To read the article click on the following link:http://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/theatre-news/disabled-actors-battling-against-odds-13642228
To read the article click on the following link:http://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/theatre-news/disabled-actors-battling-against-odds-13642228
Lennie is strong and simple. George is short and sharp. They are migrant farm workers. It’s the Great Depression. It smells of sweat. Dogs get shot. Black people are lynched and women are whores. Lennie and George talk of living off the fat of the land, raising rabbits and auntie Clara’s blueberry pies.
The cast includes Wil Young who plays Lennie. Wil is a company member from Hijinx North Academy, one of 5 Academies in Wales that trains learning disabled and/or autistic adults to be-come professional actors. Neal McWilliams (Volcano Theatre, The Other Room, Sherman Thea-tre) plays George, Tom Mumford (NPT Theatres, August 012, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru) plays Slim, Anthony Corria (aka Wella; National Theatre Wales) plays Crooks and Sara Lloyd Gregory (Being Human, Torchwood, BBC; Hinterland, BBC/S4C; Theatr Clwyd, National Theatre Wales) who plays Curly and Curly’s Wife. The show is directed by Mathilde Lopez (La Voix Humaine, Aldeburgh Festival 2017 / Festival of Voice 2016 Wales Millennium Centre / Welsh National Opera; Yuri, August 012 / Chapter / Underbelly Edinburgh 2016; City of the Unexpected, associate director National Theatre Wales & Wales Millennium Centre) and the scenographer is Tina Torbey (Design Studio Assistant at National Theatre, London). The Lighting Designer is Ace McCarron (Music Theatre Wales, Scottish Opera, English Touring Opera), Costume Designer is Brighde Penn (recently graduated from RWCMD with a masters in Performance Design) and Composer is Gareth Evans (Tonypandemonium National Theatre Wales; Roberto Zucco August 012). The show opens on the 18th of October at Chapter Arts Centre and will run until the 28th of October.
August 012 is a theatre company that produces vigorous and ambitious international contemporary plays rarely seen in Wales. The company endeavours to bring the writing and ideas of the rest of the world to the Welsh stage, in English, Welsh and other languages.
Director Mathilde Lopez said;
“We are very excited to join forces with Hijinx and wrestle with the seminal piece that is Of Mice and Men. I am also terrified to do it justice and echo the strength, relevance and conciseness of the novel on stage. We will explore documentary realism and the hyperboles of the Bible and find the spaces where Sergio Leone meets The Little House on the Prairie.”
Clare Williams, Chief Executive of Hijinx said;
“Hijinx applauds August 012 for their courage in casting an actor who has a better understanding of Lennie than any neurotypical actor. It has long been Hijinx’s ambition for mainstream theatre companies to recognise the value in casting diversely and this production Of Mice and Men is a perfect vehicle for this.”
The company will also be offering performances for schools during the 10 day run at Chapter Arts Centre.
Volcano : Carmarthen, 11 – 15 Sept 2017
Improbable: Cardiff, 31 Oct – 4 Nov 2017
Hijinx Residencies are a fantastic opportunity to learn from some of the most well respected theatre companies working in the UK today. Sharing their expertise over week-long workshops, companies such as Complicite, Frantic Assembly, Punchdrunk, Spymonkey, Cardboard Citizens, Told by an Idiot and Ockham’s Razor will help you develop performance skills including clowning, contact improvisation, devising and aerial work.
If you have never worked alongside learning disabled performers Hijinx Residencies are a fantastic opportunity to do so. A number of places at each course will be allocated to students from the Hijinx Academy, our advanced drama training course for talented learning disabled actors. Come ready to work in a lively, empowering and massively enjoyable environment.
For more details click http://www.hijinx.org.uk/residencies/
On Monday 11 September, learning disabled adults will be able to attend a free taster session for our Mid Wales Academy drama training course, based at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
The course has grown out of our year-long Pathway scheme, which is now ready to expand into our professional performance training – the Academy. Open to adults with learning disabilities or autism, who want to pursue a career in performing arts, our Mid Wales Academy joins the highly successful Academies already established in Cardiff, Carmarthen and Prestatyn. Students here have developed skills in physical theatre, acting for screen, dance, clown, improvisation and many more, and have performed all over the UK and Europe.
Students need to be committed, focused, hard-working and able to participate in the sessions independently. They will work with tutors who are professional arts practitioners initially for 1 day per week, expanding to 2 days per week when student numbers have increased sufficiently. The course is ongoing, 50 weeks per year, breaking only for Easter and Christmas.
The taster session will be from 9.30 – 3.30 at the Dance Studio and will give people the chance to experience a typical Academy day and meet the Hijinx team delivering the course.
For more information or to book a place on the taster day
or telephone 029 20 300 331.
Circus, sleepwalkers and suitcases as Hijinx Unity Festival arrives in North Wales this week
Watch out for the pink suitcases popping up around Caernarfon this week as the town is taken over by a surprisingly different arts festival (28 Jun – 2 July)
Spectacular circus, theatre, dance and music acts will fill Caernarfon Castle, Victoria Dock, the Town Square and Galeri Arts Centre as Hijinx Unity Festival returns for another five days packed with performances. Hosted for the first time this year in Caernarfon in partnership with Galeri, the Festival will showcase outstanding inclusive and disability arts performances from Spain, France, Germany, Belgium and across the UK from 28 June to 2 July.
The Festival is distinctively different in that all of the companies performing at Hijinx Unity Festival feature artists who have physical or learning disabilities. The Festival was created by Welsh theatre company, Hijinx, to raise the profile of disabled and non-disabled artists working together as equals, and to surprise and delight audiences with truly remarkable performances.
Highlights of the 2017 line up include a weekend of free performances in and around Galeri (Sat 1 July) and on The Maes (Sun 2 July) in the centre of Caernarfon. Areas of the town will be transformed into eye-catching performance spaces, with more pop up venues on The Promenâd and in Palas Print bookshop.
Headlining the weekend are dare-devil French circus artists Cirque Inextremiste with a breath-taking balancing act on The Promenâd. Elsewhere in town, they will be joined by German theatre company Blaumeier-Atelier, Seville-based dance company Danza Mobile, and Hijinx’s own pop-up theatre shows ‘The Pods’, to name but a few acts. Pioneers of accessible theatre for children, Taking Flight Theatre Company will bring a nautical feel to Shakespeare’s The Tempest which will be performed all around Victoria Dock.
Join Unity @ Castell Caernarfon on Fri 30 June for four jam-packed hours of inclusive street theatre, flamenco and contemporary dance from Germany, Spain and Great Britain.
The Festival also offers a ticketed programme of performances at Galeri from 28 June – 1 July, including: BoHo, a dystopian musical misadventure produced by Hijinx and Theatr Clwyd; I Belong, raw and un-tamed physical theatre from Belgian company Theater Stap; and a stunning flamenco double-bill from Seville-company Danza Mobile.
HIJINX AND FRANTIC ASSEMBLY COLLABORATION
Another highlight of the free performance programme is physical theatre show, Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, produced by Hijinx in collaboration withFrantic Assembly (performances 30 June & 1 July in Galeri). Frantic Assembly are the renowned Movement Directors of the Broadway and West End hit show The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The 20 minute performance features a 20 strong cast of disabled and non-disabled actors, and will be the culmination of a two-week training residency under the tutelage of Frantic Assembly.
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Through a high quality programme of performing arts, the Festival promotes positive images of disability and social inclusion to audiences. Since its creation in Cardiff in 2008, it has grown to attract over 20,000 visitors a time from across Wales, the UK and Europe.
15 learning disabled actors from across North Wales, who are trained by Hijinx at their academy in Prestatyn, will be at the centre of a number of Festival performances. They will be joined by fellow Hijinx Academy actors from South and West Wales, for a celebration of inclusion that takes place in Caernarfon for the first time this year.
“A surprisingly different arts festival”
Hijinx Unity Festival showcases the best inclusive and disability arts from around the world. This summer, performers from across the UK, France, Spain, Belgium and Germany will take over the streets of Caernarfon with acts made by and with disabled artists. Spectacular circus, theatre, dance and music acts will fill Castell Caernarfon, Doc Fictoria, the Town Square and Galeri Caernarfon, with many performances taking place for free.
For full information visit www.hijinxunity.org.uk
Ticketed shows as follows:
A dystopian musical misadventure.
Life in the City is fast, correct and beautiful. If you keep up, that is.
David Jones is just another cog in the City’s giant wheel, until one untimely mistake forces him out…to BoHo. On this journey of self-discovery, amid an otherworldly collection of misfits and freethinkers, rules are challenged, individuality is celebrated and ‘reality’ is tested. Unsure whether he is in quarantine, a reality TV show or simply dreaming, David has no choice but to be led down the rabbit-hole and have a good look at who he really is.
BoHo is an exploration of what it means to be good enough, to fit-in and to keep up, performed by an inclusive cast, with a vibrant original score, film and words.
Dawns i Bawb showcases the talents of inclusive and disability-led community dance groups from Wales, including APT, Dragon’s Heart and Dragon’s Soul (formerly Tan Dance), InSync and WISP.
Dawns i Bawb (‘dance for all’) take pride in their name: it is an organisation which believes that anyone and everyone can dance! Spanning three counties, Dawns i Bawb run a varied programme of activities from large-scale productions to small dance groups of a few individuals. Inclusivity and the idea that dance can positively contribute to disadvantaged and isolated communities are the common themes throughout everything they do.
A raw and untamed exploration of what it means to belong to a group, through dance, live music and an electric soundtrack.
A company of nine dancers come together, connect with one another and lose themselves in this powerful and evocative piece.
Based in Flanders, Belgium, Theater Stap has been creating professional performances in which people with disabilities take centre stage for over 30 years. Theater Stap’s zwaluwzang / a swallow song played to acclaim at Wales Millennium Centre as part of Unity Festival 2015.
The hugely popular Spanish integrated dance company Danza Mobile returns to the festival for the sixth time: expect a double bill of powerful, evocative and passionate inclusive flamenco. Olé!
‘Bailo … Luego Existo’ or ‘I dance, therefore I am’ stems from Descartes and refers to a phrase which expresses one of the fundamental principles of inclusive dance: I dance, therefore my own existence is clear.
Chapter, Market Road, Canton, Cardiff, CF5 1QE
Wednesday 25th January
For details and to book tickets please go to: http://www.chapter.org/my-feral-heart-panel-discussion
This Wednesday (25 January), Chapter will be showing My Feral Heart followed by a post-screening discussion that will include Hijinx CEO Clare Williams and Hijinx Odyssey member Sara Pickard on the panel.
About the Film
A sudden bereavement throws Luke, a fiercely independent young man with Down’s syndrome, into a daunting new environment where he finds unexpected support from his feisty carer. A character study about the universal themes of grief and friendship, with an evocative score.
About the Panel
Along with Clare Williams and Sara Pickard from Hijinx, the panel for the post-showing discussion will include Zoe Richards from Learning Disability Wales, Wayne Crocker from Mencap Cymru and Julian Hallet from Down’s Syndrome Association Wales. The panel will be chaired by Ben Ewart-Dean, a filmmaker who works with people with learning disabilities.
To book your tickets for this event, visit Chapter’s website now! We hope you’ll join us for an evening of thought-provoking film and discussion.
The Hijinx UK tour of Meet Fred launches on Friday 20 January at Chapter, Cardiff; the starting point of a massive 49 venue tour that spans from Northumberland to Hampshire and a whole host of places in between!
So, who is Fred? Well, he’s the two foot tall cloth puppet who just wants to be a regular guy: get a job, meet a girl, settle down. But when threatened with losing his Puppetry Living Allowance, Fred’s life begins to spiral out of his control.
A sell-out show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016, expect a ‘terrifically funny, no holds barred subversive satire’ (Edinburgh Guide). Contains strong language and puppet nudity.
Welsh Tour Dates:
20 – 21 January Chapter, Cardiff
27 January Neuadd Dwyfor, Pwllheli
28 January Galeri, Caernarfon
06 February Soar Centre, Penygraig
07 March Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan
31 March Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon
01 April Hafren, Newtown
04 April Aberystwyth Arts Centre
08 April Ffwrnes, Llanelli
10 May Borough Theatre, Abergavenny
11 – 13 May Theatr Clwyd, Mold
For further details and a full tour schedule please visit: http://www.hijinx.org.uk/
Working with Hijinx Theatre, Richard Newnham received an Unlimited Impact commission to create an online sitcom, Flatmates.
Richard and his writing partner Daniel Smith have created 5 short episodes and after a very successful screening at Porters in Cardiff, Flatmates can now be seen on You Tube –
A new episode will be available each week and are well worth a view. Flatmates is funny, well acted and produced and a great watch when you need 5 minutes to take your mind off your day and have a laugh.