Taking Flight Theatre brings hard hitting 80s drama ‘Road’ to the Valleys
A powerful play once described as a northern Under Milk Wood will be coming to the new theatre studio at Park & Dare Treorchy in September.
Taking Flight Theatre and RCT Theatres are staging 80s classic Road by Jim Cartwright (The Rise & Fall of Littlevoice) in a new accessible imagining of the play, relocated to the South Wales Valleys.
With a cast that includes Deaf, disabled and non-disabled actors, Road brings together colourful characters and frank realism as it explores the lives of the people in a deprived, working-class area during the Thatcher years.
Explicit and hard hitting, but still full of humour, it depicts the desperation of people’s lives at a time of high unemployment in former industrial heartlands.
Set on a road on a busy night, the audience delve into the houses on the street and the characters’ lives.
Road is often performed in a promenade style, with the audience following the narrator Scullery along the road to the homes of different characters.
For this production, designer Becky Davies has created an immersive set, within the studio space, meaning the audience do not have to move around to follow the action.
In conjunction with the production is an extensive outreach programme which has already taken monologue workshops into schools in RCT and accessible arts and crafts workshops drawing on people’s memories of the 80s in the Valleys will be available both online and in person at the Park & Dare on 2 August.
Director Elise Davison elaborates on why Road still hits home over thirty years on: “In 2019 when the original funding application for this production went in I could already see the parallels to how the world was working.
“Fast forward three years and two postponed productions and it feels like it is an even more important show to make. This pandemic exposed the huge inequalities in our society.
“Access to basic information was denied to many, the isolation faced by those shielding was paramount, job losses and disruption to education means the young will be hugely affected and the impact on the nation’s mental health has only just started to be understood.
“The divide between those who have and those who have not is growing and in the suffocating grip of a failing Tory government it looks set to get bigger.”
“Despite all this there is hope and kindness and that is what this play represents to me. Sometimes you have to look hard to see it but it is there.
“The structure of Road allows us to mix media, interweaving film and live performance. This has enabled us to explore more creative ways of working in two languages -BSL and English, and to find new ways of integrating creative captions and audio description.”
With only 30 tickets available per performance, early booking is advised.
Road contains material of a very adult nature and extremely strong language, making it unsuitable for those under the age of 15.
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