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Small World Theatre

   
SMALL WORLD
Small World Theatre

www.smallworld.org.uk
info@smallworld.org.uk
t : 01239 - 615 952
Cardigan, Ceredigion
Wales

  Small World Theatre is an Arts and Culture for Development organisation with over 30 years experience of producing performances, projects, facilitating, interpretations and teaching environmental issues.

In 2008, Small World Theatre finished building a £1.2 million centre that is a creative space for a creative community.

Canolfan Byd Bychan / Small World Centre houses Small World Theatre and is our base for our projects, including a Resource Centre in Education for Sustainability and Global Citizenship, supporting local awareness of environmental sustainability.

The connection Small World Theatre makes between its productions and the building are described in their sustainability policies: Towards a Zero Carbon Theatre.

Artistic Director/s    Bill Hamblett, Ann Shrosbree

Ways of Working  
Practices
Theatre company, puppet company, Arts and Culture for Development (overseas) Participatory theatre with community regeneration / social inclusion (UK) performance, dance, mime, storytelling, celebrations, spectacles, street theatre, Giant carnival figures, community arts, youth theatre, combined arts, cross-cultural arts, participatory drama, TIE, Local Distinctiveness, heritage theatre, activist performances, site-specific drama, image theatre, cabaret, workshops
Audiences: children, community, general

We use participatory methodology to help communities identify and determine the course of their development both in Wales and internationally.

Places
theatres, community centres, arts centres, schools, heritage sites, museums, art galleries, national parks, rural areas, forestry areas, coastal areas, industrial sites, urban sites, protest sites, rain forests, deserts, arid zones, local, Wales, the Sahel, the Sudan, Viet Nam, Hong Kong, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, China, Syria, and now sharing practice with five other European countries

Recent Themes
culture for development, extension, women in rural development, community forestry, desert reforestation, environment and culture, development education, rain forests, oceans, soil, climate change

Vision  
In 1979 Ann Shrosbree and Bill Hamblett formed Dandelion Puppets. Pioneers of the early environmental theatre movement, the company produced work with themes that included tree planting and alternative energy. Over the years, focus widened to include development issues. A name change to Small World Theatre (SWT) in 1990 reflected the increasing demand and scope of the work.

SWT projects are wide ranging. Some projects help people manage the changes that adversely affect them. We try to ensue that projects are truly participatory. The Arts and Culture for Development methodology we use overseas informs our work here in Wales with social inclusion, community regeneration and arts and theatre in the social context. We also bring stories home and work with schools on education for sustainability and global citizenship.

Issues are often environmental, sometimes cultural. Human rights, democracy, refugee issues and intergenerational projects are themes that often occur. We have worked in: Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Syria, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Nepal. We were one of the first independent international theatre for development companies.

 
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Productions and Projects

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Tales from the Taiga
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2013
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Tales from the Taiga is a modern fairy story, adapted from a traditional Nanai folk tale, set on the border of China and Siberia alongside the Amur River, about a young man and his kindness. Our hero lives in an Arctic world populated by amazing creatures such as Siberian tigers, a giant sturgeon and more. By solving three seemingly impossible tasks, he cleverly wins the hand of the beautiful maiden.

As the low sun and flickering firelight cast their long shadows, Small World Theatre draws the audience into this magical story where the shadows are not always black and white…

Tales from the Taiga is a multi-media performance for children over 3 years of age, featuring full-size puppets, shadow puppets, music, story and actors.

Welsh playwright Carol Byrne-Jones has translated and adapted the story so that it can be performed in Welsh or English languages.

photo: Small World Theatre

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small world TAIGA
Tales from the Taiga

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The Fisherman and the Mermaid
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2012
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Forties, Cromarty, Dogger, Fisher, German Bight!

Captain Fillet and his crew sail the high seas in search of a massive catch. Out at sea, the crew, finding their nets empty and the ocean a millpond, set to telling salty tales of mermaids, sea creatures, sirenia and sunken villages. They reminisce about a time when the seas were bountiful and coastal communities thrived by the sea.

The Fisherman and the Mermaid addresses the relationship between fisher folk and the sea and the issue of diminishing fish stocks. There is magical puppetry, sea shanties, slippery fish and a flock of bicycle-powered seagulls.

The Fisherman and the Mermaid is an outdoor perambulating street show featuring Small World Theatre's 3.4 metre tall fisherman.

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small world fisherman
The Fisherman and the Mermaid

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COEDEUWYDD / Woman of the Trees
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2008 - 2009
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Commissioned by the Forestry Commission this short show, with actors, 3-dimensional puppets and shadow puppets, manages to cover the span of human life on Earth up to this crucial point.

The Forestry Commission brief was: 'Explain carbon capture by trees please.'

'OK...'

So, Small World Theatre returned to some of their original themes and issues with this show about a forest community. The world is seen through the eyes of COEDEUWYDD a woman of the woods who presides over a secret glade in a pristine ancient woodland.

COEDEUWYDD / Woman of the Trees was performed in the Forestry Commission's yurt at the Royal Welsh Show in 2008 and 2009.

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small world woman of trees
COEDEUWYDD / Woman of the Trees

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Côt Myrddyn - Merlin's Coat
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2006
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This exciting show swirls around the myth and prophecies of Merlin. If the great wizard was to return what would his prophecies contain? Climate change and global warming feature strongly in this bi-lingual show. His story starts in Carmarthen but his legend travels the world and travels in time.

small world merlin mask
Côt Myrddyn - Merlin's Coat

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small world merlin

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Manifiesto de la Selva
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1997 - 1998
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Manifiesto de la Selva is a response to the murder of Chico Mendes using shadow puppetry and music with a strong environmental message. It is visually stunning.

Sonsored by Friends of the Earth

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Small World's projects
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1979 - 1987
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During this time, we developed many productions with environmental themes, including :

- ecology for 3 to 7 year olds
- sustainable energy systems, showing 800 million years in 6 scenes
- an international giant who eats trees
- a desert charcoal burner sees the light after capture by pirates and journey around the world
- River conservation on the Teifi.
All these shows were for young audiences and used puppetry and actors.

Other projects include :
1987
puppetry and conflict resolution in Khartoum, Sudan with the United Nations FAO. Field trials for conflict resolution with feuding nomadic tribes using puppetry to help work out grazing rights in the forests

1985
Shadow puppetry for Environmental Awareness Training
workshops and field trials with the Vietnamese State Water Puppet Company, Hanoi.

1985
Environmental and Community Forest Theatre
Training in Sudan for S.O.S. Sahel Village extension scheme developing a performance to stimulate participation in Community Forestry using theatre for development education, puppetry, drama, storytelling.

One million trees were planted, and a women' project generating income initiated. A shelter belt, wood lots, amenity forests were started, fruit trees were planted. Educational projects on horticulture, story, culture, social mobilisation, participation were integral. The project was given the UN Dry Lands Award. Prior to 1975, no puppet tradition or practice existed in the region, and it spawned a national puppetry festival.

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More About  
Canolfan Byd Bychan / Small World Centre
Our new building has many sustainable features. The Air source heat pump feeds the under floor heating, 30% of the roof is growing, 70% recycled slate, 60% of the water from the roof is harvested into the toilets, showers and washing up water.

The bricks in the lobby were fired about 100 years ago just a few hundred yards away from clay dug from this site. Six great Douglas Firs from a local managed woodland hold up the building and the big oak beams are from Ceredigion.

The sand for concrete comes from a couple of miles away and local willow laths form the curving outside lime/clay walls. Recycled paper insulation features in this attempt at a carbon-free theatre.

Experimenting with some of these newer technologies enables compliance with new rigid regulations. The local architects and contractors were compelled to come up with imaginative solutions and cost savings. Choosing them also keeps the money in the local economy.

The new building provides a creative space for creative people.

  Small World Theatre
www.smallworld.org.uk
info@smallworld.org.uk
t: 01239 - 615 952

Bath House Road
Cardigan, Ceredigion
SA43 1JY
Wales

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