Illustrating on National Theatre Wales project in Rhyl : Lifted by Beauty – Adventures in Dreaming

 

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(the following paragraphs are slightly edited and lifted from my website so apologies if they don’t translate too comfortably to blog form)
Lifted by Beauty : Adventures in Dreaming was a community Theatre piece in National Theatre Wales and Mark Storor.
https://www.nationaltheatrewales.org/lifted-beauty

As the illustrator for this production I lived in Rhyl for a week, mostly illustrating the story of the project at National Theatre Wales’ shop at 66 High st. The stories and activities that fed into the final production on the weekend of 31st March – 2nd April 2017 came from months of National Theatre Wales and Mark Storor working with inspirational community groups in Rhyl.

My work was to illustrate the information and stories gathered during the week leading up to the show. The information came in the form of spoken stories and descriptions through Mark, songs and poetry in writing from residents of Rhyl, workshops (some of which i was able to attend) and from Mark and National Theatre Wales showing/explaining to me parts of the production and also some personally gathered history of Rhyl.
Working on Lifted by Beauty: Adventures in Dreaming was an emotional experience; I was learning a lot about the town’s history as a successful seaside tourist resort which carried a lot of happy memories for it’s residents, and also it’s history of being a comfortable destination for evacuees and the optimistic feel this gave to the town. But I was also steeped in the personal information (poetry writing and 2nd hand stories) of the individuals that are trying to build stronger communities in Rhyl which has a reputation as a rough, struggling town. On top of this I was meeting people throughout the week, hearing their responses to Rhyl being the setting and theme of this creative project. Their responses were often based in a kind of fear of optimism whilst also being very interested.
Having immersed myself in Rhyl so thoroughly meant that by the final performance (in part of which I illustrate the windows of a greenhouse in one of the car-park installations) Mark’s visuals and Brian Duffy’s music/sounds were both so haunting and at the same time optimistic that I felt I could have carried on investigating Rhyl for years.

Below are pictures of only my part (for others, see NAT website and twitter) in the production ‘Lifted by Beauty : Adventures in Dreaming’  a project that I am very grateful for having been able to work on.

Photos by Stephen King / National Theatre Wales
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Postcards/maps drawn by myself for NTW that were handed to attendants of show on arrival to Rhyl:

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