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Lockdown Tales: Creating theatre from personal experiences

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Professional actors, Pembrokeshire talent and volunteers have collaborated on a virtual community verbatim theatre project, which will be performed via a live streamed video link on the 4th and 5th December, at 7.30pm.

Tickets are free of charge but must be pre-booked.

Verbatim theatre is made from real people’s words. Through weekly virtual storytelling workshops led by Pembrokeshire-born Ceri Ashe, (writer, actor, mental health advocate and founder of Popty Ping Productions), participants have been sharing their experiences and stories of lockdown. From this, Ceri has written two new pieces of verbatim theatre.

In Making Bread & Babies, an eclectic group of creatives who have never met in real life, become the best of friends as they try to create a verbatim play online. In Bara a Babanod (welsh language play) we see a day in the life of the Jones family zoom calls as they worry about the one sibling who isn’t in Maenclochog, Pembrokeshire for the October firebeak lockdown. Featuring music and song from local singer Martyn Ashe.

Ceri is the author and protagonist of the critically acclaimed Off West End award winning show ‘Bipolar Me’ which received a sell out run at The Etcetera Theatre, London in October 2019.  Span Arts then programmed the show at Theatre Gwaun, Fishguard, Wales in February 2020.

Ceri said:

For me, theatre and storytelling helps me process emotion and make sense of the world. I am delighted to be back creating art and finding new ways to tell stories whilst our beloved theatres remain closed. When we planned this project earlier this year, I thought we would be reflecting on lockdown and the pandemic, not still living through it. I hope to bring some joy, hope and a few belly laughs to viewers as we all navigate this bizarre new normal together.”

Span Arts volunteer & cast member commented:

It’s beyond my wildest dreams to get the chance to create a play with a professional writer and act alongside real actors. These weekly sessions have helped me face lockdown in isolation and feel less lonely and I can’t wait to share what we’ve created with Ceri.”

CAST: Ceri Ashe, Angharad Jones, Kelvyn Lewis, Maya Donnelly, Samuel Normington, Rhydian Watkins, Izzy Gibb,  Martyn Ashe, Geraint Harries and Paul Best

LOCKDOWN TALES:  MAKING BREAD & BABIES, 4th December 2020, 7.30pm

In Making Bread & Babies, an eclectic group of creatives, who have never met in real life, become the best of friends as they try to create a verbatim play online, and share things they’ve never told anyone before! But tonight it’s Gareth’s 60th birthday, so forget the rehearsals, it’s party time! Fancy dress of course!

A lonely, sexually frustrated writer. A stressed out, furloughed Dad who will sign up to anything to get some peace from the kids! An unemployed London actor who’s accidentally signed up to a Welsh community theatre project! An out of work comedian who shares her best punch line yet. And the isolated birthday boy who loves this group as he’s been shielding alone since March, but would rather be left in peace tonight to eat his steak and chips!

 Book here

CHWEDLAU’R CYFNOD CLO: BARA a BABANOD 

A bilingual – Welsh and English play with English subtitles, 5th December 2020, 7.30pm

A day in the life of the Jones family zoom calls as they worry about the one sibling who isn’t in Maenclochog, Pembrokeshire for the October firebeak lockdown. Gwen is stuck in London, and they are worried about her as she’s living alone in a small flat.

 Book here

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