Performance 693 views
Windsongs of the Blessed Bay (written and directed theatre presentation)
Theatr Cadair/Taliesin Arts Centre
Swansea University Author: David Britton
Windsongs of the Blessed Bay is a vivid adventure in theatricality, puppetry, myth and lyricism which opened at the Taliesin, Swansea, in February 2016 in a production by the acclaimed Welsh new theatre company Theatr Cadair. It went on to tour venues throughout Wales. Unusually, it was performed in...
|Published in:||Theatr Cadair/Taliesin Arts Centre|
Taliesin Arts Centre
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Windsongs of the Blessed Bay is a vivid adventure in theatricality, puppetry, myth and lyricism which opened at the Taliesin, Swansea, in February 2016 in a production by the acclaimed Welsh new theatre company Theatr Cadair. It went on to tour venues throughout Wales. Unusually, it was performed in both the English and Welsh languages. The play tells the story of a blind young woman, Betrys. She sets sail from St Bride’s Bay in West Wales to pursue her grandfather’s dream of a last great catch -- only to encounter Welsh worlds she never imagined and a soul battle of huge proportions. Written and directed by D.J.Britton, Professor of Dramaturgy and Director of Creative Writing at Swansea University, Windsongs of the Blessed Bay involved five streams of research:1)Documentary historical and geographical research into lesser known factual and mythological stories of Wales.2)Performance research into blending puppetry and musical techniques with the “Total Theatre” approach developed by Britton in his work with Theatr Cadair in previous ventures. This involved extensive collaboration, for example with musician Andy Tamlyn Jones, stage/puppetry designer Bethany Seddon and Singaporean puppet master Benjamin Ho, who travelled from Asia to take part. 3)Experiential research into theatrical methods of depicting blindness, drawing deeply upon the contributions made by Jasmine Metcalfe, a Swansea undergraduate who has been blind since birth.4)Practical methodology and design research, using documented audience reaction to help develop a form of touring production which would meet expectations of visual spectacle and yet be able to travel the country in a single transit van and with a relatively low budget. (The development phase of Windsongs of the Blessed Bay was funded by a £20,000 grant from Arts Council Wales. This led to a trial presentation and on the basis of that trial Arts Council Wales granted a further £50,000 towards the production). 5)Inter-lingual research. Britton’s Swansea colleague Jon Gower translated the script into Welsh. With Theatr Cadair’s bi-lingual cast, it was then possible for writer, translator and actors to work to together to find parallel poetics in both languages. As with Britton’s previous works (notably the highly-successful The Wizard the Goat and the Man Who Won the War) the aim of Windsongs of the Blessed Bay was to present thought-provoking Welsh-themed material to broad-based popular audiences in an entertaining, intelligent and energetic manner. Behind the spectacular presentation was a thorough examination of how the experience of blindness might be combined with the unseen stories of Welsh history and myth in order to confront the universal issues of loneliness and the need for cultural cohesion.
Theatre, puppetry, myth, lyricism. English and Welsh languages. Documentary history. Stories of Wales
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences