National Theatre Wales Presents Kidstown

National Theatre Wales Presents Kidstown

This summer in Newtown, the National Eisteddfod and Ebbw Vale, children aged 6-11 years old are invited to Kidstown to play a massive game that they make up themselves.

Co-creation and centring children’s voices are at the heart of Kidstown, a project by artists Nigel & Louise with designer Amy Pitt and produced by National Theatre Wales. National Theatre Wales and Nigel & Louise with Amy Pitt laid the foundations of the co-creative process in Newtown in August 2022.

In July – August 2023, NTW is inviting children aged 6-11 years old back to experience Kidstown on a bigger scale and across three locations in Wales over 16 days:

26-29 July, Newtown, outside Oriel Davies Gallery, The Park, Newtown SY16 2NZ
5-12 August, Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Eisteddfod of Wales
Ar y maes, Llŷn ac Eifionydd, Boduan, Gwynedd LL53 6DW
18-21 August, Ebbw ValeBeaufort Colts Football Club, Brynteg Terrace, Ebbw Vale, NP23 6NE

After being handed a passport, kids will enter the giant outdoor arena, designed by Amy Pitt. Here, they’ll find stuff to play with, build and wear. Assistants will be on hand to help them realise their imaginings. Grown-ups are invited to take a seat outside, relax and listen to the rolling news being broadcast of what’s happening inside.

At the Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru / National Eisteddfod, Kidstown (Treantur) will be delivered in Welsh by artists including Mirain Fflur. Nigel & Louise will be collecting interviews and stories from the young participants of Kidstown in order to create an epic theatre show in 2024, which will tour across Wales and nationally.

Artists Nigel & Louise have described the inspiration surrounding the project and their aim to bring theatre and storytelling to a new generation: “We wanted to make something for children that thinks about theatre and storytelling in a different way. Something that children could create without us dictating the parameters of what the outcome might be. So we’ve made a live performance, a story, an installation, a game called Kidstown – where children can do and make whatever they want, have fun and play with other children, without any rules. Here they are, in fact, creating the story live, totally uninhibited by the pressures of making a performance or adults telling them what’s right and wrong. A different narrative will evolve over the course of each day, for the children inside the walls to enjoy and for the adults listening outside to imagine, as a by-product of their play. As theatre makers we are handing over the arena to the children, then our job will be to listen and ask questions while their imaginations get to work.”

NTWs’ Artistic Director Lorne Campbell, said: “This summer, Nigel & Louise will bring a very special kind of creative joy and artistic magic to Newtown, Ebbw Vale and the Eisteddfod. We can’t wait to see how the kids react; and we as grown-ups will have to wait until next year’s show to see what the excitement is all about.”

Together with many other theatre companies across Wales and the UK, National Theatre Wales is using the Theatre Green Book as a guide to make productions more sustainable.

Kidstown will run until 21st August 2023, with further information available via the National Theatre Wales’ website.