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Poetry in motion at Dylan Thomas inspired interactive exhibition

It’s been a Dylan Thomas extravaganza at Theatr Brycheiniog as Performing Arts and Foundation Degree learners from NPTC Group’s Brecon Campus, in conjunction with foundation degree students at Glyndwr University, put on a fantastic show and exhibition.

‘Dylan Today’ celebrates arguably the greatest Welsh poet in his centenary year. In an interactive exhibition on his life, works and views on Wales, learners have pulled out all the stops to entertain audiences through both performing and visual arts.

Learners from NPTC Group’s Performing Arts Academy have joined forces with Glyndwr University students, local artists, schools and drama groups who have also made contributions to this exciting exhibition which runs until January 24. The impressive scenery has also been a collaborative project by NPTC Group as construction and joinery learners have been working hard to prepare the set which includes none other than a boat, boat house and a replica of Dylan Thomas’ writing shed!

Local schools, including Priory Church in Wales Primary, Ysgol y Bannau, Mount St. Junior School, Cradoc County Primary School and Dai y Bannau Welsh Medium Drama Group have helped to contribute almost 300 postcards depicting views of Wales from a child’s perspective. Meanwhile, the local Brecon U3A have also contributed a quilt for display.

Earlier this month there was an electric performance by BTEC performing arts learners, where a sold-out crowd was shown a journey through Thomas’ works. Periods in time and places were depicted through extracts from Under Milk Wood, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, dance, poetry and recited / performed prose.

Degree students worked closely with members of the local community to produce a film in relation to Under Milk Wood. This was projected onto one of the gallery walls during the performance.

Lecturer, Robert Saunders explained: “This production is an accumulation of hard work from the students, staff and cross-networking to get the project together. Students have taken ownership of the project and everyone’s hard work has demonstrated progression of the Performing Arts Academy over the past few years.

Audience member, Carol Williams said: “The performance gave an emotional atmosphere allowing you to relate to the place and people.” She added: “I liked the way we were involved in the performance in that we worked along with the performers, I felt we were part of the period of time portrayed”.

Lecturer, Robert Saunders said: “Our learners cover units such as classical acting, the historical context of performance, dance and singing for actors and dancers as well as units such as acting for film and TV. Foundation degree students are studying theatre and stagecraft and cover lighting and sound design, set design and installation. Many of our learners go on to study further to obtain the full degree with honours while some continue to work as technicians in theatres.

Picture: An electric performance by NPTC Group learners in ‘Dylan Today’