With rehearsals having kicked off for Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s latest production, the creative work has been underway for months. As part of Ie Ie Ie, audiences will watch short films created in collaboration with young people across Wales discussing their experiences of healthy relationships and consent.
Ie Ie Ie celebrates romance, relationships, and consent in all their glory; the good, the bad and the ugly. Adapted to Welsh by Lily Beau, actor and comedian Eleri Morgan will lead the show under the direction of Juliette Manon – but the voices of young Welsh people will take centre stage. Sian Elin James, the company’s Participation Coordinator, has been leading the participation element of the show, travelling to schools and other academic institutions across Wales to host workshops discussing burning issues. The schools and institutions taking part are Ysgol Bodedern, Ysgol Gwynllyw, Ysgol Penweddig, Ysgol Preseli, and Bridgend College.
During a series of workshops, participants discussed their first kiss, what consent means to them, and their experience in dealing with relationships and the online world. The result? A safe space that’s given these young people the confidence to share their experiences on camera. These raw, honest interviews – filmed and edited by videographer Dafydd Hughes (Amcan Cymru) – are an integral part of the show, and audiences across the country will get to learn exactly what young Welsh people think of romance and today’s world.
Miriam Davies from Ysgol Penweddig is one of the young people appearing in the videos:
“Our discussions during the sessions were interesting and a way for us to share our opinions and experiences in a safe and supportive environment. Getting to collaborate with people from Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru was a valuable and positive experience, and I’m so grateful to have had this experience. I’m really looking forward to seeing Ie Ie Ie and feel proud to play a part in this important production.”
Some of Theatr Gen’s Young Advisors also took advantage of the opportunity to take part and discuss their experiences. The Young Advisors are a dynamic group of young people who offer the company advice on participation work, marketing, creative development, and productions. Jona Milone, who has recently joined the programme, was one of those who was interviewed and contributed to Ie Ie Ie:
“It was so good to discuss topics that unfortunately get labelled and seen by society as controversial and inappropriate – and the truth is, we all experience these things on different levels. This experience reminded me that it’s completely acceptable to talk about different sides of our lives, and we should speak about our experiences to learn more about ourselves as people and to process events that happen throughout our lives.”
A team of facilitators and artists also kept Sian Elin company and supported the workshops – Catrin Mai Edwards, Will Kingshott and Anna Sherratt. You can learn more about the three of them below.
Sian Elin says:
“It’s been a huge privilege for me and Theatr Gen to work with young people across Wales over the last few months and also to provide a platform for talented young artists to support the workshops. It’s important to offer opportunities to speak openly and comfortably about sex and consent and I’m sure we’ve smashed the taboo around these topics with these workshops. Collaborating with the young participants has given me hope for the future – we’re definitely in safe hands!”
Ie Ie Ie is a Welsh adaptation of Yes Yes Yes, a live show from artists Karin McCracken and Eleanor Bishop from Aotearoa / New Zealand. While developing the production and working with young participants across the country, the company received training and advisory support from organisation Brook Cymru, a sexual health charity for young people. Learn more about Brook’s work on their website, brook.org.uk. The company would like to thank all the young people and the teachers who have supported the project – as well as the team who have been travelling Wales for the workshops and filming.
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