A brand-new production created by, with, and for the people of Wrexham3 Nov 2022
Magicians and map makers, dreamers and developers gather at a meeting place between the very real and the fantastical. Created by, with, and for local people, the show asks who can call Wrexham home, putting the fate of the city, its people and its future in the audiences’ hands.
The story follows the arrival of a property developer with ideas to develop St. Giles church into luxury apartments in the centre of town. As the machines move in, a rebellion is born and lines between protest and power are drawn. The show will visit a number of city-centre locations, starting at St. Giles’ Parish Church and finishing at Henblas Square. Audiences will follow two different stories, one led by the property developer played by spoken word artist Martin Daws and one led by the ringleader of the protest group played by performance artist Chris Ingram. Audiences will come together at the end to share vegan soup provided by local community hub Yellow and Blue.
NTW is all about making connections that light creative sparks across Wales. At the heart of A Proper Ordinary Miracleis co-creation. NTW TEAM - the company’s approach to engagement - has spent the last few years getting to know the local community, the people and the place, asking what issues matter to them most. They chose the themes of home and homelessness as inspiration for this project.
Home can mean different things to different people. For some, it’s a place of safety and refuge. For others, the very idea of home is a source of instability and anxiety. It’s impossible to really understand the complex issues around homelessness without speaking to people who have experienced it. Listening to their stories has shaped A Proper Ordinary Miracle’s creative path.
A creative team made up of director Catherine Paskell (Dirty Protest Theatre), Wrexham-based artists and NTW TEAM members Natasha Borton and Anastacia Ackers have worked with 68 actors - including Lottie Davies, Paul Kaiba, Chanelle Leung, Faye Wiggan - as well as hundreds of Wrexham local participants and community groups to weave their unique stories and creative skills with a fictional story of protest and resistance.
Natasha Borton said: ‘I want this to be a real moment for every part of our community.
Each beat of the show takes inspiration from collaboration with local artists and musicians at the heart of our community. Through workshops and choir rehearsals we’ve embedded local voices across this show. The love and support is felt throughout the rehearsal room and beyond.
This project is a dream come true. It’s an opportunity to reveal Wrexham’s identity on a national stage, from the comfort of our own streets’
Anastacia Ackers said:‘Watching this project unfold over the past few years has been both a pleasure and a privilege. We can’t wait to share the stories of this city - with a town at its heart - with a wider audience and I’m excited for this co-created production to take to the streets.’
This project sits as part of National Theatre Wales’ four-year programme of engagement that has placed NTW TEAM in the heart of communities in Pembrokeshire and Wrexham; exploring the ways in which theatre and creative expression can contribute to the needs of local people in different and unexpected ways.
A Proper Ordinary Miracle marks the second NTW TEAM production, following Go Tell the Bees in Pembrokeshire in 2021, which focused on themes of the environment and our connection to nature.
NTW’s Director of Collaboration, Devinda De Silva said: ‘Concentrating our focus on two key areas of Wales - Pembrokeshire and Wrexham - we wanted to explore what change might happen by embedding NTW TEAM deep in the heart of these two local communities.
We’ve created opportunities for empowerment, leadership, creative activism, connection and long-term engagement.
We believe everyone has a right to access arts and creativity. NTW TEAM gets to know people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, right across the country to make that happen. There’s power to be found in telling people’s stories, in whatever way they want to tell them.’
National Theatre Wales’ Artistic Director and CEO, Lorne Campbell said: ‘Theatre is always changing, growing, shape-shifting. At National Theatre Wales we are always exploring new ways to make new things with new people. A Proper Ordinary Miracle is a beautiful example of this process at work.
This show could not have been made without the collaboration and contributions of countless people over years of work in Wrexham. This careful process of listening, of building relationships, of responding to and working with the creativity and imagination of people from every part of our society is a crucial part of what we do as a company. We are incredibly excited to invite you to join us for this wonderful show.’
NTW TEAM’s work in Pembrokeshire and Wrexham is supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Arts Council Wales and Welsh Government.
Together with many other theatre companies across Wales and further afield, National Theatre Wales are using the Theatre Green Book as a guide to make our productions more sustainable. From calculating the carbon footprint of materials, to reusing and recycling.