Scratch That Itch
At Sherman Cymru
Supported by National Theatre Wales
23rd April 2014
Last week a jumble of creatives came together in Sherman Cymru’s foyer for the first Scratch That Itch event to happen in Cardiff. Scratch That Itch provides an opportunity for artists, writers, performers (anyone really) to share a piece of work in development. The idea is to start the process of sharing your projects in order to get useful feedback and possibly connect with potential collaborators.
|A big crowd at Sherman Cymru|
Scratch That Itch has been running for 4 years and events have been held throughout South Wales, allowing a huge range of artworks to be seen and supported. The idea was thought up by theatre artist Brent Morgan and is supported by NTW Team and Sherman Cymru.
As is usually the case at these events the work shared was hugely varied. From spoken word, to play extracts, from comedy sketches to storytelling. There really was something for everyone. Some performers were clearly very experienced at this kind of sharing, brimming with confidence. Whereas others (like me) are just starting out, despite the nerves it really does give you a little buzz to get up on that stage.
|Comedy troupe The Death Hilarious|
After each performance there was ample opportunity to talk to the people who shared their work to give them advice or encouragement. Or if you were too shy there were also notebooks you could leave messages in for each performance.
This was my very first scratch night, but having been to numerous open mic nights I plucked up the courage to share a piece of my own work based on the myths of Ogmore Castle where I grew up. I couldn’t have asked for more from the welcoming and receptive audience. I left with some really encouraging comments, offers for collaboration and great suggestions for further development. What more could I ask for?
|Me looking suitably ridiculous|
The event was supported by The Paul Hamlyn Foundation through the work of Guy O’Donnell who is the PH Club coordinator at Sherman Cymru. The foundation works to engage new audiences with the arts and Sherman Cymru is one of five organisations across the UK to be awarded a unique gift from the foundation to help further its work to build and attract new audiences from disadvantaged groups.
Guy says "The overarching aim of the project is to develop access to performances at the Sherman Theatre from geographical areas of Cardiff and South Wales that are under-represented in their engagement with professional arts practice. The act of going to the theatre may be alien to many members of the communities in which we are working. So we will be working hard to break down those perceived barriers."
By bringing Scratch That Itch to Sherman Cymru the venue hopes to support a more diverse range of performers working in a whole range of art forms. This openness and varied programme will hopefully encourage more people to attend the theatre and possibly even create their own performances.
I would really encourage anyone who has some work in its infancy to get on stage and share their project at one of these events. The atmosphere is friendly and encouraging and getting honest feedback from other creatives is so valuable.
For more info on Scratch That Itch please contact Brent Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about the Paul Hamlyn Club please contact Guy on 029 2064 6976 or email email@example.com or have a look at Sherman Cymru’s blog www.shermancymru.wordpress.com