Coming of Age (2010)

Screengrab of Gwanwyn Youtube channel
With continued funding made available by the Arts Council of Wales for a major commission as part of the festival it was decided to focus on new media (specifically the creation of a Gwanwyn Youtube channel) with the aim of making it easier for the wider world to find out about our activities.

To that end four top performers were commissioned to craft a performance piece which was filmed for upload to the new Gwanwyn Youtube channel.

Performers were:

Jamila Massey – Indian born actress (currently appearing in Coronation Street, also Crossroads (1964); Within These Walls (1976); The Next Man (1976); Z Cars (1976-1977); Target (1977); Mind Your Language (1977; 1979); Brookside (1989) playing Manju Batra and Pie in the Sky (1994). In the mid-1990s she was cast as the recurring character Auntie Satya in Radio 4’s daily agricultural soap opera, The Archers, fulfilling one of her life’s ambitions. In 1997 she was cast in the popular BBC soap opera East Enders. Jamila narrates the story of her forty year journey from North India to her home in Powys and of the career that has seen her become the longest continually working Asian actress in Britain.

Mal Pope – Combining the activities of singer, songwriter and broadcaster, he was managed by Larry Page, wrote songs for Cliff Richard and The Hollies, duetted with Bonnie Tyler and Aled Jones, and toured with Art Garfunkel and Belinda Carlisle. Mal reached the milestone of his fiftieth birthday during this year’s Gwanwyn festival and performed a new composition entitled ‘Some of the Things’ dealing with his view of the pearls of wisdom we acquire as we age that we wish we had known in our youth.

Menna Elfyn – A Welsh poet and dramatist. She has written eight volumes of poetry (in both Welsh and English languages), five stage plays and two television dramas. In 2002 she was made Poet Laureate for the Children of Wales. For ‘Coming of Age’ Menna performed a new poem (in English and Welsh) dealing with Age from an unusual woman’s point of view.

Striking Attitudes Dance Company – ‘Coming of Age featured the world premiere of a work choreographed by Caroline Lamb and dealing with the issue of Ageing and focusing on an older male dancer. The work of Caroline and the Striking Attitudes Dance Company is strongly motivated by a wish to encourage people to develop a new approach to the physicality of Ageing and to promote and extend the careers of older professional dancers.