The Blodeuo Project: our Arts Council of Wales sponsored diverse ability drama group

In summer 2017 very sadly Theatr Ffynnon closed, leaving many people in South East Wales bereft of an important part of their lives.

It took a year to find four facilitators with the commitment, skills and experience to develop and lead a new diverse ability project – and to secure Arts Council of Wales funding for it.

On January 11th 2019 the Project started with a 13-week Research and Development phase – this was very successful in bringing together people with and without disabilities and creating a strong group co-devising in our great little theatre on site.

The first performance told the story of Blodeuwedd, an ancient tale of Wales from the fourth branch of the mabinogi. The project takes its name from Blodeuwedd; she is created from flowers by two magicians and becomes wife to Llew the son of Arianrhod, Goddess of the Dawn.

The second phase, funded by the ACW’s ‘Taking Part’ stream, has been equally well received and productive, and we are all encouraged by the creative and personal outcomes achieved by the group.

Suspension of activities in the theatre due to the pandemic has meant that the we have been unable to meet in person since March but the facilitators Richard Berry, Denni Dennis, Vanessa Dodd and Clare Parry-Jones are finding ways to keep in touch online. Denni is currently filming two series of twelve movement sessions, one for people able to stand unsupported, and one for people sitting down.

The access details will appear on this website when available …

Meanwhile, here are two links to films made of  the  project which can be found on YouTube: the first relating to the R&D phase and the second  to the Taking Part phase – the latter with only rehearsal footage of Haraka Baraka, the performance sadly cancelled  due to lockdown:

The Arts Council of Wales continues to support artistic work at the Melville for people with diverse ability – through Denni’s current work, and it’s encouraging us to find further ways to keep in touch with the community and keep the Arts alive during the pandemic.

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