Aberystwyth Arts Centre
30th September – 3rd October 2009
At the top of the Hill with a sea-view, the arts centre on the university campus in Aberystwyth threw open its gallery doors to us and our tonne of rice. A healthy posse of volunteers made up of locals, students (both under-grad and post-grad) and even members of the university’s teaching faculty, were there to greet us. We set about setting out the show visited occasionally by friendly arts centre staff, curious to see what a theatre company would do with a gallery space.
With the show up and running it was nice to see a real mix of visitors. Undergraduate students were prising themselves away from the events of freshers week and families and locals not connected to the university were also coming to see what we were up to. It was practically a homework assignment for the theatre MA students to come and see us. The PhD students paid homage to our presence there with a risotto-based tribute at the Showroom social night, a sort of showcase evening for the work, thoughts and meanderings of artists in Aberystwyth.
A full-on schedule of workshops and discussions took place alongside the show and prompted lots of critical discussion about how the show works (critical in an academic analysis way rather than a ‘we-think-this-is-rubbish’ way). This obviously kept us on our toes intellectually and creatively and gave us lots to work with when considering what would be relevant and interesting to the audience.
The team played our own Stan’s version of Come Dine With Me. We each chose one eatery for an evening meal and then we voted on our experience. The winner was La Taberna tapas reataurant after a close fought play-off with Little Italy.
A Welsh-speaking family practically skipping round the show with excitement translating the labels for each other and offering us the most genuine congratulations and thanks I have ever seen from an audience member. This made us feel better about not having had bilingual labels – something that we would hope to rectify on a future visit to Wales.
Performers: Lucy Nicholls, Kerrie Reading, Benny Semp and Jack Trow
Concept: James Yarker
General Manager: Emily Dawkes
Advisory Producer: Nick Sweeting