£19,200 award supports the next phase of Turning the Wheel

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Back in 2022 we funded Kieran a local creative with a small Micro Fund grant when he had the idea for creating a musical

The funding allowed him to develop the script, music, recruit actors and stage a showcase performance in the Parc and Dare. The aim of this phase is to take the show to a full production for three performances within the main auditorium of the local theatre, the Park & Dare, Treorchy.

By continuing to work with local businesses they will stage pop-up performances using local musicians in order to promote the show and grow audience numbers. The long term aim of this is to build on the buzz of excitement that they created during the first phase of development and invite producers from outside the area in to see the show with a view to giving it another life throughout Wales and beyond as a commercial touring production.

“’Turning the Wheel’ is a community born, homegrown and original musical theatre show that was created in the Upper Rhondda, by and for the people of the Upper Rhondda and has since been grown and developed in the Upper Rhondda. This funding from Pen y Cymoedd will help us shine a positive light on our heritage, language, culture, community and history. Thank you so much PyC” – Kieran Bailey

“The audience were truly enthralled, not just by the quality of the production, but also the professionalism of the musicians and cast members and rightly so, earned a standing ovation. It must be noted the positive impact these productions have on the Welsh Language, where Kieran fully embraced a bilingual delivery.” – Councillor Bob Harris Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities

“For generations, children in Rhondda have been taught the history of their mining forefathers, and how Rhondda helped put Wales and Great Britain on the map. Whether it be in a classroom through textbooks, trips to the Heritage Park and Big Pit to the 4-foot seams, or to St Fagans to experience what life would be like in old, terraced houses; generations before us and generations to come will continue to learn what reality was like. But, very few will have experienced this history coming to life through song and performance.
I had the pleasure of attending the first, and currently, only performance of “Turning the Wheel” musical in the Parc and Dare. Never have I experienced or witnessed such an accurate and engaging representation of our important history. Along with the audience of local community members, even with the knowledge accrued over the years of yesteryear, the performance was captivating, and truly captured the blood, sweat, tears, joy, grit, heartache, and pride felt during the industrial revolution. We laughed, cried, and learned during the short performance.” – Buffy Williams Member of the Senedd for Rhondda/Aelod Senedd dros Rhondda.

The project is also being supported by Arts Council of Wales, RCT CBC, local businesses and sponsors. We wanted to support and be the majority funder as we believe this is an exciting opportunity to promote the Welsh language and local culture, remove barriers and widen access to cultural activities and support local creative skills and employment opportunities, nurturing and encouraging creatives to live and work locally