Two Performing Arts graduates from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David are currently touring the UK in Eye of the Storm – a brand-new musical written by award-winning writer and director, Geinor Styles and grammy-award winning somngwriter, Amy Wadge.
Rosey Cale, who plays the main character, Emmie Price and Caitlin McKee, who stars as her sister, Karen, both studied at UWTSD’s Carmarthen campus and are currently wowing crowds across the UK with their stellar performances.
Produced by Wales-based Theatr na nÓg, Eye of the Storm is an unmissable original musical play that’s currently captivating audiences of all ages from Edinburgh to Swansea. Set against the backdrop of the Welsh Valleys, Eye of the Storm has an original soundtrack from Grammy Award winner Amy Wadge (Keeping Faith, Thinkin’ Out Loud with Ed Sheeran) performed live on stage by a cast of eight talented actor musicians.
Having been awarded five star reviews, The Scotsman recently described the production as “”an exuberant musical play” and says that “Rosey Cale sings like an angel.”
The Edinburgh Guide also encourages audiences to go and see the show: “Bring your children, bring your students, bring yourselves to this Theatr na nÓg production, a perfect example of what the company aspires to do: tell stories of ordinary people who achieve extraordinary things.”
Eye of the Storm focuses on the life of Emmie Price, played to perfection by UWTSD BA Acting graduate, Rosey Cale. Emmie’s life has been a whirlwind. It’s a world torn between caring for her bipolar mum and proving she’s got what it takes at school. But Emmie knows one day it’s all going to change. One day she’s going to become a storm chaser… in America. But will her invention for renewable energy be enough to win her a bursary to study in the USA?
Dave Ainsworth, Rosey’s former Acting lecturer at UWTSD is delighted with her success and is extremely proud of her achievements.
“Rosey is a very good actor and singer-songwriter who completed a very successful three years with us in BA Acting,” says Dave, BA Acting Programme Director at UWTSD. “Her hard work and dedication have helped her realise terrific potential in the industry and am so proud that Rosey is achieving well-deserved plaudits for her work on Eye of the Storm.”
Caitlin McKee, a former Welsh medium Performing Arts student at UWTSD also gives a stunning and emotional performance as Emmie’s sister, Karen.
“It was great to have the opportunity to see Caitlin bring a stage character to life with yet another fine performance,” said Jonathan Pugh,Programme Director of the BA Applied Drama at UWTSD – and one of Caitlin’s former tutors. “Her subtle yet poignant portrayal of Karen struck a perfect chord with my students in the audience, and her rich, warm voice linked the message of the piece with the emotions of the characters brilliantly.”
Although Eye of the Storm is as work of fiction, it is rooted in the shared stories of dozens of young carers across Swansea and Neath, with whom Geinor Styles, Artistic Director of Theatr na n’Og worked with during the development of the story over several years. The play aims to bring a young carer’s perspective to life, provoking discussion and helping audiences to understand the reality of other people’s lives.
“There were two key moments for me as I interviewed the young carers – One when I asked what their dreams were, their goals – the response was “To have a dream is pointless” The second was when I asked if they felt any obligation to caring. and then to be floored and humbled by the answer “Is there anything more important than caring for another human being? “These two things I wanted to address and illustrate for the young carers it is important to dream, and to have a dream and for us the wider community to be aware of what they do day to day and to understand and support them,” says Geinor, who’s also been a guest director at UWTSD.
During the development of the show, the production attracted the interest of Grammy award winner Amy Wadge. As one of the UKs most in-demand songwriters, Amy has written for the likes of Ed Sheeran, Kylie Minogue and Jason Mraz – many will also recognise her beautiful soundtrack from the BBC series Keeping Faith. Amy contributed her songwriting skills to work with Geinor on the musical, playing with the storytelling qualities of country music to tell the young carer storyline.
“The story talks about coming from nothing, and about hardship – the same stuff country music does,” Amy explains. “Obviously, country is usually Texas or Tennessee or wherever, but there’s something about Wales that, for me, lends itself to country music more than anywhere else in Europe – it’s got the small-town vibe and our character lives in a trailer park, albeit in Wales.”
Eye of The Storm is a theatrical event of courage, determination and compassion that touches the hearts of audience members of all ages – children and adults alike.
Having already played to audiences in Edinburgh, Swansea, Portsmouth and Birmingham the tour draws to a close back in Wales with performances in Newport, Bangor and Aberystwyth on the following dates:
For further information about Eye of The Storm please visit http://www.theatr-nanog.co.uk/eyeofthestorm