Cowshed announces Wales Millennium Centre’s creative learning programme, sending three young locals to South Africa

Wales Millennium Centre is sending three young people from Cardiff to Cape Town as part of its creative learning programme, Tooling Up.

Tooling Up has been designed by the Centre to collaborate with the present community of Butetown and the historic Tiger Bay area as part of its next significant production, Tiger Bay the Musical.

The musical – produced in association with Cape Town Opera – is currently in rehearsal in the South African city ahead of preview performances later this month. Ismat, Idris and Ibrahim, from Butetown arrived on Tuesday 16 where they will spend a week with lighting, sound, costume and production teams to get hands on experience.

Created specifically for young people aged 16-25 from the local area to develop skills for a career working behind the scenes in the arts, the Tooling Up six-week programme will develop work-based skills, such as marketing and technical aspects of theatre production.

Sarah Roberts, Senior Creative Learning Producer at Wales Millennium Centre said: “At the Centre we are passionate about inspiring the future generation of talent, whether that is on the stage or behind the scenes. Tooling Up is part of a wider programme of activity to engage young people in the arts.

 “With new knowledge and passion for the production, Ismat, Idris and Ibrahim will return to Cardiff to share what they have learnt with the rest of the programme’s participants.”

Tooling Up is just one aspect of the Centre’s creative learning programme. Already underway is Performance Platfform, weekly workshops for 10 to 14-year-olds led by industry professionals to build confidence, impart audition techniques and give the young people a chance to audition to be part of the homegrown production.

Tiger Bay the Musical, tells the tale of Cardiff Bay’s vibrant past in the early 1900s at the height of South Wales’s coal trade, in a story of courage, reconciliation and love. Set to a rousing score from award winning Welsh composer, Daf James, a cast of shop girls, sailors, donkeymen, suffragettes, immigrants and raggedy water boys will bring the atmosphere and sounds of old Tiger Bay to life.

For information on developments in Tiger Bay the Musical’s creative learning programme, visit The world premiere of Tiger Bay the Musical is on Wednesday 15 November 2017 at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Tickets on sale now.

Meet the young people  

Ibrahim Mustafa

“I think this programme is a good thing for our community which is local to the Centre. We’re going to learn practical skills in South Africa, then come back to continue our progress in something I’d like to pursue as a career.”

Idris Galoom

“Us lads, were born in the Bay, we grew up here. The Bay has really developed since then, and we’ve watched that development happen. We’ve seen Wales Millennium Centre being built, all the restaurants and shops being developed and we want to be part of it. We’re looking forward to experience something new and hopefully bring back what we’ve experienced into our communities.”

Ismat Ayed

“I only live a stone’s throw away from the Centre, and I’m very lucky for this opportunity to go out to South Africa. We don’t really get opportunities like this, they don’t come often. Wales Millennium Centre is a big creative umbrella with many career opportunities for us, and we are very creative people.

South Africa is a trip of a lifetime, but we’re looking at the positive impact and the legacy that will follow. We want to set a positive example to those younger than us in the Butetown community and I’m looking forward to seeing the impact it might have when we return. It’s a start of great things to come.”


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