Last night I met with The Ladies of Mother Courage's community ensemble at the Guest Keen Club in Merthyr for our second session of R&D which explores the issue of Welsh women affected by domestic violence.

When I arrived the group were rampantly gassing (words chosen for you ladies) about Before I Leave, National Theatre Wales' current production that sees a group of people in Merthyr come together in a choir for individuals living with dementia and Alzheimer's. With the support of NTW TEAM the ladies were there for opening night and were still talking about the show two weeks later. They discussed how and why it moved them and what they could take from that as they create their own piece of work over the coming weeks and months.

Throughout the workshop we shared the beginnings of works written by the company excited that we might be on to something that these women feel might speak to their community.

Each week the stories and ideas these women fill the spangled room we work in are insightful and hilarious. While we have a long way to go as we approach this topic respectfully, we're moving week by week in a way that celebrates these women's unique voices and create theatre that reaches often unheard ones.

Doing great work in Merthyr is Rhiannon White who is directing The Peoples Platform at Penydarren Social Club, Merthyr on Thursday 16th June. The Peoples Platform, which includes these great ladies, celebrates Merthyr's community, its stories, questions, and hopes for the future, something we're hoping to honour throughout our R&D. 

If you can, get down to it! 

Thanks for reading,

Rachael