Based on an original idea by Chris Green, the story has been developed by the youthful members of Red Kite Theatre Company, scripted by Chris Green and Margie Douglas and directed by Sue Best and Paula Chihaoua.
The year is 2227 and the story starts in the stark atmosphere of MK2, a domed city built to protect the inhabitants from a polluted world outside. Here, people have no names and live under an oppressive regime headed by Citizen Leader and her Protectors, who perpetuate the official history that, prior to the building of the city; mankind lived like savages and had no culture.
However, the discovery of a copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare allows a group of inhabitants to learn about the concept of love, and a way of life completely alien to their regimented existence. They also realise that the stories speak of a world filled with beauty and birdsong, rather than the silent, toxic wasteland which now surrounds them. Added to this, there is a whispered rumour about a land to the west, where people still live outside in harmony with the earth.
Spurred on by this knowledge, a small group escape from the dome, and after a hazardous journey over the wasted land, they eventually find their way to Wales, where they discover a race of people who have managed to survive by finding ways to live sustainably without exhausting the resources of their natural environment.
Chris Green said, “Although the initial idea was mine, the Red Kite members took it and ran with it. They are such an inventive group, and they have a massive social conscience. They want people to realise that what we do today with our resources will affect their lives, and their children’s lives. They are the citizens of tomorrow and we have a duty to hand on a sustainable lifestyle to them, not to drain the world of its resources and expect their generation to pick up the pieces.
“All the characters in the play have been created by members of Red Kite – neither Margie Douglas nor I have had to populate this story. We simply set the scene and the story has developed through improvisation. It was rather like a journey, with none of us knowing precisely what would happen in the end! And it wasn’t until we did know that Margie and I could really get down to writing the script. ”
Red Kite is supported by ACW, WCVA Russell Commission, Powys County Council and Hay Town Council, in addition to Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development fund (SDF).
Ceri Bevan, SDF Officer for the National Park said “The SDF is delighted to be associated with the ongoing success of Red Kite Theatre. Red Kite Theatre offers a terrific opportunity for young people in the area to get involved in the dramatic arts.”
Alas Poor World will be performed at Hay Community Centre (6th & 13th July), Voices of Shakespeare Festival, Living Willow Theatre (11th July) and Theatr Brycheiniog Studio, Brecon (19th and 20th July).
For further information about Red Kite please telephone 01497 82106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.redkite.org.uk
Voices of Shakespeare Festival – Friday 11th July at 7pm
[Living Willow Theatre, signposted off A470, 4 miles south of Rhayadar]
Hay Community Centre – Sunday 13th July at 7pm
Theatr Brycheiniog Studio, Brecon – Saturday 19th July at 7.30pm
Theatr Brycheiniog Studio, Brecon – Sunday 20th July at 2pm