From education to employment

College Student in Foundation Skills Part of Adult Theatre Community

A student from Barry College in Wales has demonstrated his commitment to encouraging a community of performers and actors through participating in the Odyssey Community Theatre.

Gareth Clark, who is a Foundation Skills student at Barry College has recently finished a string of performances at the Millennium Centre. His part was varied and gave him the chance to express himself and communicate through many different media, including singing, dancing, gymnastics as well as acting.

An Odyssey?

Gareth was part of the project group called Odyssey Community Theatre. This group was first established by the Hijinx Theatre Company some seven years ago, in 1999. The group is dedicated to all adults regardless of age or ability, and takes a special interest in inclusion for those with learning disabilities. The most important thing is a love of performance!

The actors and performers benefit from full professional support, and this has seen Odyssey develop a unique approach to adapting well known tales giving each production a distinctive style. The group has strong links with Community Music Wales, Canton and Riverside services and The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to build on the use of music in performances.

Rehearsal and then Satisfaction

The rehearsals were held at the Norwegian Church on Cardiff Bay. After the initial once a week schedule, the timetable intensified for Gareth; first weekends as well, and then, in the week before the opening night, he attended a rehearsal each day. The performances, held in the Western Studio of the Millennium Centre, were very popular, with 450 members of the audience for every performance.

Speaking afterwards, Gareth admitted to some early jitters, saying: “I did get nervous before the performance, but once I was on stage I really enjoyed myself. When my family came to watch me I felt very proud and I knew they were proud of me too.”

Jethro Marsh

Performing for the community? Tell us your tales in the FE Blog

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