In a breakthrough broadcast, the Narberth based theatre company for young people that has taken the world of West Wales by storm, with sparkling local productions and performances over the last three years, this morning (Sunday 6 April) made national news, with its own feature on BBC Radio Wales.
The pioneering theatre group found itself the subject of scrutiny on Country Focus, the interesting Radio Wales Sunday magazine programme, that starts the day for a wide audience across the country.
The sequence, recorded in Narberth by BBC Wales correspondent Sarah Moore, included information about the forthcoming production ‘Mary, Sister of Mary’ that is to take place in the novel setting of Gravells Car Showroom and Garage in Redstone Road, Narberth, later this week.
As well as interviews with Meredydd Barker, playwright and producer of the show and Cherylee Barker, co-producer, about the way in which the piece has been created, by the young cast of 26, there were also interviews with two of the players. Fabian Henderson and Sara Nickson. They described the writing process behind the latest production and how much being a part of the group means to them.
The transformation of the showroom ready to take delivery of the ‘promenade piece’ has caught the interest of theatre goers from across three counties.
The focus for the production is the Rebecca Riots in the early part of the nineteenth century and the role that some of the families in the town played in the famous sequence of events that led to changes in legislation with roads and tollgates right across the United Kingdom.
As well as describing the opening funeral sequence, with players entering the ‘proscenium arch’ re-cast for the performances from car showroom pillars, Meredydd outlined the way in which personal pieces written by the players themselves, about the riots and the affect on local families, forms the key element to the play.
The group now has 70 members with a waiting list to join.
Cherylee Barker explains in the broadcast, that all this activity and interest in the theatre group over the last three years has been developed by the players themselves, without grant funding and through a bank of goodwill from local businesses and organisations that has enabled the company to develop its own momentum.
The absence of funding throws a spotlight on the quality of performance, thinking and skill that has gone into a canon of work that includes pantomime, sketches, two major Shakespeare productions, as well as Christmas Shows.
Mary, Sister of Mary, with its focus on the Rebecca Riots, is a latest production that will enhance the reputation of the company one step further. The range, depth and diversity of work being offered is noteworthy.
The bold move into the utilisation of a car showroom and garage as a theatre space, is indicative of the confidence that the group feels about its ability to pull off a set off performances that are being seen as yet another marker in the innovation and difference that is at the foundation of the group and its thinking.
The feature on BBC Radio Wales this morning has consolidated the position of the company as one of the most exciting grassroots youth theatre groups in Wales.
Mary, Sister of Mary, a new play that tells the long, the short and the tall stories of Rebecca
10th – 12th April 2014
Narberth Youth Theatre Production
Venue: Gravells (Kia Motors), Redstone Road Narberth
Tickets still available here
Listen to BBC Wales feature here.
IMAGE CREDIT: BBC RADIO WALES: Country Focus, Rachael Garside
broadcast review: oneNarberth