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Georgia's take on Wallace and Bates

Hello, my name is Georgia Griffiths and I am a part of the Young Ambassadors Team, I am here to tell you about my experience of working with Theatr na nÓg.

As I am a recent graduate I felt nervous coming out of the comfort of university, but the people at Theatr na nÓg have been very supportive, the family-like feel of their company means they welcome in new faces with open arms. My time working with them on their show of ‘The Amazing Adventures of Wallace and Bates’ and the expedition afterwards has been an experience I didn’t expect to have. I attended a few rehearsals at the beginning of the process to see how the show was directed, what the actors were like and just to plainly find out about the show itself. Considering they only had a quarter of the usual time to put a show together, I think they have created a brilliant piece of theatre. The play itself offers comedy, friendship and adventure, which I think is inspiring to children who watch.

For their first performance week in the National Museum in Cardiff, they had school performances meaning different school children and homeschooled children would come and see the show in the museum and I must say, this was my favorite part of the process. Just watching the children’s reaction throughout the performance was a sight to see and one that I wouldn’t have gotten if not for this opportunity. They were completely engaged the whole time, following the actors every move and word.

The soundtrack throughout the performance was beautiful, it completely grasped the essence of the entire play and somehow, with the magic of music, made you feel like you knew the characters already, that you weren’t meeting them for the first time. The actors Tom Blumberg, who played Henry Walter Bates, and Tom Gwynfryn, who played Alfred Russell Wallace, brought the characters to life in the rehearsal space and even more so on stage. Watching the performance twice everyday for a week may sound monotonous but I assure you it wasn’t at the slightest, the actors kept each performance fresh and new and with different audiences you never knew what you were going to get.

After the performance, the audience would be taken on an exhibition around the museum or explore the outside meadow where they would discover different plants, flowers and creatures and have to find the name. The children seemed to love the exploration side and threw themselves into it.

Overall, the performances of ‘The Amazing Adventures of Wallace and Bates’ seemed to be adored by every audience member and each individual seemed to take a different lesson and/or meaning from the piece, which in my eyes makes the whole experience a success.

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