Health and wellbeing

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Description

Mercury Theatre Wales is a Cardiff-based theatre company that aims to produce high quality, innovative and thought-provoking work. We commit to developing Welsh talent and bringing to the Welsh stage new pieces of theatre, created to be relevant to contemporary audiences and the specific communities with whom we engage.

The shows we create are devised using real-life testaments from members of the community about important issues in their lives and are then performed back in community venues. Our Christmas show 'Anamnesis 25.12', looked at what Christmas time meant to today's society and tackled loneliness, loss and financial hardship as well as all the festive cheer. We took the show into studio theatres, community centres and into Care Homes for those who were unable to venture out.

Over the past five years we have worked with community groups across Wales which have included choirs, youth, refugee and OAP groups, giving them an opportunity to join our rehearsals and a chance to perform alongside us. We also hold post-show discussion sessions and maintain ongoing relationships with them.

Last year we worked with Women's Aid groups in Rhondda Cynon Taf creating our new show '35 TIMES' which looks at Domestic Violence and Abuse and the impact it has on the lives of those who experience it. We had a period of Research and Development when we learnt about the work being carried out by organisations to help victims of DVA and recorded interviews with women, discussing their experiences and feelings. We worked with a group of actors at the Park and Dare Theatre in Treorchy, devising and discovering ways of portraying important issues that are often hard to tackle with more conventional methods. We held two sharings of our work, the first at the Park and Dare Theatre and a second at The National Assembly for Wales Senedd building in Cardiff Bay, an event sponsored by Julie Morgan AM.

Bethan Morgan, Writer and Director was then able to put together a compelling script containing many multidimensional characters that the audience are able to empathise with. The title refers to the national statistics telling us that on average a woman will experience violent Domestic Abuse 35 times before reporting it. The artistic inspiration comes from the brave women that we met during the R&D phase of the project at Women's Aid meetings, refuges and coffee mornings, who spoke honestly and openly about some of the most traumatic experiences of their lives. They have allowed us to use their stories as inspiration to help others speak out.

In June and July this year, we toured the show to community venues in South and West Wales and received an overwhelming response from all. Reviews from local newspapers can be found on the following links:-
https://www.kellyallenwriter.com/2017/07/lets-talk-about-domestic-abuse-35-times.html
http://www.theatre-wales.co.uk/reviews/reviews_details.asp?reviewID=3766
http://www.theatre-wales.co.uk/reviews/reviews_details.asp?reviewID=3767
http://www.thereviewshub.com/35-times-volcano-theatre-swansea/

Our plan now is to tour into more communities next Spring and also use the piece as a training tool for Police training on the issue. We believe that this is a subject that needs tackling in the public forum, to educate and enlighten people about its many forms and ways of speaking out against it. This subject may be uncomfortable for some, but we want to challenge this taboo and lay everything we have learnt out in the open. We want to not only raise awareness but also empower those affected by Domestic Abuse to seek support. We hope that our project will have a long, beneficial, lasting effect.

We currently have no source of funding at all and although we are applying to the ACW to help support the tour of '35 TIMES', we would still need to raise over £4,000 in ticket sales and over £4,000 in fundraising just to break even. We would therefore greatly appreciate your support.

Mercury Theatre Wales

Location: Cardiff

Mercury Theatre Wales are dedicated to using their skills to benefit the Community, tackling important issues, such as Domestic Violence and Abuse, with the care and attention they deserve. Their approach to theatre is fully inclusive and they really do make a difference to peoples lives.
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