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The magic of make believe

Hay Theatre will continue to bring the magic of make believe into the lives of the local community. Since the junior youth theatre started with a single Halloween workshop at The Globe in 2009, they have always been busy growing steadily with regular weekly drama workshops for children and later in 2011 adults , producing shows with and for our community. “Reflections on a Train Journey Home”2013/14 toured village halls with a collection of reminiscences from local people performed by teenagers and senior citizens on stage together. “Henry V” performed on site at Hay Castle 2015, with a parade through Hay with knights on horseback and Cusop church and castle mound 2016, both involved the audience joining in fighting the Battle of Agincourt. Hay Independence Day saw the teenagers performing their show “Techno Independence” an exploration of our ever increasing dependency on technology and The Happy Gleeaster Variety Show performed by the juniors for Hay Day Café for people with or at risk from dementia. “Telling Tales” was a collection of stories from around the world specially put together for our refugee visitors at Hay school and performed by Hay Adult Theatre Studies group who loved experiencing children’s theatre. Hampered and restricted by these trying times their more recent and increased focus on productions like ” Someone’s Home” 2018 touring residential and day care centres and later partnering with Hay Day Café and other groups supporting people at risk of dementia had to come to a temporary end in March this year. The fortnightly workshops at Cusop and Clyro village halls had been huge fun, writing poetry, learning songs and being entertained by members of Hay Adult Studies group (HATS) led by professional Janine Sharp. These workshops followed two sparkling performances at Clyro village hall of “The Good Old Variety Show” back in December 2019, all part of Hay Day Creative Café project the good old days indeed! All Saturday classes had to stop too. Hay Youth Theatre usually prepare an extravaganza for Hay Independence Day, parading through the streets on April 1st with performances in the Parish Hall but costumes were hung up and props and wigs put away as theatre, all theatre, went dark.

As the spring and summer months brought in good weather, restrictions were lifted along with our spirits and by August and September drama workshops could begin again for the youngsters outside when Junior and Senior Youth Theatres could meet again. Thanks to the support of Cusop Church we could work safely outside in the beautiful churchyard and keeping the two metre distance rule professional and local director Janine Sharp ran some fun drama games out in the sunshine or under two stunning oak trees if it should rain. It didn’t rain and we were blessed. Some dances were choreographed by Ayla, a junior member of the group, who worked on it at home during lockdown with her brother Asher. The dance about squirrels looked delightful under the giant oak, especially as towards Autumn the acorns were falling and the squirrel actors mixed with real squirrels searching for their winter food. The other dance was about chickens (“There ain’t nobody here but us chickens”), cooped up in lockdown. The kids expressed their pure delight in being back out in the world as free-range chickens and my how the world had changed. They are currently working on a Six O’Cluck news to discuss how they as chickens of the future might do a little better than us humans. A serious topic about our planet, discussed and acted out with a lot of laughs. This will be filmed instead of performed at Christmas, as alas, we cannot have indoor audiences. This year we truly experienced and appreciated the magic of the outdoors and nature in fullest glory especially in our beautiful part of the world and so we dipped our toes into our exciting next project sponsored by you all who voted for us at The Co op. It is to be “A Midsummer Garden” where the garden becomes an even more magical world where all sorts of mystical things happen, including an especially adapted version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for all thirty members of Hay Theatre to be part of; the rude mechanicals of Hay present! Hay Adult Theatre Studies group will start a read through as soon as restrictions allow us to meet again on a weekly basis. The young people will be improvising and rehearsing this project every Saturday after Christmas should restrictions continue to allow and eventually as we get beyond Easter 2021, adults, teenagers and juniors will team up to rehearse outside and all work together for this magical project to be performed outdoors in the summer of 2021. We can’t wait. Thank you Co op for helping us with some funding which will go towards scripting, costume and props for what will be a wonderful and much needed outdoor event. Cusop Church have booked us already and we will be available to play in other large outdoor gardens or spaces. For any details about forthcoming workshops, rehearsals or the show itself ring Janine Sharp on 07733 055430 or email

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