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Watch: Giant puppet of St David leads procession through Wales’ smallest city

08 May 2022 3 minutes Read
A giant St David puppet delights young and old in St David’s (Credit: Small World Theatre)

A giant, articulated puppet of St David was the star attraction at a procession through St Davids in Pembrokeshire today.

Crowds thronged the streets as Pilgrims Welcome – a procession led by a giant St David, and choirs singing music with an international flavour brought colour and sweet voices to Wales’ smallest city.

The giant St David was created by Small Theatre while the choirs were curated by Span Arts.

The party greeted Ancient Connections’ Creative Camino artists as they completed the last leg of their pilgrimage journey.

The Ancient Connections project is a cross-border partnership between Pembrokeshire County Council, Wexford County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Visit Wexford. The partners are working collaboratively on an exciting arts, heritage and sustainable tourism project funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales co-operation programme.

Ancient Connections commissioned four performing artists to join a ‘Creative Camino’ pilgrimage. Artists Ailsa Richardson, Suzi McGregor, Bonnie Boux and Kate Powell made the journey from Ferns to St Davids on foot. They were trialling the new 130km trans-national pilgrimage route from Ferns, Co. Wexford to St Davids, Pembrokeshire which is being developed by the British Pilgrimage Trust. The artists will respond creatively to the stories, landscapes and people they encounter in short performances in the grounds of St Davids Cathedral.

“This project is set to revive and celebrate the ancient links between Ireland and Wales,” said Rowan Matthiessen, Ancient Connections project manager last month. “We are very excited to be working with artists alongside communities in Ireland and Wales to rediscover our shared heritage and find connections in our modern lives”.

Ancient Connections also commissioned Small World Theatre (Wales) and Lantern (Ireland) to bring the celebrations to local communities in four exciting events over two years.

“This a great opportunity for Small World Theatre to co-create with new partners in Ireland and Wales,” said Ann Shrosbree, director of Small World Theatre. “We’ve already discovered so much in common, and we can’t wait to introduce our beautiful new giant St David puppet to an audience in his hometown St Davids.”

The artist-pilgrims set off on their journey on Sunday 1 May with a spectacular community festival in Ferns, Co. Wexford; incorporating a lantern parade, costumes and a world premiere performance of a traditional Celtic music piece (composed especially for the event). They reached their destination today where they were given a brilliant Pembrokeshire welcome.

Further details via smallworld.org.uk and ancientconnections.org


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