What a lot happens in a few weeks. With wild events going on all over the world, both alarming and uplifting – June/July has been a counterpoint roller-coaster of goodies here at Willow Globe and Shakespeare Link.
‘The Winter’s Tale’ was triumphant in Broneirion's beautiful marquee with the rain tipping down outside – the cast worked the challenging space wonderfully and the audience loved it.
Then it was the Radnor Fringe – a boiling hot day, a tiny stage and a crowded house. A standing ovation for the selected 40 mins snippet: Old and young shepherds found baby Perdita, Time passed over 16 years, and we arrived at the Shearing Feast, with its poetry, fabulous shepherds’ dance and dazzling solo break-dance number! Huge thanks to all involved – and hooray for Radnor Fringe.
Next day saw Phil reading Shakespeare's words and Cantorion Choir singing settings to these words by Vaughan Williams, Rutter and others, at Holy Trinity Church Llandrindod, under the energetic baton of David White.
Newport House – another wet gig, audience undeterred, so gripped by the story they never moved a muscle while actors and musicians valiantly played in the pouring rain in front of one of the finest Georgian houses in Herefordshire.
We were unpacking our damp costumes as the creative team for ‘The Tempest’ project met at Willow Globe. The result of a collaboration between MWMT, Shakespeare Link and Arts Connection, ‘The Tempest’ saw 60 students from Newbridge School on site for a week working in a wonderfully fruitful multi-disciplinary way. The making team brought an Ark with them which transformed into a brilliant puppet stage; acting teams worked on story and character, and the children were inspired to create their own songs with the help of the musician/facilitators. After a triumphant final sharing and showing they left with the play and its music in their heads and hearts, and carrying modelled trophies of magic feasts and story-telling puppets. They have sent wonderful letters of thanks. Thank you Newbridge.
As the applause for ‘The Tempest’ died away the Circus tent was being put up in the field – a serendipitous plus for Sharing Shakespeare week – and the first of our overseas visitors rolled in. Delegates from Romania, Latvia, UK, NYC and Canada joined us for a week of pure joy and high emotion as we were overwhelmed by the spirit and connectivity of our shared experiences. BWHS and Nantmel School sent students. Have-a-goers were with us toSkype Beijing, NYC and the Shaw Theatre, Niagara on the Lake. Much food for thought and links forged for the future. A heady time, culminating in a spectacular ‘Timon of Athens’ from the Factory to end the week. Played traverse in the circus tent, as the rain teemed down all around, the play had a raw and violent resonance as actors and audience shared an astonishing site-specific moment!
We hope you can join us for ‘Angerona’ at 7pm on Saturday 27th August. The great story-teller Michael Harvey with his team bring us steamy tales from Shakespeare’s source material, including the rare gem ‘Rape of Lucrece’. Not to be missed!
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