The Gathering / Yr Helfa, is a new site-specific walking-performance revealing the day-to-day and seasonal workings of Hafod y Llan, a 'true hill farm' located on the foothills of Mount Snowdon. The performance will take participants on a circuitous journey tracing a six-kilometre route through the landscape and into the farm. As they walk they will experience installations, performance, film, poetry, music and sound as well as real-life happenings.
Louise Wilson was invited to create the performance work with the National Theatre Wales. It has evolved over the last three years through observing life at Hafod Y Llan. This process enabled her to work with the shepherds and log their activities; spend time in conversation with individuals who have lay and expert knowledge of the farming cycle and the reproductive biology of sheep; to study maps, field-names and topography; and speak with local residents with inter-generational memories of the farm.
Louise is collaborating with the team at Hafod y Llan and Gillian Clarke, the National Poet for Wales, who is writing a twelve-month sequence of site-specific poems for the performance based on the life cycles of the ewes, the flock, the farm and the landscape. Nigel Stewart is working on the choreography and John Hardy Music are composing music and sound.
The Gathering / Yr Helfa will be performed by a company that includes the shepherds, their dogs, two hundred sheep, professional performers, an award winning brass band, children from the local primary school and National Trust volunteers.
12 - 14 September 2014
photo: Joel Fildes/National Theatre Wales