In the first of Wales Arts Review’s profiles of the eight shows invited to take part in this year’s “Wales in Edinburgh” showcase, we talk to the people behind CAITLIN.
Tell us about your show.
Caitlin was the wife of poet Dylan Thomas. At the start of the 1970s, twenty years after he died, she started going to Alcoholics Anonymous. In a circle of chairs, set out for an AA meeting Caitlin makes a determined effort to deal with her tempestuous past. The audience sits in the circle with Caitlin as she revisits her life with Dylan. It is a relationship fuelled by love, addiction, jealousy and infidelity. As Caitlin and Dylan drink, fight, love and leave each other the unoccupied chairs become part of the action in this physical and powerful duet.
CAITLIN was commissioned by National Library of Wales for DT100/ Dylan Thomas centenary in 2014, and won Best Dance Production in the Wales Theatre Awards 2015. CAITLIN has toured several times from 2014 till now, including a run at Dance Base for Edinburgh Fringe 2015 and a week at Battersea Arts Centre for #ANationsTheatre. It is part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase 2017.
This Fringe run is funded by Arts Council of Wales ‘Wales In Edinburgh’ funding, via National Lottery, with Wales Arts International and British Council Wales.
Tell us about the company
Light, Ladd & Emberton is a collective of three Wales-based dance artists – Deborah Light, Eddie Ladd and Gwyn Emberton – together with creative producer Laura Drane. We came together in 2014 to make CAITLIN, a show commissioned for the Dylan Thomas centenary by the National Library of Wales.
Through collaborative working, Light Ladd & Emberton creates original professional performance work, with the aim of creating exciting and inspiring productions for audiences in Wales and beyond, and to represent Wales and the UK on a national and international stage. We draw on history and identity, predominantly of Wales, to create productions with contemporary relevance and culturally engaged.
We have two other productions this summer – a large outdoor piece in Harlech, called Croesi Traeth/ Crossing A Beach, which is during Gregynog Festival in July; and another outdoor show touring to CADW castles in north Wales called Disgo Distaw Owain Glyndwr Silent Disco. So it’s a busy time to say the least! We also hope to do UK and international touring with CAITLIN after this summer so watch this space.
Tell us about your team.
CAITLIN was, is and will always be a team effort. The choreography was developed by Deborah Light, Eddie Ladd and Gwyn Emberton, under Deborah’s direction with Eddie and Gwyn performing. The third performer is Sion Orgon, who live mixes the score every show, with original music created by Thighpaulsandra. Neil Davies designed the costumes and the striking images are by Warren Orchard and Noel Dacey, and Pete Telfer did the film capture which gave us the trailer and more. Laura Drane produces the show. Mostly when we are doing the show though it is just Eddie, Gwyn, Sion and either Deborah or Laura, on the road; a merry band of four and sometimes five. We do everything – driving, loading in, measuring up, sound and tech set, show sets and resets, front of house, post show talks, get out, the lot. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
What does the Edinburgh Fringe mean to you?
Shows that hit and shows that miss, and some wild, wild nights! No, seriously. We are honoured to be up in the cradle of creativity, the mother of all Fringes, this year – its 70th anniversary and the 20th British Council Showcase year. It is possible to use only superlatives and cliché when talking about Edinburgh Fringe but it really is a melting pot of talent, a hubbub of creative endeavour, and a great place to spot and be spotted. We are looking forward to presenting the show in a church hall which will help it shine for audiences. Having been up before with CAITLIN in 2015 at Dance Base, and with other productions before, we are used to the hustle and bustle. The thrill of performing this piece and seeing audiences reactions never gets old. And it’ll be great to be up in Auld Reekie again, hoping that our show really does hit and that we have at least one wild night…
Light, Ladd & Emberton
Dates: 23-26 August, 12midday & 24 Aug, 18.30 (60mins)
Venue: Zoo at Lauriston Halls