This announcement has been a long time coming, but it has been a busy spring. This year I will be making my directing debut with circus theatre extravaganza, HMS Stormus. HMS Stormus is set in a post climate crisis world, it is the year 2827 and the majority of the world is under water. Humans have only survived by living on cruise ships, endlessly traversing the oceans without much hope. Our 3 outlandish former enterainers are desperately trying to carry on with the ships' intenary and are controlled by the mysterious voice of the tannoy.

This is a fun, action packed circus cabaret that showcases the talents of Ellis Grover, Iago Morgan Jones and Daisy Williams. It weaves bilingual text with jaw dropping circus skills. Commissioned by the Welsh Outdoor Arts Consortium, it will be touring festivals the length and breadth of Wales this summer.

It is a big task to write and direct a show, now that it is all coming together, I am enjoying the challenge. I think it will always feel strange not being on stage, but I have an amazing team of performers who bring joy and enthusiasm to every rehearsal. I have also been well supported by the Articulture team, my mentor Gwen Thompson, writing mentor Kate Jones, who is also a prop making genius, and sound designer Daniel Rhys Lawrence. The work in progress showing at Machynlleth Comedy Festival went down storm (pun intended) We are now in our final rehearsals and the show will premier at Awen Trust's Seascapes Festival Porthcawl on June 1st. Click on the link for details, I hope to see you there.

https://awenboxoffice.com/whats-on/seascape-2024/about

Commissioned by the Wales Outdoor Arts Consortium (WOAC), supported by Articulture and the Arts Council of Wales. Comisiynwyd a Chonsortiwm Celfyddydau Awyr Agored Cymru (CCAAC), chefnogwyd gan Articulture Wales a Chyngor Celfyddydau Cymru.

Arthaus Berlin

The end of summer was a bit of a blur to be honest. Finishing up my Howl tour, with a great final performance for Span Arts in Pemrokshire. We were already set up and the audience were gathering as the rain started. It was touch and go to be honest, and I was sheltering in the gazebo with Dan (sound designer and musician) peering out with a feelign of despondance, when the rain slowed and finally stoppped. The Welsh audience were well prepared, and we were all happy to go ahead. Internally I thought, this is it, one last chance (for 2023) to do a great show. So we did it, and it felt like the best show of the tour, the audience were well behind us and there was a touch of magic in the air. It was a great show to finish on. From there, it was a whirlwind of packng down, dropping things off, packing a bag for Malawi and one for Berlin.

I mentioned in my previous post, my trip to Malawi. Straight from there, I went to Berlin to join a full time course- Devised Theatre and Performance. Doing this course has been a dream of mine for many years, but it felt difficult to take so much time out of my career, but this year I decided to take the plunge.

It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I realise now that, had I have done the course sooner, I may not of got so much out of it, that I'm now in a place to really get so much out of it. Arthaus Berlin (formerly LISPA) is one of the highest regarded physical theatre schools in Europe. They take their training very seriously, the quality of the teaching and the culture of the school ensures a really fundamentally quality experience for the students.

The course is a deep dive into the practice of embodiement, and combines a movement based pedagogy with emotional resonance, voice work, writing practices, art, academic research and a deep devising process. It strongly encourages you to develop your own creativity in response to the provocations of the course.

It has been wonderful to be a student again, so refreshing and as I have already mentioned the quality of the tution is excellent, I feel my brain, body and creativity really coming alive,am stimulated and inspired by the course and my colleagues on it. It's also really fun to be in such a dynamic and happening city as Berlin, where there is so much going on, especially in the worlds of theatre, art, dance and film.

I'm doing the course part-time, so in Decemeber 2023 I completed term one, and willl now wait unitl Januar 2025 to return, which gives me plenty of time to digest and integrate the learnings so far into my life nad artistic practice.

Podcast episode with Dr Sandy Belle Rosales Cadena

This autumn has seen a diverse range of new adventures come my way. Mostly, I've been in training in Berlin on a physical theatre course, but more about that in another post. This post is about a podcast- previous collaborator Dr Sandy Belle Rosales Cadena (Belle) got in touch. Belle is a doctor of psychology and her research is around female body image and she has had an interest in performance for a long time. We met back in 2018 when we collaborated on a project with The National Fairground and Circus Archive to create a performance to celebrate the 250th anniversay of circus in the UK. Mirrors & Ribbons was performed in Sheffield Cathedral as part of Festival of the Mind and is a circus theatre peformance about female body image in circus. You can read more about it on the Circus Theatre page of my website.

Belle got in touch saying she was creating a pop-up podcast with the University of Sheffield and would I be interested in being one of the speakers. Obviously, I said yes. The podcast is about body image in circus and focused on body image and body confidence, specifically around physicality, strength and functionality. Our episode talks about attitudes towards female bodies in circus, weight, training and how pressures of society can hinder performers achieving their true potential through concerns about size and appearance. I delve into some personal issues in this episode, in the hope that it will help others to conquer unhealthy attitudes and practices towards their bodies. Belle talks about her research into gratitude, body positivity and self compassion as tools to help those who struggle with body image and conventional beauty standards. In episode 2, Belle talks to Farrell Cox a black actor and aerialist about her journey as a circus performer.

https://player.sheffield.ac.uk/events/circus-confidence-body-image-revolution-episode-1

I was at The Circus Village/Yr Pentref Syrcas for 2 projects this spring, a residency with Kitsch n Sync Collective and my own residency with News From Nowhere, a project in development.

This is an idea that I have been working on in different ways for a wee while now. The idea is pretty big compared to my previous work- creating an ensemble narrative circus theatre performance with a bespoke piece of aerial equipment and commuity engagement. As the idea is complex it has been hard to gain support in the form of residencies, many venues simply can't accomodate the equipment. However, the Circus Village had an amazing, can-do team, a whole range of rigs and tents and equipment at their disposal and they were happy to offer us a residency.

The idea is still in its very early stages, the performance is a series of intersecting journey stories that meet in the performance moment, using a unique configuration of aerial equipment to play out that story. This residency focused on the exploration of the equipment, generating ideas and vocabulary under the guidance of Rowan Fae as director. There is still a lot of work to do to bring this idea to fruition, but it felt so good to begin working on it with Daisy Black , Saya Yamaguchi and Maisie Luk. I'd also like to extend my thanks to the whole team at the Circus Village who made it all possible. Watch this space for further developments.

I've been a little disorganised with my news this summer, so, here I am harking back to something that happened earlier in the year, in April in fact. The Circus Village/ Yr Pentref Syrcas is a really great thing that came out of those dark days of the covid pandemic. It is a circus festival organised by a collective of Welsh circus organisations. It was initially created to bring together the circus community after the isolation of the pandemic, for circus performers, teachers, techinicians, directors and students to be able to come together to talk, to train, to explore and create. This year was the second edition and the remit was extended to include a week of residencies and a performance festival.

As well a being there for my own residency (see next news post!) I was lucky enough to be invite down to be a performer/rigger with Kitcsh n Sync Collective, who are a brilliant company who specialise in fusing comedy, contemporary dance and circus in full length shows and walkabout performances.

Bitchcraft is a wry look at the witch trials, religious zealotry and feminie power, combining theatre, contemporary dance, comedy, circus and fire. We spent 5 days developing the ideas and then performed a work in progress show for an invited audience of industry proffessionals. It was tremendous fun, well recieved and, for me an honour to work with Kitsch n Sync for the first time. Being at the Circus Village, surrounded by other companies all working on new performance ideas was also great soul food. I'm looking forward to the next installment, and remember, You can't burn women made of fire.

Howl! Performances have been going well with the show bedding in nicely. We have some more dates coming up before summer comes to an end. If you haven't seen it yet then come along.

Mae perfformiadau wedi bod yn mynd yn dda, a dwi'n mwynhau gwneud y sioe. Mae gennym fwy o ddyddiadau yn ddod i fyny cyn i'r haf ddod i ben. Os nad ydach i weld eto, dewch draw.

Eisteddfod Genedlaithol Cymru 10 & 11 Aug/Awst https://eisteddfod.wales/programme

Awen Trust, Bryngarw Country Park 30 Aug/Awst https://www.bryngarwcountrypark.co.uk/whats-on/

Span Arts, Scolton Park 31 Aug/Awst https://span-arts.org.uk/whats-on/

Commissioned by Wales Outdoor Arts Consortium.

I'm super excited to finally announce (long overdue!) that I have been commissioned to make a show in Wales this year.
Howl! is a magical tale of a wild were-wolf woman. A narrative aerial theatre show performed in Welsh.Written by me, Directed by Gwen Thompson. Original musical score by Daniel Rhys Lawrence with Welsh support and costume design by Kate Jones.
Commissioned by Wales Outdoor Arts Consortium.
Rehearsed in my Mum's field.
We have loads of performance dates throughout Wales this summer, posts coming soon!

Rwy'n hynod gyffrous i gyhoeddi o'r diwedd fy mod wedi cael fynghomisiynu i wneud sioe yng Nghymru eleni. Mae Howl! yn stori hudolus am blaidd-ddynes wyllt. Sioe theatr awyrol naratif yn cael ei pherfformio yn Gymraeg. Ysgifennwyd gennyf fi, cyfarwyddwyd gan Gwen Thompson. Sgor gerddoral wreiddiolgan Daniel Rhys Lawrence, gyda chefnogaeth Gymreig a chynllun gwisgoedd gan Kate Jones. Comosiynwyd gan Gonsortiwm Celfyddydau Awyr Agored Cymru. Wedi Ymarfer yng cae fy Mam. Mae gennym ni lwyth a ddyddiadau perfformio dros Cymru yr haf yma.





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