Whether you are in a mainstream school, in alternative education or have just left school, college or university and are looking for a new direction, we want to work with you to help explore your creativity and develop artists of the future.
If you are 16 or over, you can join our online network of creatives through TEAM by clicking here. If you are not yet 16, don’t worry, there are still plenty of ways in which you can engage with our work – keep checking the NTW website for future updates.
To see the full video click here.
Two of the most iconic National Theatre Wales shows;The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning by Tim Price and Mametz by Owen Sheers, are now featured on the WJEC A Level Drama Syllabus.
To support students studying the texts (and the original productions), the creative teams involved in each production have shared their experiences with us, with a focus on the following questions:
- As director, what decisions did you make in presenting the play for performance, focusing on character interaction and movement?
- What are the challenges you faced as an actor playing your role, focusing on vocal and physical characterisation, motivation and interaction with others?
- As designer, director or production manager, what approaches did you take to staging the piece, focusing on set, costume, lighting, sound and character positioning?
Click on the links below to watch exclusive interviews with the creative teams behind each of the original productions.
The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning
Tim Price’s The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning was first performed in schools across Wales, in April 2012. It tells the story of the 25-year-old US soldier accused of releasing 250,000 secret embassy cables and military logs from the Iraq and Afghan wars. How did he go from being a teenager in West Wales, to this?
Please note: when we refer to ‘Bradley Manning’, we are referring to the character featured in the text and the original production; in real life, Bradley Manning is now Chelsea Manning.
Mametz by Owen Sheers was a large-scale, site-specific production performed in an ancient woodland near Usk, Monmouthshire, in June 2014. The production gave audiences a vivid glimpse into life – and death – in the trenches and battlefields of the Somme.
Inspired by Welsh writer Sheers’ poem Mametz Wood, it drew on written material by the poets who fought in or witnessed one of the war’s bloodiest conflicts – the Battle of Mametz Wood, in which 4,000 of the 38th (Welsh) Division were killed or wounded.
Mametz falls under Unit 4 of your A Level study: Text in Performance
In this unit, you will need to study two complete texts & know each in their entirety. You are being asked to demonstrate your knowledge, understanding and skills in interpreting texts for performance and to do this through a written examination. When you approach this unit you should do so in two ways – firstly, in a practical way, as though you are the actor, director, designer of the play and secondly, as an informed member of a theatre audience.
In this unit you must remember that you are being assessed on two things:
1- That you can demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of how theatre is created and performed
2 – That you are able to analyse and evaluate the work of others.
We hope that these video resources and accompanying exercises will help you in your study of Mametz.
Download the free Mametz lesson plan for teacher’s here.
Download the free Mametz Unit 4 A Level Study Text in Performance exercises here
Among the soldiers who took part in the battle were several key Welsh and English war poets, including Robert Graves, David Jones, Siegfried Sassoon and Llewelyn Wyn Griffith, and Sheers’ own great, great uncle, William Gwyn Davies.
Owen Sheers: Mametz Wood
For years afterwards the farmers found them –
the wasted young, turning up under their plough blades
as they tended the land back into itself.
A chit of bone, the china plate of a shoulder blade,
the relic of a finger, the blown
and broken bird’s egg of a skull,
all mimicked now in flint, breaking blue in white
across this field where they were told to walk, not run,
towards the wood and its nesting machine guns.
And even now the earth stands sentinel,
reaching back into itself for reminders of what happened
like a wound working a foreign body to the surface of the skin.
This morning, twenty men buried in one long grave,
a broken mosaic of bone linked arm in arm,
their skeletons paused mid dance-macabre
in boots that outlasted them,
their socketed heads tilted back at an angle
and their jaws, those that have them, dropped open.
As if the notes they had sung
have only now, with this unearthing,
slipped from their absent tongues
Charge of the Welsh Division at Mametz Wood, 11 July 1916 by Christopher Williams
With the kind permission of National Museum Wales
Please see below the reading list that was used by NTW’s Production team to help inform their own interpretation of the text:
Up to Mametz and Beyond by Llewlyn Wyn Griffith, Edited by Jonathon Riley (Pen & Sword)
Trench Talk, Words of the First World War by Peter Doyle & Julian Walker (Spellmount)
The Wipers Times with an introduction by Christoper Westhorp (Conway Publishing)
Trench: A History of Trench Warfare on the Western Front by Stephen Bull (Osprey Publishing)
Uniforms of World War 1 by Jonathan North, Consultant – Jeremy Black MBE (Lorenz Books)
We're Still Here
This plan has been specially created to inform students how artists have used their words and music to make a stand for human rights and fight for change. By working through the plan and using their skills in language and literacy, group presentation and critical thought, students will strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the struggle for human rights, and then take creative action by developing their own protest song.
As a further resource for schools, we created a short film – The Making of We’re Still Here – featuring interviews with the directors and the cast in which they talk about creating a piece of site-specific work.
Play Your Part
If you live in Pembrokeshire or Wrexham and are interested in becoming involved in the work of TEAM Education, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about the latest projects and opportunities in your area.
The curriculum in Wales is changing, and we invite teachers, parents, theatre-makers, home educators, care-workers, education authorities, poets, playwrights, actors, musicians, artists and anyone who cares passionately about the value of arts for young people, to join our online discussion via our Rethinking Education group. If you have a creative project, imaginative lesson plan or an idea for inspiring young people in creative ways, we would love to hear from you. If you have any resources you would be happy to offer to a wider audience to help encourage others to adopt creative approaches to their own teaching, please join our online group, Resources: A Creative Curriculum, by clicking here.