Representing Communities is drawing to a close and here in the North Merthyr case study we are ending on a high! Over the last three years, we have met hundreds of people living and working in north Merthyr. We have talked, laughed, cried and created art with local people about their community, health and wellbeing, and hopes for the future. We have established strong partnerships with POSSIB, a bi-lingual arts project led by Canolfan Soar, and with 3Gs Development Trust, who deliver the Communities First activities in the area.
These partnerships have enabled us to co-produce a wide range of creative projects with residents, including a photography project, digital stories, participatory film making, story-telling, song-writing, drama and even a banner march! We have a rich and diverse collection of data that is relevant to policy makers, and we are about to share it in the finale of our case study.
With POSSIB, National Theatre Wales and Common Wealth Theatre, we are excited to present The People’s Platform, an adventurous piece of immersive theatre where decision makers, politicians and local people will come together to witness and discuss the findings of the research. Held in a social club, rather than a traditional theatre, The People’s Platform will challenge what we know about north Merthyr by drawing on the stories, testimonies and ideas of local people across all age ranges. The show will highlight the richness and complexity of community life, and explore how health and wellbeing is negotiated on an everyday basis.
Workshops are underway and intensive rehearsals begin on 10th June 2016. We are working with writer Kelly Jones, winner of the inaugural Wales Drama Award, to transform some of our data into performances. Rhiannon White, co-founder of Common Wealth, is directing the show and it is being produced by Gavin Porter. With a combination of new and professional actors, The People’s Platform is an innovative mode of knowledge exchange between citizens and decision makers and promises to be both heart-warming and challenging. Tickets are limited and 50% are reserved for local residents, so book now to avoid disappointment!
 Communities First is a Welsh Government funded community focussed tackling poverty programme