ChristmasTheatre

Hijinx brings its community together to perform and create in 12 Days of PAWB online

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Credit: Hijinx Theatre

This December, Hijinx will bring together participants from PAWB, its pan-Wales community and training programme, to create, perform and engage online in the 12 Days of PAWB, a festive celebration of creativity, which will include the release of a charity single.

Cardiff based theatre company, Hijinx, makes outstanding theatre productions with learning disabled and/or autistic actors.

This year would have been Hijinx Odyssey’s 21st anniversary, celebrated in style at their annual Christmas production in Wales Millennium Centre each December. Odyssey is Hijinx’s inclusive community theatre, featuring a mixture of actors with learning disabilities, neurodivergent and neurotypical actors, who perform together as equal partners.

With performances cancelled due to Covid-19, Hijinx has reimagined their usual seasonal gathering from a live event into a virtual creative space for participants to come together to create some festive magic for audiences.

The 12 Days of PAWB will feature its Drama Foundation groups, adult company Odyssey, Youth Theatre groups in Cardiff and Bangor, and its band Vaguely Artistic, with archive and brand new works.

Hijinx will be collaborating with illustration students from University of South Wales and Cardiff Metropolitan University who will be exhibit their work online and in the window panels of Crema, Wales Millennium Centre during December.

The 12 Days of PAWB programme will include an insight into what Odyssey is through to new online creations.

On 2nd and 16th December the Drama Foundation courses will be sharing short performances based on the ghost of Christmas Past from Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, and the delight of the Christmas Postal workers.

On the 9th December, Hijinx Youth Theatre in North Wales has been working with composer Daniel Soley and Nofit State to create individual Silent Short Films. Participant Daniel from Bangor said, “This latest silent movie project has been fantastic. It has kept me inspired and positive through the latest lockdown.”

Participants from Hijinx’s South Wales Youth Theatre will be sharing pieces inspired by their favourite Christmas songs and lyrics on 12th December.

Hijinx’s band, Vaguely Artistic has been sponsored by Cardiff & Vale Health Charity and Arts & Business Cymru to create a Christmas single and video to be released on 19 December, featuring a host of familiar faces.

Hijinx has commissioned Hefin Robinson to create an online treat for families, a reimagined preview version of Pinocchio on December 21st, giving audiences a taste of the full production planned for Wales Millennium Centre’s Weston Studio in 2021. The online performance will bring together Hijinx actors and audiences for a virtual performance.

On 24 December audiences will be in for a treat with an online reading of The Night Before Christmas which will be broadcast via the Hijinx social media platforms from 7pm.

As well as performances and interactive engagement for audiences, during the 12 Days of PAWB there will also be online workshops and training , including Pathways and Youth Theatre tasters supported by Children in Need, Cardiff and Vale 3rd Sector Council and Community Foundation Wales.

Hijinx’s Chief Executive, Sarah Horner, said:

As we come to the end of what has been a hugely challenging year, we wanted to share some festive joy and celebrate the exceptional creativity of our Pawb participants, in place of our usual Christmas shows. Throughout December audiences will be able to see creative work from across Wales, a real testament to the hard work that has been taking place online during the pandemic. This year has shown the resilience of our Hijinx family across Wales, and we’re so proud of what has been achieved. Whilst we’re sad that we can’t all be together in the Wales Millennium Centre for our usual festive production from Odyssey, being able to join online, and get a sneak peek of what is to come next year, is a great consolation! Plus, there will be a fantastic new Christmas cracker in the form of a charity single from our in-house band Vaguely Artistic- guaranteed to be a classic!”

Hijinx is generously supported by the Arts Council of Wales, The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, Lloyds Bank Foundation, Morrisons Foundation, The Rayne Foundation and BBC Children in Need.

Rhys Gregory
Editor of Wales247.co.uk

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