its future.

Last week’s walk around Cathays Park made me realise how little I really know an area I would consider to be familiar to me.  Take Alexandra Gardens. I have walked through them many times,  have sat on the grass on summer afternoons, but until last week, I hadn’t noticed the Wallenberg memorial stone and tree.  The story behind it was one of humanity and heroism.

Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat, posted to Budapest in 1944, with a mission to help the city’s Jews.

Wallenberg had the authority of the Swedish government – neutral in the Second World War – to issue certificates which protected named Jews from deportation. He had carefully designed the documents to look like Swedish passports. He issued far more than the number he’d agreed with Hungarian officials, and also forged documents to protect individuals at risk.

Thanks to Wallenberg and his associates, more than 100,000 Jews were still in Budapest when the city was liberated by Soviet forces in February 1945. Tragically however, Wallenberg himself disappeared in January 1945. He was arrested by Soviet personnel, possibly on suspicion of spying. One report claims he died in 1947 at the KGB’s Lubyanka prison.

I felt immensely moved by this story, and by the human capacity for compassion and self-sacrifice.  It also set me thinking – how many other corners of my home city have I overlooked, and how many more stories will unfold if I start looking properly…”

Mari and Carrie are interested to find out how people think and feel about the Civic Centre and how they use it on a day-to-day basis. The research is funded by the Cultural Participation Research Network (led by Eval Elliot, Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University Ellie Byrne, Research Associate, Cardiff University) and supported by Cardiff Civic Society and Welsh Centre for International Affairs. To find out more or to share your thoughts on the Civic Centre email: marilouiselowe@gmail.com

Nerys is secretary of Cardiff Civic Society. To find out more or to join the society visit: http://www.cardiffcivicsociety.org/

Sharing Positive Action to support Access, Inclusion and Diversity

In this article we interview a range of arts professionals to share good practice in the areas of Access, Inclusion and Diversity.

Meredydd Barker 

Hi can you please tell us a little about yourself and your practice?

I’m a playwright, artistic director of Narberth Youth Theatre and the west Wales rep for Youth Arts Network Cymru – YANC

 Which area/s of good practice in the arts relating to the themes of access, inclusion and diversity would you like to highlight?

It begins with the young. Youth Arts Network Cymru – YANC – is doing tremendous work in this regard in the hope that as the young people involved grow older and, perhaps, make a career in the arts, best practice can spread through the industry . Then, one day, access, inclusion and diversity will not be issues that have to be continually addressed. They won’t be issues at all.

Helena Davies

Hi can you please tell us a little about yourself and your practice?

Hi, I’m Helena Davies, and I’m a linguist with a background in Technical Translation and English as a Foreign Language. I have a BA in Italian and Spanish, an MA in Literary Translation and I am currently preparing for my Welsh Mynediad exam in June. I moved to Cardiff from London last year, and over the last couple of months, I have been training to become a Captioner, working on producing film and TV subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing. I recently received audio description training from Dr Louise Fryer, BBC Radio 3 Presenter and Audio Describer, and Anne Hornsby of Mind’s Eye, both pioneers in UK audio description. I am now looking to establish a career in Captioning and Audio Description. I dance samba de gafieira and samba funkeado, and am passionate about media and arts accessibility.

Which area/s of good practice in the arts relating to the themes of access, inclusion and diversity would you like to highlight?

With a strong interest in dance and accessibility, I was delighted to be invited by Carole Blade, Creative Producer for Dance in Wales, to attend a three-day audio description training course based on the Family Dance Festival at Chapter Arts Centre. Over an intense three days, we learnt how best to audio describe dance, which is considered to be one of the hardest mediums to describe. We all concurred that “Drifter” by Jukebox Collective, featuring the talented Kate Morris, was by far the trickiest to describe. The Family Dance Festival is presented by Bombastic and Coreo Cymru, and features four short audio described dance performances in Welsh and English, with accompanying touch tours. It is a great initiative and exciting to see dance being opened up to all. The Family Dance Festival is running from 24 March to 14 April 2018

Elise Davison

Hi can you please tell us a little about yourself and your practice?

I’m the co founder and Artistic Director of Taking Flight Theatre Company, the company I co founded with Beth House in 2008. Before this I was an actress for 10 years, a teacher, a presenter and a facilitator. Taking Flight is an inclusive company originally set up to break down the barriers, or perceived barriers to participation in the arts. We have been integrating access tools into our work for a long time now and act as creative access consultant for many other theatres companies. We have produced over 17 tours of Wales, run many residencies and trained many facilitators in our 10 years. We have recently become a disability led organisation, as over half of our Board of Directors identify as disabled, and this is really important to us.

Currently we are touring our inclusive family show You’ve got Dragons which gently raised the issues of Mental Wellbeing in young people and accompany this with free resilience building ‘Dragon Taming’ workshops which have been created in collaboration with clinical psychologists. This is touring the whole of the UK and is a really exciting development for the company. It’s been great to find so many theatres in England keen to programme inclusive work. We are a company that seeks to nurture the next generation of theatre makers, we have taken risks with casting, with our creative access, with our marketing materials. As creatives we take risks with everything else we do so we need to be prepared to do so with regards to diversity and access. It’s great to see some of our former employees ‘take flight’ and set up on their own e.g. Sami Thorpe and Chloe Clarke of Elbow Room and we continue to wish them every success on their new adventures. TF offer support and advice when we can and do everything within our power to ensure we make our work and our process as accessible as possible. We make mistakes, we often get it wrong and we continue to learn and to develop our work and we love to collaborate…many heads are better than one!

Which area/s of good practice in the arts relating to the themes of access, inclusion and diversity would you like to highlight?

Fio – Abdul is doing so much to raise the issues around the lack of diversity in Wales and is producing some cracking work. We hope to work more closely with Fio in the future.

Mess up the Mess – a ‘quietly inclusive’ company that really nurture the young people they work with creating strong, independent theatre makers with excellent ideas about access. Can’t wait to work with them again – we continue to learn from them.

Hijinx Theatre – producing excellent touring work and taking the international scene by storm, this company is changing the attitude towards in inclusive work featuring learning disabled actors. Meet Fred continues to tour across the world and the next show The Flop is sure to be another success. Additionally the academies which are now running pan Wales are a real example of the kind of training that we need to have in place to nurture the next generation of learning disabled performers. We would love to have the capacity to run an ongoing training forum for D/deaf/HOH and disabled performers and are in conversations with a number of organisations about this.

Ramps on the Moon – an amazing initiative in England which is placing disabled performers and accessible productions on main stages and in producing houses across the UK.

Stopgap Dance – they have been so generous to us over the last year, giving us advice and putting us in touch with like minded organisations and really are the leading lights in inclusive dance. Love their work. www.stopgapdance.com

WMC – Jenny Sturt is making massive changes and embracing access and inclusion in a huge way. Her drive and passions is infectious!

Yvonne Murphy – has produced some excellent all female work and is enthusiastic and determined to challenge any inequality which may lead to people being excluded from the arts.

Bath Spa and The Atrium – I’ve worked with both these organisations as a creative access consultant and have worked to integrate a BSL interpreter ( the wonderful Julie Doyle and Tony Evans) into their shows and to integrate audio description. It’s great that the Universities that are training the next generation of actors feel so strongly about making accessible work. The students have loved the process and have been inspired to think more creatively about access as a result. Long may it continue!

Creu Cymru and hynt – Still doing fab work with venues via the hynt card scheme. It’s also been great to host our 4th access symposium Wales – a diverse nation? at Theatr Clywd with Creu Cymru in Feb, such a great bunch of people attended and so many ideas were generated and will hopefully start to be put into play. As a result we are hosting free access meeting – practical access solutions at WMC once a month and the first one sold out in 12hrs! So there is obviously a want to be more diverse and a desire to be part of the conversation, we all just need to be a tiny bit braver and not worry so much about getting it wrong!

Ucan go! app – also needs a mention here – an app to help orientate blind or partially sighted visitors at theatres, it’s so great it would be wonderful to see more venues investing in this.

Adeola Dewis

Can you please tell us a little about yourself and your practice?

My name is Adeola and I am an artist and researcher working across visual arts and performance. My practice engages conceptual, performative and aesthetic notions on Carnival, ritual, folk and emancipatory performances.

Which area/s of good practice in the arts relating to the themes of access, inclusion and diversity would you like to highlight?

I highlight Carnival as an area that exemplifies good practice in terms of inclusion, diversity and access.

Jacob Gough

Hi can you please tell us a little about yourself and your practice?

My name is Jacob Gough, I’m Production Manager for National Theatre Wales, which in a nutshell involves the logistical planning for productions.

Which area/s of good practice in the arts relating to the themes of access, inclusion and diversity would you like to highlight?

I would like to highlight the amazing work of companies that don’t just champion but incorporate access into their shows; companies like Taking Flight, UCAN Arts, Hijinx, Llanarth Group and artists like Jonny Cotsen amongst others. Companies and artists are doing a lot more work now to provide captioning, BSL and audio-described performances, which is great to see. Access forums are a fantastic mechanism to help organisations and artists share knowledge and learning, and a lot of new technologies are being developed that help accessibility; all of which helps develop this all-important feature of the arts.

Jafar Iqbal

Hi can you please tell us a little about yourself and your practice?

I’m a freelance artist and arts critic. I’ve written for publications such as The Stage, WhatsOnStage and Wales Arts Review, as well as regional and online publications over the course of my career. I’m also a scriptwriter and storyteller.

Which area/s of good practice in the arts relating to the themes of access, inclusion and diversity would you like to highlight?

I’d like to raise awareness about Where I’m Coming From, a monthly Open Mic event hosted by writers Durre Shahwar and Hanan Issa. Currently at the Tramshed in Cardiff every month, the spoken word event is aimed predominantly at the BAME population. Going to one of these events is an enlightening experience, as its attended by people who you usually wouldn’t see at other such events. It’s become a safe space for writers to express themselves in a welcoming environment and, for many of these people, the first time they’ve ever shared their creativity to an audience. A fantastic event.

Rachel Pedley Miller

Hi can you please tell us a little about yourself and your practice?

I run Avant Cymru. At Avant we aim to be acceptable creating work with audiences and delivering projects that are accessible to many individuals. In the past we have used apps such as swipe to caption our performances and we have worked in venues which are acceptable to those with mobility issues. We work with the community into raise our awareness of the needs. We also look to highlight a range of needs especially through our continual drama Rhondda Road, which is directed by Shane Anderson. Rhondda Road will be starting again in May 2019 and we would love to have a character in the show who would want to raise further awareness of the difficulties people who have a disability have accessing the arts. As a dyslexic person living with a chronic illness, I refuse to let my conditions prevent me from trying new things and will always work with audience and cast members to make the shows as accessible as possible. To date Avant have not produced one show without BAME cast members, we have also employed LBGT cast members on various projects. This has not been something that we have shouted about as we have seen our staff as the best people for the job, the fact that they identify as disabled, LBGT, disabled or from a BAME background is for them. We just see everyone that is hired as the best person for their role and we are proud that we see diverse people as equals.

Which area/s of good practice in the arts relating to the themes of access, inclusion and diversity would you like to highlight?

I think that it is important to look at each project, Consider if it is relevant to 2018. What I mean is if there is a pre-written script is it possible to make it appealing or relevant to audiences now. Because if it isn’t then Avant are not interested in producing that show.
When we have established a compelling idea we look to hire someone who has the correct skills, energy and enthusiasm to create the work. Looking for a cast member who can ply the role with the right drive, rather than worrying if they can tick a diversity box. Seeing each individual on their own merit and supporting them to make a career in the arts, or to participate in the arts should be considered on a person by person basis and implementing various tools to make work and audience opportunities accessible to all should be considered. We always evaluate after each show, so far our audiences have been happy that they have been able to access Avants work. We need to keep evolving to have more tools in place so we are able to cater for different individuals.

Yvonne Murphy

Hi can you please tell us a little about yourself and your practice?

I run Omidaze Productions. I set it up back in 2008 specifically to use drama and theatre to shake stuff up, entertain new audiences and inspire change. We make politically grounded theatre, run workshops in schools and produce annual Summer Schools for young people which give full scholarship places to those for whom economics make the arts harder to reach. Our first production and tour (Things Beginning With M) examined how women learn from each other about everything from Motherhood to the Menopause, Miscarriages, Menstruation, Masturbation, Men, Money, Marriage, Mysogyny, Media Images and Maturity. Everthing begins with M!

I am really interested in smashing down boundaries between different art forms and exploring the difference between for example a visual art installation and set design or dance and movement/physical theatre. I love to smash the fourth wall and explore how audiences behave when you break the rules, or even have none at all. I like theatre to break beyond the confines of the designated space and like using unusual public spaces to entice and spark curiousity in those who might not otherwise enter a theatre.

I use visual artists, stand-up comedians, circus choreograhers and aerialists and movement directors to help me discover what will entice new audiences into the theatre and allow text to become relevant, accessible and visceral.

I created, directed and produced the Shakespeare Trilogy (co-productions with the Wales Millennium Centre) which consisted of two all-female productions immersive site specific productions in the WMC roof void (Richard III 2015 & Henry VI 2016) a ‘gateway’ Shakespeare production which strived to reach younger audiences and used a BAME strong and gender balanced cast.

I am deeply concerned by the inequality within our society and within the theatre industry where we tell and share our stories which help us to connect and make sense of our world and what it is to be human. I therefore strive to make work which challenges myself and the status quo and attempt to raise awareness of that deeply ingrained inequality, issues of social injustice, conflict and stuff which I believe needs to shift and change through my work.

Which area/s of good practice in the arts relating to the themes of access, inclusion and diversity would you like to highlight?

The Young Vic did some good work on how we should think and act differently as cultural organisations when recruiting. Where and how we recruit for positions at all levels is key. Recruitment processes could be so much more creative and reach people from different sectors and walks of life. They have walked the talk with the recruitment of their new Artistic Director, Kwame Kwei-Armah.

Taking Flight have taught me so much about inclusivity in theatre and I would love to see the day when they no longer need to call themselves an inclusive theatre company because EVERY theatre company should be an inclusive theatre company.

The Clore Leadership Programme gave me phenomenal training in so many areas including governance and is striving to change the face of cultural leadership within the UK and make it more equally representative. It made me realise how key governance is and if the board of an organisation is not leading the way in challenging systemic inequality then the organisation most likely won’t be either. Any board which is truly diverse and ensures that trustees step down after a set period of 5-6 years is good practice.

Kaite O’Reilly

Hi can you please tell us a little about yourself and your practice?

Hi of course, please find some information on myself below,

Kaite O’Reilly is an award winning Playwright who works both in the so-called mainstream and disability arts and culture. Awarded the Peggy Ramsay award & Ted Hughes award for new works in poetry for ‘Persians’ with National Theatre Wales (NTW). A leading figure in disability arts and culture internationally, she received three Cultural Olympiad commissions and her Unlimited commission production with NTW of ‘In Water I’m Weightless’ was part of the official festival celebrating the 2012 London olympics/Paralympic and created an important political and cultural precedent – the first production written from a disability perspective with an all Deaf and disabled cast performing on such a high profile national platform. She is currently touring ‘Richard iii redux’ – reclaiming Richard iii as a disabled icon and her 2018 Unlimited international commission ‘and suddenly I disappear – the Singapore ‘d’ monologues’ premieres in Singapore in May and comes to U.K. to tour in September. Her acclaimed collected ‘Atypical Plays for Atypical Actors’ are published by Oberon. She is patron of Disability Arts Cymru and DaDaFest and publishes widely about diversity, inclusion and disability.

Which area/s of good practice in the arts relating to the themes of access, inclusion and diversity would you like to highlight?

I think it’s about changing the whole way performance is made, how, about, and with whom, it’s the content and material as much as including innovative use of the aesthetics of access. Theatre is supposed to be the study of what it is to be human and yet it still has a very narrow perspective – we need to broaden this in the stories we tell, the protagonists we create and the theatre languages we use (integrated Sign interpretation, captioning, audio description, etc).

I have written widely about what I call ‘alternative dramaturgies informed by a Deaf and disability perspective’ when AHRC creative fellow 2003-06 and 2010-2017 when fellow at International Research Centre in Berlin. We could be far more inventive – and work, like mine, had been going on for decades but is still marginalised. We need to make this central . But not just access as add-on – we need disabled and Deaf writers, makers, directors, designers, performers etc and this should be mainstream not ‘inclusive’ for brownie points.

You can read more from Kaite on this subject matter at the links below,

The Necessity of Diverse Voices in Theatre Regarding Disability and Difference

Cripping the Crip—Is It Time to Reclaim Richard III?

Chloe Philips

Hi can you please tell us a little about yourself and your practice?

I’m Chloë Clarke, a visually impaired actor, director and theatre maker and cofounder of Elbow Room Theatre Company in Cardiff. I have been working as a performer for 8 years and now focus on making my own work, both as an individual and with ERT partner Sami Thorpe, which champions creative access and truthfully representing disabled people within the arts. ERT is committed to producing new writing that does the same while showcasing relevant and cutting edge work.

I also work as an audio description consultant, which means I work with companies, venues and artists to integrate AD into their work through joining their devising and R&D process, or find creative ways to add it to existing work in a way that is inherent to the piece’s unique style.

Which area/s of good practice in the arts relating to the themes of access, inclusion and diversity would you like to highlight?

The recent discussions and debates surrounding diversity in the arts, within Cardiff and on a global scale through events like the Oscars and the promotion of the inclusion rider, are vital and long overdue. If you’re not from a minority it may not seem relevant, it may in fact feel quite uncomfortable, but we all have a responsibility to ensure that we, as artists, provide fair representation of our society through all facets of our practice, and to date we have fallen worryingly short of this. However, the very fact that these debates are taking place in our industry is a very positive sign. Now it’s time to act.

I, for one, can only speak from my own experience as a female disabled artist. As well as stipulating the need for wider and truer representation of people like me in the arts, I’d also like to highlight the importance of considering access from the outset of any project – namely the writing of a script or the start of R&D wherein a piece is being devised. Once we start committing to this idea across the board the arts will become fairer.

I will always advocate for creative, integrated access rather than ‘traditional’ methods (an attitude that I have encouraged and nurtured within many companies I have worked with over the years to great effect), as this is the best means by which access can become relevant to every audience member and not just those with access requirements. It’s wonderful that the collective consciousness is growing in this regard and that more creatives are becoming aware of the opportunities afforded them by considering access as inherent to their work – we just need more. More awareness, more action, more choice.

We still have quite a way to go to overcome a lot of the barriers faced by audiences, performers and companies, but as long as we talk AND act (and start engaging diverse people in these conversations rather than just listening to white, straight, middle class, non-disabled people talking about what ‘they’ need) the positive changes we’ve started to notice happening will gain momentum.

So, no one shut up! Let’s keep this going and hear from the diverse array of people we actually have in this industry.

Good practice (very generally speaking) is to openly discuss issues surrounding diversity rather than shying away from them because they’re awkward. In more specific terms, Graeae are the obvious UK trailblazers with regard to best practice surrounding access, particularly for d/Deaf audiences and performers. As everyone who works in disability arts knows, nobody ever gets it 100% right all the time, that’s where open dialogue needs to be continual. It never hurts to ask questions.

Gagglebabble really impressed me with their commitment to having a VI consultant involved from the outset on one of their latest of projects and their commitment to auditioning VI performers for at least one role in the show. They have taken a very natural approach to it without any hint of wanting to tick a box, and their high standards can only help to improve general perceptions of what a quietly integrated cast can do.

If all ‘mainstream’ companies could adopt the same attitude – very openly and naturally deferring to those with lived experience to guide them on best practice and having the intention of also representing this on stage, while not making a big song and dance (sorry, couldn’t resist) about it – things would move forward much more smoothly and there would be little need for drum-banging from those of us who are marginalised.

Elena Schmitz,  Head of Programmes at Literature Wales.

Hi can you please tell us a little about yourself and your practice?

My name is Elena Schmitz and I am the Head of Programmes at Literature Wales. In this role, I am responsible for the development, effective management and operational delivery of Literature Wales’ varied programmes including high-profile projects in Community Participation; Arts & Health; International Development and Writer Development. So quite a varied role. I am particularly interested in collaboration, co-production, interdisciplinary work and in achieving social change through arts provision.

We have been running many inclusive literature community projects for a number of years, most notably the South Wales Literature Development Initiative (SWLDI) which is now called Lit Reach and has been extended further to areas in North Wales. We are also currently facilitating a number of health and wellbeing projects, including the delivery in Wales of the UK-wide Reading Friends Project, as well as our new Health & Wellbeing Funding Scheme.

Which area/s of good practice in the arts relating to the themes of access, inclusion and diversity would you like to highlight?

I think many arts organisations in Wales are exemplary in this and others can learn a lot from their approaches. Some of them have focused on access, inclusion and diversity for years and this is absolutely part of the raison d’être of the work that they do. For example, Hijinx Theatre is brilliant at co-producing high quality theatre with disabled and non-disabled artists, while Valleys Kids focuses on providing opportunities for disadvantaged families. Head4Arts has worked tirelessly in providing meaningful, empowering arts experiences to the disadvantaged communities of the heads of the valleys. NTW’s TEAM is a great model of widening access for larger arts organisations and allowing for more shared decision-making and wider reach of the organisation’s work. The new BAME community-led Where I’m Coming From collective organises regular literature events in Grangetown in Cardiff, arising from the need for more diversity in the literature sector.

Across the UK there are a number of really inspiring projects. One that I find very powerful is the Fun Palaces initiative, conceived by writer and activist Stella Duffy. At the heart of this growing and influential project lies the believe that everyone is an artist and everyone a scientist, and that creativity in the community can change the world for the better. Fun Palaces is an ongoing campaign for cultural democracy, with an annual weekend of action every October. The campaign promotes culture at the heart of community and community at the heart of culture.

I think the model of co-producing work with (rather than for) communities and shaping things together is increasingly important for all arts organisations. Arts and culture that truly matters and changes minds needs to be shaped by all, not just by an elite minority.

Sami Thorpe

Hi can you please tell us a little about yourself and your practice?

Hi, I’m Sami, I work as a performer and also as a qualified British Sign Language/English Interpreter. I am also a cofounder of Elbow Room Theatre Company. I have a longstanding passion for inclusion and accessibility in the Arts ever since training at a unique degree course at the University of Reading; Theatre Arts, Education and Deaf Studies.

Which area/s of good practice in the arts relating to the themes of access, inclusion and diversity would you like to highlight?

I thought it might help to share the dates for the British Sign Language Interpretation for the productions below over the next few months which I am providing.

All But Gone – The Other Room Theatre,  7:30pm (plus post show talk) 05/04/2018 (Thurs)

BSL video info:

Almost Always Muddy – Wales Millennium Centre
11am & 3pm, 08/04/2018 (Sun)

The Girl With Incredibly Long Hair – Wales Millennium Centre
11am & 3pm, 13/04/2018 (Friday)

Fleabag – Wales Millennium Centre
8pm, 27/04/2018 (Friday)

The Effect – The Other Room Theatre
7:30pm, 03/05/2018 (Thursday)

Rhiannon White

Hi can you please tell us a little about yourself and your practice?

I’m a Cardiff born, Cardiff based theatre director. I mainly work with my theatre company Common Wealth but I also work on freelance stuff which has ranged from taking a circus to Gaza to making a show on a beach.

I think it was growing up in St.Mellons, Cardiff  that got me into theatre. We didn’t have very much growing up but what we did have is loads of kids to play with. I spent my childhood playing in the street, dressing kids up in my mums old clothes and on plays on in the garden. I think that’s where my DIY spirit came from in those early lessons of making the most of what you’ve got.

My company Common Wealth grew out of those roots – we were a group of people that came together to make theatre. We started with nothing, making shows in large empty buildings, without funding and with the generosity of people who wanted to get involved.

Over the years Common Wealth has grown, we’ve made work in many different places, with incredible groups of people and have worked  on shows in places like Neath, Chicago and Germany.

Which area/s of good practice in the arts relating to the themes of access, inclusion and diversity would you like to highlight?

Last year I completed a report called  CLASS  ‘The Elephant in the Room’s it was researched, written and performed as part of my Arts Council Wales supported Clore Fellowship (2015 – 2016) and was funded by the Arts Humanities and Research Council. The purpose of CLASS The Elephant in the room is to investigate the inherent social conditions that exist in the creative industries today; social conditions such as social class and geographic location that can influence and determine a career in the arts. It pays attention to the contradictions that play out where class is considered, and how these contradictions continue to reproduce and reinforce class divisions.

It is an auto-ethnographic study that draws from my own personal experience and combines it with interviews with others who share a similar position. It provides a personal testimony on working in a sector that is dominated by white, middle-class, males.

This report was first and foremost delivered as a live performance debate that provides a resource for theatres, artists and institutions to use if they would like to form their own discussions around the themes of diversity and class.

You can access the full report at this link

 

Common Wealth are also starting a Youth Theatre Lab in Cardiff. The aim of this youth theatre is not to play games or train to become an actor (although this might happen too.) The Youth Theatre Lab is about developing the skills to make theatre that has something to say. The YTL will be a place of experimentation – we will collaborate with highly experienced theatre practitioners, choreographers, visual artists and composers to develop important work by and for young people. The Youth Theatre Lab is  FREE but booking is required. Its or ages 13-18 6pm-8pm and starts on Wednesday 4 April.

Nickie Miles-Wildin

Hi can you please tell us a little about yourself and your practice?

My name is Nickie Miles-Wildin and I’m a theatre maker. I’m currently Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme, Resident Assistant Director based at The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. I am also Artistic Director of TwoCan Theatre Company based in Gloucestershire, where I’m originally from. Alongside my colleagues Becky Andrews and Louise Partridge we set up TwoCan to promote diversity in the arts and enable D/deaf and disabled people access to the arts, something that was lacking in the county. We have a successful youth theatre and have produced work made by professional disabled actors, writers and directors.

Which area/s of good practice in the arts relating to the themes of access, inclusion and diversity would you like to highlight?

I would highlight the work of Graeae as they have been going for 30+years and continue to push the barriers of access. They have taught me what I know and I continue to admire their work. Ramps On The Moon builds on the Graeae model and will hopefully change the views of directors and audiences as it progresses. In Wales I admire the work of Elbow Room who are challenging us all about creative use of audio description. We all fall in love with sign language (have our epiphanies) and Elbow Room are making us do the same abut audio description.

Any companies pioneered by D/deaf and disabled artists are the ones for me. We face the biggest barriers as sometimes we can’t even get into buildings to see work. Or even into training establishments. Extant, Birds Of Paradise, Fittings, Access All Areas, Daryl Beeton theatre maker, PAD Productions  are all up there as some of my highlights.

 

An interview with Matthew Trevannion

Get the Chance values the role Welsh or Wales based playwrights  bring to the cultural life of our nation. Here is the latest interview in this series with actor and playwright Matthew Trevannion. 

Hi Matthew great to meet you, can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?

 Hi, my name is Matthew Trevannion I am a Welsh playwright and actor living in London. I’ve been acting professionally for 13 years (When given the opportunity) and writing for around 8. All But Gone is my third full production in a Welsh theatre, following Bruised at Theatre Clwyd and Leviathan for the Sherman.

Bruised

Leviathan

So what got you interested in the arts?

When introduced to Shakespeare in school something shifted. I won’t embellish and say that I went straight out and devoured the whole canon but I recognized something miraculous was being offered when reading it. I wanted to understand how someone could take the same letters that you might find on the back of a cereal box and organize them in a way that offered the whole world.

Your latest play All But Gone will premier at The Other Room this month. The production information states “What use is love when the mind fractures and fades? Is it our vice, or our only remedy?” Can you tell us more about the back ground to this new production?

 I wouldn’t want to offer too much in the way of plot but I can say in retrospect that the play is for my grandparents. It’s about the madness of enduring love and the price of that. That said this play is anything but a maudlin tale of decay.

All But Gone rehearsals, credit Kieran Cudlip

You are an actor as well as a playwright. I wonder if your knowledge of both disciplines cross-pollinates when you are working in both different disciplines?

 Yes, in the sense that my three years at drama school was a great education in what it takes to structure a play. It has flowed back the other way into my acting in that I recognise the amount of work that goes into writing. It’s fostered a real respect for the craft of others. It is a long and arduous process full of joy and doubt, but one that’s always worth persevering with. You start the process in a room by yourself and wind up in an audience surrounded by others.

Get the Chance works to support a diverse range of members of the public to access cultural provision Are you aware of any barriers to equality and diversity for either Welsh or Wales based artists or specifically writers? 

 Living in London I can’t pretend to be a voice of authority on such things. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve received support from an early stage in my writing career. I’m afraid I just don’t have enough knowledge on that front to make comment.

There are a range of organisations supporting Welsh and Wales based writers, I wonder if you feel the current support network and career opportunities feel ‘healthy’ to you?

 Again, anything I write here would be a guess. I don’t possess an intimate understanding of the writing network in Wales. Even though I’ve worked within it. All I can say is that there should always be support for people at all stages of their career. If someone is rolling out of bed each day with their head full of ideas then there must be avenues for them. Avenues designed to support them through to the very end of the process too.

If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?

 By “area” I would think in a geographic sense. National Theatre Wales  has made inroads into communities and offered world-class theatre to people in their hometowns. That is deeply commendable but we have to be careful that we don’t know set up shop in these places only because there is media interest in the events surrounding the area or that it is home to a famous son. We should be taking theatre to communities that are starved of it because that is our responsibility.

What excites you about the arts in Wales? What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers? 

 Gary Owen is still as lively as ever. I saw his Killology at the Royal Court and thought it was a thrilling piece of writing, beautifully performed. That’s really exciting. Welsh based productions finding audiences further afield. Let’s hope it continues.

Many thanks for your time

 

 

An interview with Matt Ball, Director of The Girl with Incredibly Long Hair

Hi Matt, can you give our readers some background on this new production?

In 2012 I became a father and, it might be a bit of a cliché but, it changed the way I saw the world. It changed the kind of work I want to make and who I wanted to make it for. As our daughter grew we took her to see lots of different types of children’s theatre from Theatr Iolo’s baby show, Out of the Blue to Peppa Pig, Mr Tumble to pantomime; and it started me thinking about what kind of work I’d make for children. When we were making Light Waves Dark Skies in 2016 my partner Jacqui (production manager), Nia (producer) and me were having a conversation about the bedtime stories we read our children, and their traditional view of the world.

It surprised us that in the 21st century the majority of children’s books still have a very stereotypical view of gender roles. How many stories have a Princess waiting to be saved by Prince or a girl who likes sparkly dresses and a boy who gets muddy? There are of course great exceptions to this and a growing range of literature that tries to redress the balance.

ThanksMatt, how did this then lead into the development of this new show?

Over the course of our conversations an idea started to form, so when we began to discuss what our next project would be I had my pitch ready. “I think we should develop a show for young audiences based on Rapunzel, where she doesn’t need saving by the prince” – and from these little seeds Last autumn we spent three weeks researching and developing the show at Blackwood Miners Institute and WMC, who came on board as partners in the project. We started to play with ideas for narrative, images, songs and worked with a parenting group in Caerphilly to help us understand what works for children and what they (and their adults) want. We’re now in the exciting / nervous part, where set designs are being finalised, marketing materials agreed and I’ve just got an email confirming all the cast have accepted; so now we just have to make the show!

 

All rehersal photographic credits Kirsten McTernan

As a company how do you create and develop your work?

The company’s name, We Made This, tries to make explicit that making theatre is a collaborative act. So whilst I’m the director the best ideas might (and often do) come from someone else – be that a performer, stage manager or audience member. I’m in the process of distilling what we learnt in the R&D into a rehearsal script, it’ll be more fluid than if we’d commissioned a writer, and will have big gaps in it for us to fill in during rehearsals – but that’s part of the excitement.

It sounds like you embrace the risk?

For me making theatre is a live process – which should surprise me. So it might have been my idea, but if it turned out exactly as I’d imagined it I’d be disappointed – as I wouldn’t have allowed all the other brilliant ideas and minds in the room to shape the work and make it the best it can be. It’s undoubtedly riskier than a more traditional process, and each time we make a new piece we try to refine the process, and learn from our previous mistakes, but for me the end result is so much richer for it.

Family productions are often many audience members first points of access to live theatre. Is this something you ever consider when developing new work?

Yeah, absolutely. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to make a show for children and families. I want there to be people in the audience who haven’t been to the theatre before, and we’re working with our partners to make that happen.  I still remember my first experience at the theatre as a child – panto at Loughborough town hall. And I want the work we’re making to have a lasting impact on the audience – the experience will be memorable and sensory, complex not simplistic.

The marketing materials for the production reference lots of popular fairy tales. With increased competition for live performances from on demand TV like Netflix. Do you think theatre can offers something different for audiences from film and TV?

There’s a massive difference between being in a room and sharing an experience with an audience and sitting at home watching something on iPlayer. I will happily spend an evening in front of the TV, catch up on something I’ve missed or watch an old series on All4, but being in a space with a group of other people, watching the same thing is different. Theatre is an ephemeral experience. It’s about what happens there and then. You can’t see it again the same way. What I see, is a different view to you – we direct what you see but can’t control it in the same way – it’s a very much more sensory and immediate experience.

The production has BSL/Relaxed performances and a Touch Tour can you please tell us more about these and why you feel these are an important part of your offer for audiences?

I think providing these performances should be the norm, particularly in work for families and young audiences. If we want to ensure that children grow up with access to quality work we need to ensure that family work is accessible. Watching Cbeebies, you see makaton and BSL used, so why not in live performance?

It’s also important to say that these are the more visible ways in which access is supported. We’ve worked hard through the development of the project to try and make the show accessible to as wide a group as possible. So that means working with groups who might not normally consider going to the theatre and asking their opinions, it means making the ticket price accessible, and it means writing about the show in a way which is including rather than full of arts speak and buzz words.

Thanks Matt and finally can you sum up the production for anyone interested in attending?

I can try! This Easter join us with Rapunzel, her Mam, and her new friend Daf in the forest as they set off on an adventure, for which they’ll need your help. The Girl with Incredibly Long Hair is a new family show from We Made This which reimagines the story of Rapunzel for our times. You can catch the production on the dates and times below:

Blackwood Miners’ Institute

4 April, 4pm

5 April, 11am & 3pm

6 April, 11am (Relaxed Performance and Touch Tour)

Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre

10 – 15 April, 11am & 3pm

13 April, 11am & 3pm (BSL Interpreted Performances)

14 & 15 April, 11am (Relaxed Performance and Touch Tour)

Tickets and Information: wmc.org.uk

Get the Chance to feel the Force with Dirty Protest


Get the Chance is collaborating with Dirty Protest Theatre Company to embed a new or existing Get the Chance team member into the rehearsal process of their new production Light Speed from Pembroke Dock and develop a range of critical responses to this new play. “Dirty Protest are Wales award winning theatre company leading the development, promotion and production of new writing for performance.”

Please find some information on this new production below

“1979. When Star Wars superfan Sam discovers that the Millennium Falcon is being built in his home town, his life is turned upside down. Determined to get inside the cockpit; his only obstacle is his stepdad Mike, guardian of the secret hangar where the legendary ship is being built in Pembroke Dock.

2014. Sam’s daughter Lizzie goes missing, forcing him into a desperate hunt to bring her back to safety before it’s too late.
Never mind saving the galaxy, sometimes you just have to save your own world. Lightspeed from Pembroke Dock explores what happens when Hollywood’s best-loved spaceship lands on your doorstep. This is a story of hope, courage, and how to be a family when it seems the universe is against you.”

 

Playwright Mark Williams

Lightspeed from Pembroke Dock is a new English language play from writer Mark Williams (Jason & the Argonauts, Horrible Histories: The Frightful First world War, Horrible Science) and critically acclaimed company, Dirty Protest.

You will be able to spend time with the company during the rehearsal process. The rehearsals will take place at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff from the 12th of March-1st April. You will also be able to interview members of Dirty Protest Theatre Company and some of the creatives involved in this production. You will also receive a ticket to the press performance of Lightspeed From Pembroke Dock.

Mentoring and additional workshop support on critical response methods will be offered by the Director of Get the Chance, Guy O’Donnell. You will earn Spice Time Credits for this activity, up to a maximum of 20 Time Credits.

You will be invited to develop creative responses to this process. Responses can be in a variety of forms including, text, sound, and photography and film. Responses will be hosted on the Get the Chance website

If you are interested in this unique opportunity can you please email  Guy O’Donnell, Get the Chance Director at getthechance1@gmail.com  Please state why you are interested in this project in your email.

Its likely you will attend at least half a day of rehearsals per week, as well as spending time with company members and also reviewing the press performance at Chapter Arts Centre. Exact times TBC.

You can read more about this exciting new production in our exclusive interview here

Mae’r Flamboyant Bus Tour Wedi Derbyn Y Golau Gwyrdd Ar Gyfer Gŵyl Y Gwanwyn.

Mae’r Flamboyant Bus Tour Wedi Derbyn Y Golau Gwyrdd Ar Gyfer Gŵyl Y Gwanwyn.

Dim ond bws sydd angen arnynt yn awr. . . .

Mae’r 3rd Act Critics a Get The Chance yn falch i gyhoeddi y byddant yn trefnu Gŵyl y Gwanwyn a’r Flamboyant Bus Tour sy’n cael eu hariannu gan Age Cymru y Gwanwyn hwn!

Meddai Leslie R. Herman, Cynhyrchydd Y Digwyddiad a’r 3rd Act Critic, “Mae’r Flamboyant Bus Tour yn adeiladu ar lwyddiant y Salon Hot Tub ar gyfer Gwanwyn 2017. Rydym yn cael cryn lwyddiant ac yn cynhyrchu digwyddiadau sy’n herio’r hen ystrydebau wrth heneiddio. Dim ond bws sydd eisiau arnom yn awr!”

Bydd y cyllid ar gyfer Gwanwyn yn fan cychwyn i’r digwyddiad ond er mwyn mynd un cam ymhellach a rhoi’r digwyddiad gwych hwn ar y ffordd, bydd angen i ni ganfod mwy o gyllid er mwyn ariannu cost llogi bws awyr agored am rai oriau.

Dywedodd Emma Robinson, Swyddog Datblygu’r Celfyddydau a Chreadigrwydd ar gyfer Gwanwyn; “Rydym wrth ein bodd yn cefnogi’r prosiect hwn; rhywbeth sydd ychydig yn wahanol ac a fydd yn cwestiynu’r hyn yw heneiddio creadigol gan roi cyfle i unigolion fynegi eu hunain yn y ffordd y maent am wneud hynny. Mae Gwanwyn yn bodoli er mwyn dathlu henaint fel cyfle ar gyfer adnewyddiad, twf a chreadigrwydd a bydd y digwyddiad hwn yn gwneud hynny. Os allwch helpu, dewch i gyfranogi!”

Mae’r digwyddiad wedi’i ysbrydoli gan Flamboyant Bus Tour , The Advantages of Age yn Llundain, sef ei digwyddiad mwyaf llwyddiannus yn 2017. Denwyd sylw’r wasg a’r cyhoedd o weld grŵp mor lliwgar o unigolion, oll yn 50+ yn teithio drwy strydoedd Llundain.

Yn arwyddocaol, yr oedd y digwyddiad yn Llundain yn drobwynt ar gyfer Advantages of Age, nad oedd, hyd hynny wedi cael cyfle i ddod â’i aelodau at ei gilydd yn y fath fodd o’r blaen. Roedd y daith fws yn gymorth i aelodau gydnabod eu bod yn rhan o un gymuned. Yn ystod y daith fws, ffurfiwyd sawl cyfeillgarwch. Mae aelodau’n parhau i gynnal gweithgareddau poblogaidd sy’n dathlu’r gred ar y cyd y gall mwynhad ysbrydol gael ei fwynhau, beth bynnag yw’ch oedran!

Mae trefnwyr digwyddiadau The 3rd Act Critics a Get The Chance am roi cyfle i bobl hŷn yng Nghymru fynegi eu hunain yn eu ffyrdd unigryw eu hunain. Nod y Flamboyant Bus Tour yw bod yn hwyl, yn ystyrlon a chofiadwy. Bydd y bws yn teithio ynghanol dinas Caerdydd ar brynhawn Sadwrn ym mis Mai. Bydd yn teithio ar hyd llwybr penodol er mwyn sicrhau’r gwelededd mwyaf posibl a bydd cyfle i gyfranogwyr dynnu sylw atynt hwy eu hunain ar hyd y ffordd. Bydd y Flamboyant Bus Tour hefyd yn gyfle i herio naratif y cyfryngau ynghylch tyfu’n hŷn ac yn gwahodd cyfranogwyr i ymateb i’r cwestiwn – A yw Heneiddio’n Ffurf Gelfyddydol?

Mae’r 3rd Act Critics a Get The Chance yn rhan o’r rhwydwaith Spice Time Credits. Am bob awr y bydd unigolyn yn cyfrannu at ei gymuned neu i wasanaeth, bydd yn ennill un Credyd Amser. Gall Credydau Amser gael eu defnyddio i wneud gweithgaredd sy’n awr o hyd ac sy’n cael ei ddarparu gan amryw o bartneriaid corfforaethol a chymunedol.

Dywed Anne Marie Lawrence, Rheolwr Rhanbarthol Spice Time Credits De Ddwyrain Cymru; “Mae Spice Time Credits yn falch iawn o allu cefnogi’r Flamboyant Bus Tour ar y cyd â’n gwaith ar Heneiddio’n Egnïol gan ddathlu’r ymglymiad gwych y mae pobl hŷn yn eu gwneud i’n cymunedau ledled Cymru ”

Mae trefnwyr digwyddiadau The 3rd Act Critics a Get The Chance yn awyddus i gydweithio ar y prosiect hwn â sefydliadau sy’n cefnogi dinasyddion hŷn. Mae’r angen am gyllid ychwanegol a nawdd ar gyfer llogi bws yn gwbl hanfodol i lwyddiant y digwyddiad hwn. Apeliwn felly ar gwmnïau bysiau a gweithredwyr bysiau am eu nawdd caredig.

Am ragor o wybodaeth ac os oes gennych ddiddordeb i gefnogi’n gwaith, e-bostiwch Leslie Herman lrhjlrhj@gmail.com

The Flamboyant Bus Tour Gets The Green Light From Gwanwyn

Image Advantages of Age’s Fabulous and Flamboyant Bus Tour, London 2017

The Flamboyant Bus Tour Gets The Green Light From Gwanwyn

Now, they just need a bus…

The 3rd Act Critics and Get the Chance are pleased to announce that they will be organising the Gwanwyn Festival Age Cymru-funded Flamboyant Bus Tour this Spring!

3rd Act Critic and Event Producer, Leslie R. Herman, comments, “The Flamboyant Bus Tour builds on the success of our Hot Tub Salon for Gwanwyn in 2017. We are on a roll, producing creative events that challenge the clichés about aging. Now, we just need a bus!”

The funding from Gwanwyn will kickstart the event, but in order to go the extra mile and get this fabulous event on the road, funding to cover the hire-cost of an open-top bus for a few hours is needed.

Emma Robinson, Arts and Creativity Development Officer. Gwanwyn, comments:-

‘We’re delighted to support this project; something a little different that will pose the question of creative ageing and provide the opportunity for people to express themselves in the way they want to.  Gwanwyn exists to celebrate older age as a time of opportunity for renewal, growth and creativity and this event will provide exactly that: if you’re able to help, please do get involved!’

Image Advantages of Age’s Fabulous and Flamboyant Bus Tour, London 2017

The event is inspired by Advantages of Age’s Fabulous and Flamboyant Bus Tour in London, which proved to be their most successful event of 2017, and which drew attention from the media and the general public who were encouraged to see such a wonderfully colourful group of men and women aged 50+ as they travelled through the streets of London.

Significantly, the London event proved to be a turning point for Advantages of Age which, until then, had not had the opportunity to bring together their members in such a way. The bus tour helped members recognize that they were part of one community. During the bus tour friendships were formed. Members continue to hold popular activities that celebrate a collective belief that spirited enjoyment can be had at any age!

The 3rd Act Critics and Get the Chance event organizers want to give older people in Wales the opportunity to express themselves in their own unique way. The Flamboyant Bus Tour aims to be fun, meaningful and memorable. The bus will tour Cardiff City Centre on a Saturday afternoon in May. It will travel along a set route to ensure maximum visibility and participants will ‘strut their stuff’ along the way. The Flamboyant Bus Tour will also be an opportunity to challenge the media narrative about getting older, and invite participants to respond to the question, Is Ageing an Artform?

3rd Act Critics and Get the Chance are part of the Spice Time Credits network, for every hour that an individual contributes to their community or service, they earn one Time Credit. Time Credits can be spent accessing an hour of activity provided by a range of corporate and community partners.

Anne Marie Lawrence, Spice Time Credits, Regional Manager, South East Wales, comments, “Spice Time Credits are delighted to be supporting the Flamboyant Bus Tour in conjunction with our work on Active Ageing and celebrating the fantastic contribution that older people make to our communities all across Wales” 

The 3rd Act Critics and Get the Chance event organisers are keen to collaborate on this project with organisations that support older citizens. Vital to the success of the event is our need for additional funding and sponsorship to hire a bus, with a particular shout out to bus companies, coach operators for sponsorship in kind.

For more information and if you are interested in supporting our work, please email Leslie Herman, 3rd Act Critic and Event Producer lrhjlrhj@gmail.com