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Students stage dramatic performances highlighting fire safety

Fire image

26 April 2013

Glyndŵr University students gave a series of dramatic performances highlighting fire safety.

The Wrexham-based University joined forces with North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Wrexham County Safety Office to create a play focusing on arson and its impact on the community.

‘Cross-fire’ was acted-out by Level Five Theatre, Television and Performance students and directed by senior lecturer, Huw Garmon.

The show played to secondary schools and teenagers from four local pupil referral units in the ‘old union’ building on the Plas Coch campus.

The performance was followed by an interactive workshop.

The views and opinions shared will be used by Glyndŵr staff to help inform a study on deliberately-ignited fires in the Wrexham area.

Huw, who played the lead in Oscar-nominated Welsh language film, Hedd Wyn, said: “We were commissioned by the fire service to try and help tackle the issue of arson in North Wales, and Wrexham specifically.

“The aim of the show was to get youngsters to focus on the consequences of their actions and to look at social responsibility. That was the main thrust of the piece.

“There were shows all week and we kept audiences to a small size because of the nature of the performance. Theatre is at its best when it connects with society and makes a difference.

“This show was devised by young people for young people and will hopefully encourage them to think twice about participating in this kind of dangerous activity.”

Last year, Glyndŵr University students were commissioned by North Wales Fire and Rescue Service to produce short video clips for YouTube and Facebook featuring fictional stories based on different safety themes – each with a hard-hitting message.

Elen Mai Nefydd, course coordinator and senior lecturer in Theatre, Television and Performance at Glyndŵr University, said this performance was equally gripping.

She said: “This is the second project we’ve been commissioned to do for the fire service. We are also in discussions to work together further in the future. And there is keen interest in us touring this production across schools in North Wales.”

Gary Brandrick, senior fire safety manager for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, added: “We’re always trying to look at new and innovative ways to get young people to realise that deliberate fires can have very serious consequences.

"We have been working with Glyndŵr on a number of projects, and together we came up with the idea of a forum theatre piece to look at the issue of fire-starting.

“We’re thrilled with the feel of the piece and believe that using concepts and storylines created by the young students will enable an audience to connect with our underlying messages and really make them think about the possible consequences of their actions.”

To view the safety videos, visit Youtube.

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