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Dragons take flight across Wales this summer

26 Jun 2024 5 minute read
You’ve Got Dragons production shot

This Summer, dragons of all shapes and sizes will be appearing all over Wales as part of an immersive stage production of a popular children’s book that aims to support children’s mental health.

Mae Gen Ti Ddreigiau/You’ve Got Dragons is an inclusive and accessible take on Kathryn Cave and Nick Maland’s book adapted for the stage by Yoto Carnegie Medal award-winner Manon Steffan Ros (Llyfr Glas Nebo).

Do your worries ever reach dragon-like proportions? If they do, then Taking Flight think they have just the show for you! A poignant, insightful story about coping with your dragons and learning to face anxieties from an award-winning picture book writer.

Touching exploration

Based on the children’s book of the same name, Mae Gen Ti Ddreigiau/You’ve Got Dragons is billed as a delightful tale for young children, their families and carers. Mae Gen Ti Ddreigiau/You’ve Got Dragons is a fully accessible, show for the whole family; featuring creative captioning, British Sign Language and audio description. With live, original music, this highly visual, sensitive production is a humorous and touching exploration of the dragons we all face.

You’ve Got Dragons production shot

Director Elise Davison says: “I’d adapted one of Kathryn’s books before and after we first met she sent me You’ve Got Dragons as a suggestion to put on the stage.

“The book completely hit home with me and it felt like the perfect story for Taking Flight to take on.

“Suffering from poor mental health throughout my life and having a child with anxiety, some of the scenes in the play really resonate.

“For me it was about providing a vocabulary for parents and teachers to talk to children about mental health in a way that wasn’t scary and wasn’t taboo.

“I was very conscious that this play wasn’t going to change the world but it might just start some conversations that needed to happen.

“That’s why we invested so much in developing the dragons taming workshops – we wanted to provide more practical suggestions to help families work together to tame their dragons and to help everyone to start talking about mental health in the same way we talk about physical health”.

Mesmerising

Taking Flight’s previous adaptation of You’ve Got Dragons toured England and Wales and was shortlisted for a Fantastic For Families Award, as was their post lockdown project, The Curious Case of Aberlliw. 

You’ve Got Dragons production shot

Executive Director Louise Ralph explained: “‘We had such wonderful feedback on our previous tours, families said that the original production worked for all generations and that their children we’re completely mesmerised.

“Parents are impressed that we are able to tackle the issues around childhood mental health with such a lightness of touch.

“It was really heart-warming to see how much entire families enjoyed the previous incarnation of the show; so having the opportunity to work with a writer who is as respected and loved as Manon Steffan Ros to create brand new versions of the show in both Welsh and BSL AND English and BSL has been so very exciting.

“We’re also working with designer Ruth Stringer who specialises in eco-friendly designs to ensure that the production both looks great and meets our high expectations of sustainability, and we’ve brought in the brilliant Ben Glover to design creative captions for the show. I can’t wait to see what people think of it”.

The cast members for Mae Gen Ti Ddreigiau/You’ve Got Dragons are: Alex Nowak, Amy Helena, Catrin Mai Edwards, Eben James and Grace O’Brien, they are joined on stage by creative enabler Gethin Roberts. Taking Flight Theatre Company have an integrated casting policy which goes hand in hand with their belief in creating fully accessible and integrated theatre; employing the best creative talent, as such they often employ disabled, Deaf, hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted and neurodivergent performers, placing positive disabled role models centre stage.

Tour

Mae Gen Ti Ddreigiau/You’ve Got Dragons by Taking Flight Theatre will be appearing at Pontio Bangor, Blaengarw Workmen’s Hall, Ffwrnes Llanelli, Chapter Cardiff and the National Eisteddfod in Rhondda Cynon Taf this June – August.

The show is suitable for young children, schools and families, and is fully accessible to Deaf, hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted people.

All Taking Flight Theatre productions aim to reduce the traditional barriers to theatre enjoyment.

22 & 25-27 June Pontio, Bangor

2-5 July Blaengarw Workmen’s Hall

9-13 July Ffwrnes, Llanelli

16-20 July Chapter, Cardiff

24-27 July Riverfront, Newport

7 August Eisteddfod Genedlaethol

Full details can be found at www.takingflighttheatre.org.uk


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