Celebrating mining heritage with a powerful outdoor circus, live music, and fire experience in Pontypridd
Written by Gavin on 7th October 2022
A well-known Pontypridd Colliery will be transformed this October into an outdoor circus, live music, and fire spectacle, celebrating the history and mining community.
In collaboration with the heritage custodians of The Great Western Colliery Preservation Trust, Pontypridd’s circus company, Citrus Arts will be presenting, ‘Now and Ever More’ an unforgettable one hour performance at the Hetty Pitt, the former colliery site near Pontypridd, on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 October, 7pm.
Listen to James Doyle Roberts from Citrus Arts talk about the event to Gavin
This highly visual performance with recorded local voices, will see Welsh circus and theatre talent perform with live music by Simon McCorry (Cellist) with fire installations and performances that will transform the colliery site.
Now and Ever More sees local performers using the stories and legacy of the mine’s past expressed through their circus and performance skills. Now and Ever More was originally an idea that was for the community of Pontypridd before the floods in 2020, and before the pandemic. It took until 2022 to realise the opportunity of brining fire installations and performances that will transform the colliery site.
The title Now and Ever More is inspired by the translated lyrics of the famous hymn ‘Cwm Rhondda’ which was composed in the chapel near the site and is best known for the famous lyric, “Bread of Heaven.”
James Doyle-Roberts, Artistic Director of Citrus Arts, said:
“We at Citrus Arts are using all our showmanship and resources to invite our neighbours to look at our surroundings differently. With live music and performance, fire and laser technology, you can experience two nights of illuminated magic at this under loved local landmark.”
The 2022 performance of Now and Ever More will be at The Great Western Colliery, also known as the ‘Hetty Pit’ located on the Rhondda Road, between Trehafod and Pontypridd. Its original Engine Room is beautifully preserved and stands as a symbol of the care that a handful of special local people have for their heritage and the history of the area.
The mine was opened originally as the “Gyfeillon Pit” in 1851 and closed in 1983. The mine was one of many in the area, and saw many dark moments in its past, including a disaster in 1893 when a fire in the colliery led to the deaths of 63 men and boys. The colliery closed in 1983, but while the pit and its shafts may have been closed, the immaculate Engine remains at the site.
Local Councillor and Trustee of the site, Tina Leyshon said:
“The Preservation Trust is very proud that Citrus Arts is working with us to put on this event for our local community. We hope to carry this work on, creating partnerships with local communities and organisations to keep the Hetty winding house for future generations”
Now and Ever More is a brand new, site-specific work by Citrus Arts, who are an artist led circus company rooted in Pontypridd. They make art with local people from across Rhondda Cynon Taf and beyond, using decades of their own experience as performers, teachers, local activists, and directors/ choreographers of large-scale spectacular shows on international stages. They have created shows for theatre, venues and festivals over the last decade including Green Man and Beyond the Border Festivals.
Locally, Citrus Arts are invested in their passion to develop creativity for all ages by sharing the hands-on skills and attitude that are an essential part of travelling circus life – technique, skills, and showmanship to build a solid creative community.
Their home is the nearby Hopkinstown Community Hall, which they refurbished during the pandemic. The Hall recently re-opened with a packed programme of creative workshops for all ages.
Now and Ever More will be at The Great Western Colliery ‘Hetty Pit’ on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 October, 7pm. Tickets are £5 and available through EventBrite and Citrus Arts website.
Limited capacity available.
The team are making every effort to make this event as physically accessible as possible. This historical site is not fully renovated, and the ground is uneven. We will lay plastic flooring in some areas and can provide some limited car parking spaces for disabled guests who cannot use the shuttle bus.
The meeting points for the event will be at the colliery for those on foot, and minibus collection points at Pontypridd Train Station and Barry Sidings Car Park. Times and details will be confirmed to ticket holders after booking.
Now and Ever More has been supported through Arts Council Wales, Welsh Assembly Government, National Lottery, WAG, BBC Comic Relief, Foyle Foundation, Big Lottery Community Fund, Nofit State and the Ashley Family Foundation.