This year, we're going to be launching an outreach program designed to engage teenagers in the arts.

To kick off the program, we've chosen a few classic 20th century works of literature to read and discuss, and have come up with a fun online format to discuss these works in a community setting.

Students from across the country are invited to participate.

European Literature

We've decided to break the programme into two parts, representing both European and American literature. We encourage students to choose one of the two works from each section.

George Orwell's Animal Farm

Easily one of the most famous works of the 20th century, Animal Farm provides the allegoric critique of the socialist revolution in Russia and the rise of the Stalinistic regime.

This novel is clever, witty, and fun, even as it deals with some of the most serious and complex themes of its age. Click here for a copy of the Animal Farm audiobook.

James Joyce's A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man

Perhaps one of the best coming of age stories of all time, Joyce left us a true treasue in Portrait of an Artist. The novel is famous for the eclectic writing style that adapts to the main character it represents, as he uses the narration itself to develop a number of different aspects of the protagonists childhood and emergence into adulthood.

Unfortunately, this work is often shunned by teenagers, because it can be somewhat complex to understand on a first reading. our aim is to make the novel more approachable to the teenage mind by leveraging the forum setup.

Get the audio here from audible.

American Literature

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

Easily the most famous novel of the Jazz Age in America, The Great Gatsby epitomizes the height of luxuriousness and the American class system during the roaring 20s, before the crash into the Great Depression.

The novel takes place in a Long Island suburb of New York, where wealthy generational elite come for the summer, and yet focuses on an outsider who brings with him a fresh perspective to the area, questioning the way that society is structured, and bringing to the forefront many issues that traditional society would rather left unsaid.

Get the Great Gatsby audiobbook here.

John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

Far from the luxurious setting of Gatsby, Of Mice and Men depicts the "other half" so to speak, as it focuses on a California working class farm town. Two friends, Lennie and George.

George is small but cunning, while Lennie is a gentle giant who inadvertently gets himself into trouble from his lack of common sense and intelligence. The novel shows the plight of the working class during lean years in the US, and shows how a band between men can shape and define their individualistic lives.

Listen to the Of Mice and Men audiobook.

I hope you enjoy these novels and are excited for this new programme. To sign up, simply find our page on goodreads, and subscribe to the forum we'll be creating for each book.

As we mentioned above, we encourage all participants to read one novel from the European suggestions and one from the American suggestion. Best of luck and we look forward to hearing your views and insights!

AGOR DRYSAU - OPENING DOORS is Wales’ biennial international festival of theatre for children and young people. This year the festival will feature theatre companies from Australia, Denmark, Belgium, Germany and Austria and Hungary as well as many of Wales’ best theatre companies for young audiences.

 

The Festival will be held in and around Aberystwyth - in the stunning scenery of West Wales – which has rail and road links to major airports such as Birmingham International, Cardiff and Heathrow. The coastal town of Aberystwyth is the home of some of the major Welsh cultural institutions and one of Wales’ best and busiest arts centres.

 

The Aberystwyth Arts centre will be the main venue for festival performances and other events; performances will also be held in other theatres and schools in the town. Foreign companies performing at the festival will also perform in other venues in Wales giving our young audiences the chance to see some of the best theatre in the world. Go to the programme page to see a full listing of performances, venues, dates and times.

 

Festival events will also include discussions, social events, receptions, a sight-seeing trip and a festival bar (for discussing, planning, networking - and some singing!!).

 

We look forward to welcoming visitors from Wales and beyond to the festival. AGOR DRYSAU - OPENING DOORS is a chance for us to welcome foreign producers, promoters and festival directors to Wales and for Welsh artists to perform alongside foreign colleagues.

 

There is something for everyone and every age. So put the date in your calendar and contact us to book your place to see some of the best world theatre.

The Festival Ticket, costing £40, will open the doors to:

 

Free tickets to festival productions.

Assistance with booking accommodation.

Free transport to and from venues during the festival.

Festival programme with full information regarding productions, companies, venues etc.

Seminars and discussions.

Festival party on Saturday night.

Entry into the festival bar and other social events.

A sight-seeing trip of mid-Wales. 

FOREIGN VISITORS:

For foreign guests the Festival Ticket will be free; we also offer to arrange free transport on arrival and departure to and from international airports to Aberystwyth. We recommend travelling to Birmingham International Airport where all major airlines check in and out or to Cardiff Airport; transport can also be arranged to London Heathrow or Gatwick.

See the Programme page for information about booking individual tickets.

.

 

Contact us if you need more information or help in arranging your visit to the festival.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cwmni Theatr Arad Goch, Stryd y Baddon, Aberystwyth, SY23 2NN, Cymru

Tel: +44.(0)1970.617998

 

Fax: +44(0)1970.611223

 

Comments on previous AGOR DRYSAU - OPENING DOORS festivals

“Congratulations to all involved on the smooth running and information packs - it made it very easy to get around“

“It’s a beautiful place for a festival ...” “Stunning natural beauty, warm open people, top of the range facilities, perfect setting ...”

“Arts Centre is impressive.”

“Variety of schools and theatre venues important.”

“Very impressed with quality of productions...”

“Provided useful opportunities for meeting others in good social environment …”

“Yn bendant, hanfodol i ddatblygiad a ffyniant cwmnïau pobl ifanc Cymru”

“You seem to have a formula that works, why not build on it”

The Clock - Spectacle Theatre
  I think it was good that they could change into different characters with just 3 actors....You could make it a bit longer because it was funny.
adolygiad gan / review by: Laila, Blwyddyn/Year 5, Ysgol Plascrug School, 28 March 2005
The Clock - Spectacle Theatre
  I learned a lot about life in the second world war times from it. When I was watching it, it was as if I was watching a real lifetime.
adolygiad gan / review by: Jang Morgan, Blwyddyn/Year 5, Ysgol Plascurg School, 28 March 2005
The Clock - Spectacle Theatre
  I think the way that you sometimes showed a little movie helped a lot, because it told us more about what life was like... When Marion was passing the baby to Eric and taking it back from him it looked like you did have a baby in your arms because your hands were so gentle on the imaginary baby. Each of you spoke clearly, when you were shouting or whispering, and I still understood every word you said. Well done - 1st class.
adolygiad gan / review by: Samantha Huang, Blwyddyn/Year 5, Ysgol Plascrug School, 28 March 2005
The Clock - Spectacle Theatre
  I think the mothers play the hard parts because she has to look after the kids and be a maid round the house, she has to do everything. But the Dad doesn't take any responsibility for looking after the kids he just has to go to work, but some have to go to war. Eric did, but he didn't have to go to war he wanted to fight for his country..
adolygiad gan / review by: Holly Duce, Blwyddyn/Year 5, Ysgol Plascrug School, 28 March 2005
The Clock - Spectacle Theatre
  My favourite part in the show was when Nancy tricked Alfred about giant sheep which eat you on the hills...This show is very funny and I liked the effects especially when we saw the movie in the cinema.
adolygiad gan / review by: Abigail, Blwyddyn 5/Year 5, Ysgol Plascrug School, 28 March 2005
The Clock - Spectacle Theatre
  I really enjoyed The Clock. It was humourous and emotional. The story is fuly packed with events. I can't say which bits I liked since it was all brill!
adolygiad gan / review by: Jinjin Meng, Blwyddyn/Year 5, Ysgol Plascrug School, 28 March 2005
The Clock - Spectacle Theatre
  The Clock is the best play I have ever seen, especially the funny parts.
adolygiad gan / review by: Heledd Joyner, Blwyddyn/Year 5, Ysgol Plascrug School, 28 March 2005
The Clock - Spectacle Theatre
  It was like I went back in time. Your play was so realistic you made everything real.
adolygiad gan / review by: Laurah Goodwin, Blwyddyn/Year 5, Ysgol Plascrug School, 28 March 2005
The Clock - Spectacle Theatre
  For the whole hour and a quarter I didn't move my head at all what so ever. I thought the way you did the revolving set was clever: 100000/100000
adolygiad gan / review by: Rhys Jones, Blwyddyn/Year 5, Ysgol Plascrug School, 28 March 2005
The Clock - Spectacle Theatre
  I'm glad that I paid to see you perform, it was worth my money and it helped me see how a normal family in Wales lived in the second world war.
adolygiad gan / review by: Sophie Newman, Blwyddyn/Year 5, Ysgol Plascrug School, 28 March 2005
The Clock - Spectacle Theatre
  You made me really happy and really sad because you did some sad parts.
adolygiad gan / review by: Tya Allmark, Blwyddyn/Year 5, Ysgol Plascrug School, 28 March 2005
The Clock - Spectacle Theatre
  If this show was on for about 4 days I would tell my mum, dad, nanna, grandad and brother to come to see it.
adolygiad gan / review by: Gabriella Natalia Tedaldi, Blwyddyn/Year 5, Ysgol Plascrug School, 28 March 2005
Henry V - Theater GrueneSosse
  I could not make up my mind about this, although Edgar loved it, thinking it very funny....It i a good story that was told with a real twist in an unusual setting. I did enjoy it, but why the sudden ending? Nevertheless it was one of Edgar's favourites and it was very different.
adolygiad gan / review by: Theresa (46) and Edgar (5), Arthog, Gwynedd, 29 March 2005
Extraordinary Myths & Legends from around the World - Izzy Tooinsky's Little Giant Theatre
  This was one of the best performances I have ever seen. It was all very funny. Cool!
adolygiad gan / review by: Ceri-Sian Morris (9) Ysgol Plascrug School, 29 March 2005
Henry V - Theater GrueneSosse
  Y plant wedi dysgu mwy am fywyd Henri'r V mewn awr na fyddent wedi dysgu mewn tymor yn y dosbarth.
adolygiad gan / review by: Pennaeth, Ysgol Craig yr Wylfa, 29 March 2005
Freefall - Two-in-One
  Y plant wedi dwli ar 'Freefall'
adolygiad gan / review by: Pennaeth, Ysgol Craig yr Wylfa, 29 March 2005
Wonderfully Grimm - Sean Tuan John with Bert van Gorp
  Wow! I very much enjoyed this show and would see it again.
adolygiad gan / review by: Ceri-Sian Morris (9) Ysgol Plascrug School, 29 March 2005
The Bear Who Asked Why - Teater Patrasket
  A great show by one man and his harmonica. I think it was a little long for the little ones, but overall was good. The funny story made both little ones and adults laugh.
adolygiad gan / review by: Ceri-Sian Morris (9) Ysgol Plascrug School, 29 March 2005
This and That - Faits Divers - Compagnie Sac-à-Dos
  A very artistic show with great use of paper. Excellent stories by two people using a few props.
adolygiad gan / review by: Ceri-Sian Morris (9) Ysgol Plascrug School, 29 March 2005
Storytelling / Storïa - Cath Aran
  The story telling by Cath Aran was excellent. A great use of actions and voice. Brilliant stories told with feeling.
adolygiad gan / review by: Ceri-Sian Morris (9) Ysgol Plascrug School, 29 March 2005
Where's Andy - Spectacle Theatre
  An excellent production with super scenery. The costumes, we were told, were made out of recycled materials.
adolygiad gan / review by: Ceri-Sian Morris, (9), Ysgol Plascrug School, 29 March 2005
Snowwhite - Teater Patrasket
  Delightful drama with a 'Tudor' feel. ..Lovely, understated drama.
adolygiad gan / review by: Theresa (46) and Edgar (5) Francis, Arthog, Gwynedd, 29 March 2005
From Dawn to Dusk - Arad Goch
  A nice tender play with an excellent workbook to complete later. Edgar liked the morning scene of having to rush his milk (just like us). Perhaps the play could have been more tender..Otherwise very well thought out.
adolygiad gan / review by: Theresa (46) and Edgar (5) Francis, Arthog, Gwynedd, 29 March 2005
This and That - Faits Divers - Compagnie Sac-à-Dos
  Brilliantly executed, highly watchable and quite simply one of the best productions I have seen of this kind.
adolygiad gan / review by: Theresa (46) and Edgar (5) Francis, Arthog, Gwynedd, 29 March 2005
Where's Andy - Spectacle Theatre
  A colourful delight..Edgar and the children present smiled constantly (as did most of the adults).
adolygiad gan / review by: Theresa (46) and Edgar (5)Francis, Arthog, Gwynedd, 29 March 2005
The Clock - Spectacle Theatre
  Beautifully staged production with very realistic setting and wonderful storylines. ..It was the sort of theatre that you could watch again and again and the real-life anecdotes and drama made it very moving.
adolygiad gan / review by: Theresa (46) and Edgar (5) Francis, Arthog, Gwynedd, 29 March 2005
The Clock - Spectacle Theatre
  An excellent performance by great actors. I enjoyed the way the story was told.
adolygiad gan / review by: Ceri-Sian Morris (9), Ysgol Plascrug School, 29 March 2005
The Bear Who Asked Why - Teater Patrasket
  Mwynhaeais y sioe yma'r fawr. Mwynhaeais y gerddoriaeth roedd yr actor yn chwarae ar organ geg. Roedd llawer o gymeriadau yn y sioe ond dim ond un actor! Fy hoff gymeriad oedd Washable yr arth.
adolygiad gan / review by: Megan Saira Turner, 9 oed, Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth, 11 April 2005
The Bear Who Asked Why - Teater Patrasket
  The solo performance was about a bear called Washable. The person who owned him was so pleased that he had a new toy he danced around like a maniac. As the person grew older Washable was left alone in the corner of the sofa.
I thought today was very exciting. A very talented man told us a story about a teddy bear, but it was not an ordinary bear it came alive.
I would recommend this to any child like me and adults too.
adolygiad gan / review by: Lauren Pugh, Abbie Morris and Rebecca Vance, Aged 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 11 April 2005
The Bear Who Asked Why - Teater Patrasket
  The man who performed the show played all of the characters in the performance and make sounds with the harmonica...I like the chicken best because she was funny, stupid and proud of her little eggs. I think she only wanted to be alive to lay eggs.
adolygiad gan / review by: Florence Macduff, Aged 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 11 April 2005
The Bear Who Asked Why - Teater Patrasket
  This show was performed by Dirck Backerfield. He told the story by singing and making movements for different animals and talking in different voices...After meeting many animals he discovered he was made to be himself and be loved.
adolygiad gan / review by: Liam Cashman and Max Piotrowicz, Aged 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 11 April 2005
The Bear Who Asked Why - Teater Patrasket
  ...It was about a bear who was called Washable because of the label on his ear. He was sitting in the front room when a fly came and asked him why he was there, but Washable didn't know...The bear decided he would go and find out...
He met lots of animals and they were all horrible. The snake tried to eat him, the birs thought he was on the Earth to be cheeky and he was jumping around in dirty puddles. The swan thought life was about being beautiful, she was very vain. When the bear tried to talk to her the swan only talked about herself and made the bear think he was ugly. In the end he was found by a little girl who hugged and loved him. The fly came back to him and said, "do you know why you are here now?" Washable was able to say "To be myself and to be loved".
adolygiad gan / review by: Paige Smeaton, Age 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 11 April 2005
The Bear Who Asked Why - Teater Patrasket
  A man acted for us this morning. He performed as lots of animals - but my favourite of them was the chicken. I think the meaning of the story was that the audience could see that people are like these animals. I liked the techniques he used, turning the lights off for the dark forest.
The Bear wanted to know why he was living..He finally found out...he wanted to be loved and was rescued by a girl who comforted him and brought him to live with her.
adolygiad gan / review by: Amy Haarhoff, Aged 9, Ysgol Plascrug, 11 April 2005
Flights of Fancy - Clwyd Theatr Cymru
  ....The third story was funny, it was the King's Ears. The fourth [Rhys and Meinir] was sad, and the last one [Taliesin] was excellent.
adolygiad gan / review by: Phoebe, Year 2, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Flights of Fancy - Clwyd Theatr Cymru
  It was a performance of five myths and legends....Rhys and Meinir could make you cry it was really sad... They were old stories but good. I enjoyed it very much.
adolygiad gan / review by: Aaron Hadfield, Age 6, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Flights of Fancy - Clwyd Theatr Cymru
  ...At the end the actors let some children play some instruments and put masks on...The whole play was very exciting. I wish there were more actors on the stage like them.
adolygiad gan / review by: Loren, Year 2, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Freefall - Two-in-One
  Roedd Freefall yn wych! Roedd y set yn glyfar ac yn edrych yn union fel parc sglefrio. Roedd llawer o gyffro a hwyl ar y llwyfan.
adolygiad gan / review by: Megan Saira Turner, 9 oed, Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth, 12 April 2005
Storytelling / Storïa - Cath Aran
  Hoffais i Cath Aran yn fawr. Roedd hi'n ddoniol iawn. Fy hoff stori oedd am Fflur a'r cawr Idwal, yn enwedig pan roedd Fflur yn gwneud i Ffrancon wneud i'r ceffyl fynd yn gyflymach. Roedd yn effeithiol hyd yn oed heb set.
adolygiad gan / review by: Megan Saira Turner, 9 oed, Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth, 12 April 2005
Extraordinary Myths & Legends from around the World - Izzy Tooinsky's Little Giant Theatre
  Defnyddiai Izzy pob sgil yn ei ffordd ei hun. Roedd ei reolaeth o'r peli jyglo bach yn gyffrous i wylio. Roedd yn ddoniol ac yn llawn hiwmor.
adolygiad gan / review by: Megan Saira Turner, 9 oed, Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth, 12 April 2005
Flights of Fancy - Clwyd Theatr Cymru
  ..It had interesting music, songs, puppets and poetry... Most of the stories were unusual but still fantastic. I found it funny when the doll said "Can I have a drink of water". That's what I thought about Flights of Fancy.
adolygiad gan / review by: Noha, Year 2, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Freefall - Two-in-One
  Gwych. Anhygoel. Trawiadol.
Roedd y sioe yn wefreiddiol i'w gwylio a symudiadau'r actorion yn wych. Gwnaent iddo edrych yn hawdd. Fy hoff ran yn y sioe oedd clywed y DJ yn gwneud synnau anhygoel gyda'i geg oherwydd nid oeddwn wedi clywed unrhywbeth tebyg o'r blaen.
adolygiad gan / review by: Tomi Turner, 13 oed, Ysgol Penweddig, 12 April 2005
Freefall - Two-in-One
  Thank you for a great show. I really enjoyed it.
adolygiad gan / review by: Michael Jones, Aberystwyth Town Councillor, 12 April 2005
Snowwhite - Teater Patrasket
  It was a good story and I was amazed by the fact that there were only two people telling the story...My favourite part of the story was when the lady played the dwarf I couldn't believe that she actually shrank.
adolygiad gan / review by: Daniel Pugh, Age 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Snowwhite - Teater Patrasket
  I thought Snow White was especially brilliant it was thrilling, exciting and funny. The performers are wacky. I was glad I came!
adolygiad gan / review by: Alexander Nagaoka Taylor, Age 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Snowwhite - Teater Patrasket
  I thought it was really funny and I thought it was brilliant. I liked the music but then it gave me a bit of a headache.
adolygiad gan / review by: Claire Goodwin, Age 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Snowwhite - Teater Patrasket
  What I liked about it was the costumes because they looked so olden day. I thought they did very well and they deserve a round of applause.
adolygiad gan / review by: Rebecca Dawson, Age 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Snowwhite - Teater Patrasket
  When I heard it was Snow White, I thought it was going to be BORING! But, when I saw it it was brill! Ha, I know your secret! You put your shoes on your knees! That is what is funny about you.
OH! another brill bit was when 1 of the prince's helper kept going 'Oh, I can hear something now - now it's stopped. And it's there again, it's coming closer, and there and there! And thereandthereandthere...So, so funny you are the best characters I've seen.
adolygiad gan / review by: Molly Baldwin, Age 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Snowwhite - Teater Patrasket
  I thought it was a hilarious and marvellous show. There were lots of funny parts that always made me laugh!
I think the show was well performed because if I was in a show with only two people acting and so many different characters, I wouldn't be able to do it.
I absolutely loved it when they brought the little dinner table out to pretend the dwarfs were going to have dinner! I loved the show it was great!
adolygiad gan / review by: Zoe Cashman, Age 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Henry V - Theater GrueneSosse
  Castell tywod mewn sgwar o raff oedd set y sioe yma. Roedd yr awyrgylch yn swnllyd a chyffrous ond ar adegau eraill roedd tawelwch cryf. Teimlwn drwy'r amser fod rhywbeth ar fin digwydd. Hoffais y sioe oherwydd roedd yn dangos darn o hanes mewn ffordd ddiddorol dros ben.
adolygiad gan / review by: Tomi Turner, 13 oed, Ysgol Penweddig, 12 April 2005
Snowwhite - Teater Patrasket
  I liked the actor and actress's costumes. It was very clever to put the cloakes on as different parts of the clothes. I found out that not only girls could play girls parts and boys could play boys parts they could both play each others parts. I was nothing like I expected it to be, in fact it was much better than I thought it would be!
adolygiad gan / review by: Emma Benge, Age 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Snowwhite - Teater Patrasket
  The two dwarfs were funny because they put their shoes on their knees to pretend they were small. It was clever they could use two cloaks for about five different costumes.
I thought that the two squires were ever so funny because the way they moved made me laugh. It seemed as if they had lost their balance. They were amazing.
I likes Snowwhite a lot. Especially knowing that boys used to wear lipstick a long time ago! 
The simple, basic props were good and effective. The tambourine was used for two different things, a crown and mirror. The butter dish made an excellent coffin.
adolygiad gan / review by: Fay Walsh, Age 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Snowwhite - Teater Patrasket
  The story I'm familiar with is a bit different to the one I saw. I wonder how the actors make the smoke appear from nowhere? The play was simple but humorous and lively.
I'll give the performance ten out of ten.
adolygiad gan / review by: Charlie Edmunds, Age 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Snowwhite - Teater Patrasket
  I really enjoyed the play, it was funny, clever, entertaining and exciting. I didn't dare look at anyone else because it was so good. I hated nothing at all. The beginning was very exciting, but when it ended I wanted it to be longer. I thought that the performance was great. I hope to see it again.
adolygiad gan / review by: Mohsen El-Abaddi, Age 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Snowwhite - Teater Patrasket
  I thought it was funny when the evil Queen pricked her hand - 'that is the end of her' I said to myself.
Actually I've got lots of favourite parts one of them being when the evil, nasty Queen hit the man with the tambourine. I said to myself 'that could make serious damage to his tummy'.
I enjoyed Snowwhite...I can't stop thinking about it.
adolygiad gan / review by: Fahmi Khairil, Age 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Snowwhite - Teater Patrasket
  I went to the Arts Centre and watched Snowwhite, a tale about good and evil. The play was performed by two actors who represented many different characters....
It was very clever - very clever. It was so clever, funny and entertaining I would like to watch it again.
adolygiad gan / review by: Emily Morrell, Age 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Snowwhite - Teater Patrasket
  The tale happened a long time ago, way back in teh olden days when men wore lipstick....
How did the actors change their clothes so fast?
My worst moment was when it finished!
It was brilliant, even though the man wore lipstick!
adolygiad gan / review by: Joshua Williams, Age 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Snowwhite - Teater Patrasket
  I enjoyed seeing the two squires carrying the coffin and pretending to drop it in slow motion. It was highly amusing when the prince called the two squires two squirrels!
I hope the two actors come back soon.
adolygiad gan / review by: George Stovell, Age 8, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
Flights of Fancy - Clwyd Theatr Cymru
  Flights of Fancy is an excellent play....The Taliesin one is not acting it's just a telling one....
adolygiad gan / review by: Ruby, Year 2, Ysgol Plascrug, 12 April 2005
The Clock - Spectacle Theatre
  At the beginning, the actors talked to the children in the audience. They took a photograph of everybody. I didn’t like the photograph because the flash was too bright. I didn’t like having a photograph taken in front of the whole audience and I didn’t like flash. Normal photos are fine, though. Photos are for remembering things.

When the play started, a woman was looking at a picture of children, and she was thinking back to when she was little. We saw how her parents met, when she was born, and when the Second World War started. During the war the girl’s father died, and her mother felt really really sad. A boy, who was called Alfred and was 7 years old came to stay. They were bombing London and he came to stay with them to be safe. He carried a gas mark in case there was a gas bomb. There was a siren, and they went in the cellar to get more protection during the bombing. The little girl got angry with Alfred because he said he saw her mother talking to American soldiers. She didn’t want her mother to marry an American. She asked him to take back the words he said, but he wouldn’t. She picked up the clock and smashed it. Her mother came home, and sent Alfred out of the house because she thought he’d broken the clock.

The actors asked us what we thought the girl or the boy would have said if they met again many years later.

I like the play, even though it’s quite sad.
adolygiad gan / review by: Kim Harvey, Age 7, Ysgol Comins Coch, 13 April 2005
Wonderfully Grimm - Sean Tuan John with Bert van Gorp
  You might say it was “wonderfully grim”. I did not like this at all. Nothing worthwhile happened – you could have come in halfway through and not made any less sense of the goings on than if you’d sat through all of it. My first thought was: what did this have to do with Grimms’ fairy tales? It had nothing to do with fairy tales, and consisted of much pointless dancing and tissue-waving.
If I were asked what it was about, I wouldn’t have a clue what to say. I thought that the acting, dancing, and stories were awful.



adolygiad gan / review by: Sam Harvey,Age 11, Ysgol Comins Coch , 13 April 2005
Henry V - Theater GrueneSosse
  There was quite a complicated sandcastle on a table on the stage. There was a big rope wire around it. Henry V wanted a castle in France, so he looked in this English book, and it said the king of England should also be the king of France. He went to France, and the princess’s father was ill. A few days later, the princess’s father died, and there was a new king, and the new king wouldn’t let him have France because he wanted to be king. Catherine, the princess, wanted to be queen. Henry and the new king wanted to marry her but she didn’t want to marry.

Henry went home and got the army, and they came back to fight. They used balloons, and every time one popped it was like someone dying. I liked it when the king popped one of them and it went bang. I liked the balloons popping – I had a shock every time – it was like ‘They’re dead!’

At the end, the castle was wrecked. They tried to build it up again. When you win, you win dirty hands.
adolygiad gan / review by: Kim Harvey, Age 7, Ysgol Comins Coch, 13 April 2005
It's OK to Be Different - Izzy Tooinsky's Little Giant Theatre
  When we went into the cinema, we saw a table with lots of things on it. Izzi welcomed us and told some jokes while we were waiting to start. He also played catch the ball with some people in the audience. I liked the joke ‘What is a witch’s favourite subject?’ The answer was ‘Spelling’.

Then Izzi told us stories about himself and his family. He acted everyone because he was the one telling the story. His mother was big, his father was tall, his grandmother was tiny, his sister was cool, his brother was fast, his grandad was old and skinny, and his cat spoke Spanish. His brother was so fast that when he went to switch off the light at bedtime he was in bed and fast asleep before the light went out. His sister was so cool that she was born riding a horse and wearing sunglasses. When he was telling the stories, he juggled with balls and chicken legs, and he had two poles with a string between them, which he did tricks with.

I liked the way he did the stories. He said that we’re all different and it doesn’t matter if you are different. Some of us are big, some are tall, some are cool, some are fast, some are skinny, but it’s OK.
adolygiad gan / review by: Kim Harvey, Age 7, Ysgol Comins Coch, 13 April 2005
Shadow Seeker - Gwent Theatre
  The story was set in ancient Greece and was about Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus was a kind man and liked feeding animals. He was given a lyre by the great god Apollo, and the gift of playing the lyre. He fell in love with Eurydice, but a few days after they got married, she died from being bitten by a poisonous snake.

Orpheus loved her so much that he went on a journey to the Underworld to get Eurydice back. He met the ferryman who lets you cross the river Styx. She wouldn’t take him over because he was living and had flesh, so he sang to her and played the lyre. The music made her feel like she was in the real world, and she took him across the river in a boat. He came to the big three-headed dog, called Cerberus, at the gate of the Underworld, but they wouldn’t let him go through, because they weren’t allowed to let through people with flesh. He played the lyre and sang them a song so that they could go to sleep. They hadn’t been sleeping for about 200 years, and they were always fighting with each other. Orpheus walked through.

He met King Hades and Queen Persephone, king and queen of the Underworld. They wouldn’t let him have Eurydice back, because it was her destiny to stay in the Underworld. Orpheus sang them a song with the lyre, and they started to love each other again. Then King Hades let Orpheus take Eurydice, but on one condition: ‘Do not look back at her until you are in the real world.’ He went on not looking at her until they came to the river Styx. He got in the boat, and went over to the other side. He got out of the boat. He walked on, but he couldn’t see Eurydice’s shadow, so he turned round and he looked at Eurydice, and she faded back into the Underworld. At the end he was crowned king. He was a gentle king. Apollo told him that you can’t change destiny.

I liked the dog and the snake (I thought the snake was very funny), and the tortoise. I felt sad for the tortoise because he got pulled out of his shell so he died and went to the Underworld. The gong was in the shape of an eye. The eye was painted on the boat. When I first saw the boat, I thought the boat had eyes so it could see where it was going.
adolygiad gan / review by: Kim Harvey, Age 7, Ysgol Comins Coch, 13 April 2005
This and That - Faits Divers - Compagnie Sac-à-Dos
  It was about a king and queen. They were always arguing. The king made a paper animal with three toes. He made a palace for it out of cardboard boxes. One little animal came out with a big stain on it, so he put stain remover on it, and it vanished. He bandaged the little paper creature, and put it in a box, and when they unwrapped the bandage it had vanished! When the animal was invisible, it was on top of the lights. So the king said, ‘When I count to 3 you jump.’ ‘No, no, no,’ said the queen. There was a big gap there. So he got closer and said, ‘Jump off now’, and he caught him in a newspaper with a bang.

The king and queen both wanted the animal, and they tore it in half and then they dropped it in the hole, and its heart went: oomp, oomp, oomp. That was funny! So they sellotaped it back together, but the king went fishing with it, and a big crocodile ate up the little animal and the boat. The king caught the crocodile, and ground it up in a liquidizer, with the queen’s tea and a rocky mountain cake. He drank up all the liquid in the mug. It was quite disgusting, drinking paper.

The king and queen had cardboard faces of each other. The queen took the king’s and the king took the queen’s. The king drew a tongue sticking out of the queen and the queen made the king very hairy. They were fighting because they always wanted their own way.

Another part that I remember is: the king had a baby, and that baby went on a rocket and went up into the air. And the queen thought it went to the moon. And the king thought he went on a fire engine – he was fighting a fire, so the queen said, ‘He’ll let you borrow his big red truck.’ And the king said, ‘Yippee, I get to keep the fire engine for the weekend!’

I liked this play, and it was very funny.
adolygiad gan / review by: Kim Harvey, Age 7, Ysgol Comins Coch, 13 April 2005
Wonderfully Grimm - Sean Tuan John with Bert van Gorp
  The stage had trees with one bird in each, and one cat at the bottom of one tree and another cat at the bottom of the other tree. It had a little bit of Red Riding Hood in it, but wasn’t anything to do with fairy tales or about Grimm. I didn’t enjoy this. Nothing much happened. We had to wave tissues during some parts of the play but I didn’t enjoy it. It was supposed to be funny, but I didn’t find it funny at all. I don’t know what they were trying to do. It was boring, uninteresting, and unimaginative.
adolygiad gan / review by: Kim Harvey, Age 7, Ysgol Comins Coch, 13 April 2005
Freefall - Two-in-One
  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but this was the show I was looking forward to most. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen! There was a half-pipe on the stage on which most of the action took place, from BMXing to people sliding around. Some of the moves took a lot of skill and looked highly dangerous, like the BMX (it must be quite scary to ride one of those things!) and the skateboard spinning in mid-air. I also liked Mikey’s breakdancing, especially his very long head-spin and back flip. The loud music in the background helped with the atmosphere. I found the show exhilarating and wouldn’t mind seeing it all over again. I hope they come again next time!
adolygiad gan / review by: Sam Harvey, Age 11, Ysgol Comins Coch, 13 April 2005
Henry V - Theater GrueneSosse
  Henry V was a well-acted take on Shakespeare’s play. The set was a boxing ring with a table in the middle on which stood a magnificent sandcastle modelled on a real castle (which was different in each performance). There were three actors and a storyteller who told the actors what to do, which I thought was a good idea, because it gave the audience a better idea of what the actors were trying to show. The storyteller also shows that historians are biased. The idea of using balloons to represent soldiers was excellent, as they gave you a shock when they popped even when you knew they were going to pop. The play was about how a war can be caused by greed and petty arguments, how it doesn’t achieve very much, but has a huge cost in human lives and suffering.
I thought Henry V was good and funny, and I learned a lot from it. I would recommend this to anyone interested in Shakespeare and history.
adolygiad gan / review by: Sam Harvey, Age 11, Ysgol Comins Coch, 13 April 2005
It's OK to Be Different - Izzy Tooinsky's Little Giant Theatre
  This was the first performance in the ‘Opening Doors’ festival I saw, and it exceeded all my expectations. The production was funny and clever, and Izzy was extremely skilled in juggling and other circus tricks.
Izzy’s story had an important message: it’s OK to be different. When he was adopted into another family after spending ten years with hamsters, he found that everyone in his family was different. His mum was big – in fact she was like two women stuck together. His dad was tall, so tall that Izzy never saw his face. His little sister was cool, so cool that she was born wearing sunglasses and cowboy boots. His grandma was teeny: she could hide under someone’s eyelashes without her legs showing. Izzy’s older brother was fast, so fast that when he turned the light off he could be back in the top bunk and fast asleep before it got dark. His grandpa was old and very skinny – when he got sunburn on his chest, the skin on his back peeled off.
Izzy also inspired us to try new things. The different members of his family would ask him to try new tricks, and he would say ‘No’. They would say ‘Try’; he would say ‘No’; and when they said ‘Try’ again, he said ‘OK’ By the end everyone in the audience was joining in with Izzy. He was very very good and I would recommend this show to everyone.
adolygiad gan / review by: Sam Harvey, Age 11, Ysgol Comins Coch, 13 April 2005
Shadow Seeker - Gwent Theatre
  This was a retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. I liked this performance a lot because it was easy to understand and fun. A lot of it reminded me of Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy.
There were four actors: one played Orpheus, another played Eurydice, and the other two switched roles. The play made good use of props, like the lyre, which was very big and was also used to represent the gate to the underworld; it did not have strings, but chimes which were hit with a stick. It was very well acted. I liked the hand movements between Orpheus and Eurydice, which were actually based on sign language. My favourite bit was the dog puppet of Cerberus. The story was very sad, and showed us that one’s destiny cannot be changed.
I liked this production because it moved quite quickly and was funny and enjoyable, and I hope Theatre Gwent do another production next year.
adolygiad gan / review by: Sam Harvey, Age 11, Ysgol Comins Coch, 13 April 2005
This and That - Faits Divers - Compagnie Sac-à-Dos
  This show was fun and had some nice ideas but didn’t quite work for me. I think they should have made the newspaper cut-outs as they went along. I liked the newspaper creatures and the Roneo machine. The best part of it was when they put a crocodile cut-out, coffee, and a cupcake in the liquidizer and liquidized it, and the man drank it all up. The story seemed to be about a man and a woman arguing about who was more powerful. It didn’t quite make sense to me and I did not like this as much as some of the other performances.


adolygiad gan / review by: Sam Harvey, Age 11, Ysgol Comins Coch, 13 April 2005
Snowwhite - Teater Patrasket
  The story was about an evil queen who wanted to kill Snow White because the mirror said that Snow White was a thousand times fairer than her.

I thought the play was very funny, and I like the way just two people did it. Sometimes the man, and sometimes the woman, was Snow White. The coffin was a butter dish, and the woman wore tennis shoes as a dwarf. She was kneeling down with a cloak covering her legs and she put her shoes on her knees, so she looked like she had shrunk. I thought she had been in a shrinking machine! And they had a small butter dish as Snow White’s coffin. She was supposed to be in a see-through coffin, so that the dwarves could look at her every day for hours.

Snow White liked eating apples. The queen poisoned an apple – half a side. When she went out in disguise, and Snow White opened the window, she tore it in half, and she said, ‘Look, it’s perfectly OK’, and she bit the half without poison in it. Then Snow White bit the other half with poison in it, and she fell down dead.

I enjoyed it a lot. I thought it was really really funny.
adolygiad gan / review by: Kim Harvey, Age 7, Ysgol Comins Coch, 13 April 2005
The Bear Who Asked Why - Teater Patrasket
  This production was very sophisticated. It was performed by one man with a harmonica. He mimed every character in the story as he told it, but his main role was the teddy bear, which I thought was done extremely well. I had wondered how this tall man was going to play a teddy bear. Each character had its own music played on the harmonica, for example the teddy bear had a blues tune.
The story is about a teddy bear who wonders why he is and goes around asking different animals if they know why he is there. They give him different answers, for example the bee said life was for collecting pollen to make honey, and the hen said life was for laying eggs. The teddy bear was left feeling he couldn’t do any of the things the animals told him life was for, and at the end he found out that he was there to be himself and to be loved. I left the theatre wondering why I’m me.

adolygiad gan / review by: Sam Harvey, Age 11, Ysgol Comins Coch, 13 April 2005