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The hills are alive....

Those of you who know me will know that I love to bang on Pollyanna-like about things. I’m excellent at it quite frankly. From travelling overseas to Asda Gummy Bears (other brands are available) to Campervans and my bionic hip. There is no end to the subjects I feel enthusiastic about and when I find myself involved in a project that combines a few of those favourite things then my exuberance is enough to make Julie Andrews and her whiskery kittens roll their eyes like Kevin the Teenager. Project 21 is one such subject matter.

In collaboration with the Wales Millennium Centre, Theatre na nÓg have embarked on an 18 month project that will culminate in a wonderful musical extravaganza (I love that word) in October 2014 that will mark and celebrate 10 years since their doors opened. Working with over 200 children from seven schools which are spread across Wales we will create a performance that will showcase the wonderful young talent and brilliant history that that we have here in this wonderful nation of ours. From Bangor through Barmouth and Blaenau Ffestiniog, Merthyr and Swansea and Cardiff, the children we have already met have ensured that the road ahead promises to be a lot of fun. ‘What are you most looking forward to from this project?’ I asked a child in Blaenau last week. ‘To sing and dance and run about and make new friends…and eat ice cream’. Now who wouldn’t love to be involved in a project like that?!! (I bet Julie Andrews would.)

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Wallace Effect

As we bid farewell to our We Need Bees cast and crew as they begin their journey all over the Wales and the UK.

Ioan Hefin and I will begin another strand to the Wallace 100 year of celebrations.

We’ve decided to use the character of Alfred Russel Wallace and his friend and co-explorer Henry Walter Bates as a vehicle to get young children to discover something new for themselves outside in their own school yard or field or wherever.

Ioan steps aside for a couple of weeks from being Alfred Russel Wallace (in his own show) to be the director of The Amazing Adventures of Wallace and Bates. He will be joined by two fantastic actors, Chris Kinahan and Carwyn Jones.

Wallace and Bates travelled to the Amazon in 1848 with very little money, or any real experience of collecting new species. Both would spend years in the Amazon collecting and cataloging, drawing detail maps for future explorers.

Wallace’s journey home wasn’t what he had expected, but its his spirit against adversity and the passion to find out more which compels him to carry on. A great Victorian hero, and a great role model for young children…

This is such a different and new project for us, with it being much more interactive, and the structure of the piece is different, with the play split into 3 parts two parts story and one part the expedition with no script – it depends on what the children will discover that particular day. The ultimate in improvising – all the very best Chris and Carwyn

So I suppose its not only the children who will be going on adventure - we are too. Wish us luck, and Bon Voyage.

Bili 2

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