Saturday 9th May will be the day when the centre of Merthyr Tydfil will come alive with the sights and sounds of a brand new multi-art-form festival encompassing exclusive performances in Wales, opportunities to try out making theatre and NIA; insights into what makes a Nashville Song Doctor and one of the 20th Century’s greatest plays “An Inspector Calls.”
Attitude Festival/Gŵyl Agwedd has been so named to reflect the fact that the creative impulse remains undimmed by the passage of time. Emma Robinson of Age Cymru comments “We really wanted to demonstrate that people can create and be inspired by the creation of new work in any discipline no matter what their age. People over the age of 50 are as likely to be found releasing their best album in years; writing their masterpiece or re-evaluating and renewing what they may have done before.”
Kate Strudwick of Head4Arts continues :- “ Our inspiration for this festival is the Latitude Festival which so cleverly curates a huge range of performance arts across a weekend. Attitude Festival starts here more modestly but our first programme does show that it isn’t just young artists who are creating or making new and exciting work.”
Attitude Festival/Gŵyl Agwedd is delighted that Peggy Seeger will be headlining the event, with her only show in Wales on her 80th birthday tour. Famed as the muse who inspired Ewan MacColl to write his enduring masterpiece “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, Peggy has just released perhaps the most critically acclaimed album of her long and varied career and will appearing in concert solo. Other musical acts include Clive Gregson – originally the main songwriter in Manchester band “Any Trouble” Clive has been based in Nashville for many years where he has become respected as a “go-to” song-doctor. Mal Pope will be leading a session on song-writing with Clive as well as also interviewing mother and daughter duo Delyth & Angharad Jenkins performing as DnA. Completing the musical bill of fare is Railroad Bill – the band who make 1950s skiffle vital and relevant in the 21st Century.
Tân Dance will be presenting at the festival their new work “Earth & Roses” inspired by the photograph “The Fallen Soldier” by Robert Capa. For those who wish to try out movement to music there will be two open access sessions in NIA presented by Fiona Winter.
For fans of theatre the festival is pleased to be bringing highly rated company Tin Shed Theatre to Merthyr for the first time with their take on J.B.Priestley’s “An Inspector Calls” – a play with resonances and issues as relevant today as when it was first performed. In addition, with the support of National Theatre Wales TEAM, there will be three sessions led by Catherine Paskell on “Adventures in Theatre Making” and there will be an opportunity to hear testimony from Newbridge based playwright June Watkins on how she turned a life-long ambition to write for the stage into reality.
Throughout the day in Penderyn Square festival attenders are encouraged by designer/maker Terry Chinn to bring unwanted compact discs and help create Merthyr’s very own “Singing Ringing Tree”. Penderyn Square will also host our outdoor performance stage with sets from Railroad Bill, DnA and Clive Gregson.
Gus Payne, Merthyr Tydfil’s Arts Development Officer sums up the offer of Attitude Festival/Gŵyl Agwedd :-
“This festival has been created by the effective partnership of Age Cymru, Head4Arts, Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust, Redhouse and Theatr Soar and funded by Arts Council of Wales<. There are many events/workshops that can be accessed via a free wristband, performances and talks including “An Inspector Calls” for just a £5 wristband and for access all areas the £15 wristband. I am thrilled to note that our colleagues in National Theatre Wales are offering a ticket to their Friday night performance of ‘Mother Courage’ staged in Merthyr Labour club for the first 15 purchasers of our £15 wristband. Come to Merthyr on Saturday 9th May and experience the experience!” The Box Office and website for all Attitude Festival / Gŵyl Agwedd events is at Redhouse Merthyr Tydfil :- www.redhousecymru.com /, 01685 38411.
For further information, interviews with performers, photos please contact the programmer Geoff Cripps on 01495 204371 / 07973 850289
For further information on Age Cymru and their Gwanwyn Festival happening across Wales in May, of which this is part, please email Emma Robinson > firstname.lastname@example.org