Merthyr students connect with local care home for Sherman Theatre's Tydfil Tales

25 Jun 2020

On 1 July, Sherman Theatre will launch Tydfil Tales, a beautiful new audio drama. Tydfil Tales weaves together fragmented memories, half-remembered stories and anecdotes shared by residents of Merthyr Tydfil’s The Daffodils Care Home to UAL Performing Arts students at The  College Merthyr Tydfil.

Those stories were dramatised and are performed by the young people. Made in, by and for the community Tydfil Tales gives voice to two generations of Merthyr Tydfil citizens, bringing them together through storytelling and creativity.

The conversations between the residents of The Daffodils Care Home and the students were facilitated by a team of practitioners assembled by Sherman Theatre and took place before the lockdown began. During the lockdown the students worked with directors Samantha Alice Jones and Timothy Howe (Sherman Theatre’s Creative Engagement Manager) to turn those conversations into an audio drama.

Timothy Howe, Sherman Theatre’s Creative Engagement Manager led the project. Timothy reflected: “This project began as a means of tackling social isolation and giving a platform to young people from Merthyr who feel their voices are not heard on our stages, but it has become a shared celebration and appreciation of the community within which it was set.

"The genuine connections forged between the residents of The Daffodils Care Home and the students of Merthyr College were not just about friendship, they grew into a shared understanding and trust that is reflected in the final performances. As the project progressed the students grew in their love for the residents who began to be seen as part of their family. The human collaboration and connection that we’re championing through Tydfil Tales celebrates how well the arts can bring people and communities together.

"At the foundation of these stories lies a town that is as much a character in the final performances as the people we meet; without each other they could not exist. As such the students have taken great pains to preserve the unique voices and stories of their co-writers. At a time of social isolation, working on such a community-focused project which celebrates artistic talent, community spirit and an often maligned community in South Wales has been a brilliant tonic for everyone involved.”

 

Tydfil Tales will be released at 6pm on 1 July on Sherman Theatre’s YouTube and SoundCloud channels.

The project was funded by National Lottery Awards for All Wales

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