Nadolig Llawen for everyone with touring shows scheme

displayimage.aspThis year’s Arts Council of Wales‘ community touring scheme Night Out had a fantastic pick’n’mix of autumn shows, including Arad Goch’s return to the road with two of their best recent shows; Twm Sion Cati the story of the Welsh Robin Hood and hard-hitting teen drama Tafliad Carreg.

Hijinx Theatre have recently presented a very well received version of Gulliver; Sherman Cymru‘s show for small children Plum (and me Will!); Bara Caws’s one man show Wil Sam y Dewin Geiriau and wonderful Zimbabwean singing group, Umdumo Wesizwe.

Winter therefore has much to live up to, and so this festive season Night Out will be touring lots of Christmas cheer and jolly fun, criss-crossing all over Wales in the form of four great family shows.

These include tall tales of beasts and beauties, clowns and jugglers, princesses and peas and at least one wide mouthed frog.

Clwyd Theatr Cymru Theatre for Young People will be telling Tall Tales from around the world to thrilled audiences all over Wales throughout December, including some venues brand new to the scheme. Starting with community centres and village halls in their home county of Flintshire, the company will then be travelling the length and breadth of Wales, including visits to the beautiful Italianate Village of Portmeirion in Gwynedd; Aberedw in Powys and Pontnewynydd School in Torfaen. The tour will end on December 23 at Trecenydd Community Centre in Caerphilly.

The monstrous tale of Beauty and the Beast, brought to Wales by Gloucester based company Fairgame Theatre will be visiting venues in the north and south throughout November and December including the village of Glynceiriog in Wrexham, Capel Farm Resource Centre in Tonyrefail, RCT and Neath Little Theatre. With a very unusual stage and lots of original songs and music it promises to be a romantic, though slightly scary, treat for all.

Giving audiences a mixture of dazzling juggling, mind blowing magic and lots of laughs, perennial Night Out favourites Circus Berzercus will be bringing their special brand of mayhem to venues in mid and south Wales including Abertillery Primary School in Blaenau Gwent, Maesglas in Newport and Trelewis Community Centre in Merthyr Tydfil.

Trelewis Tenants and Residents Committee are, of course, old hands by now in putting on a great ‘Night Out’ event. Their spokesman said: “The Night Out scheme allowed us to put on a fantastic show for the whole community without any financial risk. It was a great success and we are looking forward to putting on our next event soon!”

New to Night Out, Likely Story Theatre Company will be presenting Pea, their delightful retelling of the children’s favourite, the Princess and the Pea. Set in the royal allotment and with a modern twist and some great physical theatre, the show will visit venues including Castleland Community Centre in Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan and Betws Life Centre in Bridgend.

Finally let’s not forget the Night Out Young Promoters Scheme which will be running three projects through December. This scheme gives local young people a chance to market, promote and organise an event in their own community and has been a great success story. A group of hardworking year five students from Blackwood Primary School will be hosting Beauty and the Beast on December 8. Run in partnership with Gwent Police the project will include a session from local MP Don Touhig, who’ll assist the group with their press work.

Gwent Police Special Constable Christine Smith who works tirelessly with the youngsters said:”I looked into starting a scheme that would provide the children who lived locally with a fun activity that would let them learn new skills. I teamed up with Arts Council of Wales and its ‘Night Out’ community touring scheme and it was clear after we ran the first show in Phillipstown, how much the children enjoyed the process. It was great to see their confidence grow.

“Over the last eight years, we have expanded the initiative to cover more areas of the Caerphilly County Borough, mainly in the more disadvantaged areas. It’s been a great way for the children to work with their local police officers and to get to know who they are and what they do.”

Gibbonsddown and Court Youth Forum will be organising a performance by Circus Berzercus at the YMCA Hub in Barry on December 16 with the Young Promoters Scheme and Communities First and the kind assistance of staff members of the Wales Millennium Centre. Nantyfyllon Youth Club members will be welcoming Theatr Clwyd and their Tall Tales to Nantyfyllon Library in Bridgend on December 22. This project is run in partnership with Hafod Housing and with the help of technical staff from Maesteg Town Hall.

All in all Night Out is promising a very Nadolig Llawen right across Wales!

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