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***** 5 STARS from Broadway Baby “the audience loved it. It was a privilege to be there.” http://www.broadwaybaby.com/shows/land-of-the-dragon-gwlad-y-ddraig/702223
‘Land of the Dragon‘ was created by PuppetSoup for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014 with help from a talented team of theatre makers and performers.
Land of the Dragon is now touring Wales and the UK for 2015 and taking bookings for rural, theatre and school venues.
Original Script and Concept – PuppetSoup
Puppeteers and Performers:
Fagner Gastaldon - Puppeteer - Puppetry Director
Originally from Brazil but now settled in Wales, Fagner has been involved with puppetry for around fifteen years. His passion for puppetry developed as a child in Brazil where puppetry is a commonplace art form considered to be for adults and children alike. Whilst studying a degree in psychology, Fagner began clowning and puppeteering for children in hospitals and decided then to pursue his passion for puppets full time. Since then Fagner has worked with many companies both in Brazil and the UK, toured internationally and built, created and performed much of his own work.
Fagner founded PuppetSoup in order to create unique and beautiful puppetry which inspires audiences. He specialises in table top theatre, Teatro Lambe Lambe (Puppet box theatre) and glove puppetry. Fagner trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, Little Angel Theatre and through workshops with master puppeteers including John Roberts and Christopher Leith. Fagner has a particular interest in providing workshops for adults, young people and children in order to pass on the wide variety of manipulation, making and devising skills that he has acquired.
Recently Fagner has been puppeteering for the Off West End Award winning Puppet Opera Triple Bill, teaching surgeons puppetry techniques as St Mary’s Hospital London and collaborating with the NHS to create the award winning show ‘Fix Freddie!’ – a show to engage communities with Health Care. Fagner is a multi award winning puppeteer who is proud to have created, devised and built the 5***** show ‘Land of the Dragon – Gwlad y ddraig’ inspired by his new homeland, Wales.
Cass Gastaldon - Puppeteer - Manager
A co-founder of PuppetSoup, Cass is from Wales and has been involved in making puppets and puppetry for many years. Cass is PuppetSoup’s Artistic Director and managed and produced ‘Land of the Dragon’ amongst other shows.
It was Cass’s passion for her homeland of Wales that brought about the concept for ‘Land of the Dragon – Gwlad y Ddraig’ and her experience within events production that has pushed the vision forward into the show it has now become.
Cass is herself an accomplished puppeteer performing in Land of the Dragon amongst many other award winning and experimental shows such as ‘Fix Freddie’, ‘The Puppet Opera Triple Bill’, The Puppet Leider, ‘The Castle and the Witch’s Gold’ and ‘The Cauldron of Ceridwen’. She has had a lifelong passion for theatre, performance and making dolls and puppets. Cass trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London and has a particular interest in using puppetry for social and community benefit. She is an experienced teacher and workshop facilitator in addition to having performed with a wide variety of puppet and object related medium. She is utterly delighted that ‘Land of the Dragon – Gwlad y Ddraig’ is touring the UK and Europe and hopes to take the show to wide variety of audiences in a broad range of venues.
Tamar Williams - Actress - Puppeteer
Tamar Williams is a storyteller and theatre director, born and bred in Cardiff and currently based in the Midlands. She is delighted to be joining PuppetSoup for the tour of ‘Land of the Dragon – Gwlad y Ddraig’. Since winning Young Storyteller of the Year in 2013, she has performed at festivals, libraries and storytelling clubs across the country, including Whitby Folk Festival, Lakefest, In The Woods and the Birmingham Book Festival. She has delivered traditional and personal storytelling workshops across the UK and in the USA in connection with The Moth in NYC, and is currently completing an MRes in Theatre Directing with a focus on the performance of heritage at the University of Birmingham. Her work as a theatre director includes House of America (2014), Multiverse (2014) and Grand Desires (2015). She is currently working on a bilingual solo storytelling show blending Welsh legends of the Mabinogi with personal narratives. In her spare time, she is a keen folk singer and morris dancer, and climbs as many mountains as she can find in the Midlands.
Anna Galek - Puppeteer
Anna Galek is a puppeteer and theatre maker originally from Poland but who has now settled in the UK where she has pursued studies in acting, puppetry and object manipulation at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Whilst in her native Poland, Anna directed and performed in several pieces of theatre whilst studying at Skiba school and went on to teach at Polish institutions including the School of Polish Language and Culture in Wroclaw. In Poland Anna worked extensively with young disabled actors in Arka Theatre and also participated in The Interdisciplinary Fringe Festival and went on to win the prestigious FAMA Wroclaw festival First Prize in 2011. Anna has performed with PuppetSoup in Land of the Dragon and the award winning ‘Fix Freddie’ as well as working with Polka Theatre and master puppeteer Sue Dacre to create the Puppets for the show ‘Peter Pan’. Anna has a particular interest in symbolic theatre and worked to create The TV advert for Bloom FM – Bee Band, The Witch’s Necklace for the Accidental Festival at the Roundhouse and recently PuppetSoup’s new production ‘The Cauldron of Ceridwen’. Anna is excited to tour ‘Land of the Dragon – Gwlad y Ddraig’ around the UK and hopes to join the production in a multilingual European tour to take the story even further.
Produced by - Richard Semmens and Cass Gastaldon
Richard has worked extensively in IT before coming to the world of theatre and puppetry. He has designed, built and maintained the server platform infrastructures of multiple successful IT companies while managing large teams of systems administrators. After winning a number of awards for his work within computing including the ISPA award for Best Hosting Company three years running and managing global computing platforms serving hundreds of millions of people, Richard felt that his skills were highly transferable and whilst still working for a leading tech company in the day, Richard now pursues theatre production as his passion. Richard co-produced the 5***** show Land of the Dragon as well as award winning Fix Freddie! He recently produced Cauldron of Ceridwen for “Take pArt” festival in Venu Cymru, Llandudno and will be collaborating with PuppetSoup on a major new project in the summer. Richard is excited to be taking Land of the Dragon – Gwlad y Ddraig to a broad audience around the UK and Europe.
Cass Gastaldon is an accomplished puppeteer performing in Land of the Dragon. In addition to her puppetry and performance skills Cass has experience in events management and is therefore co-producing Land of the Dragon. Bookings, tours and press enquiries should be sent to Cass.
Design - Ana Maio
Ana is a supremely talented artist, designer and illustrator who PuppetSoup are lucky enough to work with on a regular basis. Her illustrations can be seen on programmes, flyers and the PuppetSoup websites including welshtales.com and fixfreddie.com. Ana trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in Theatre Design after having successes in youth theatre and scenic art in her native Portugal, learning and collaborating under Teatro do Bolhão. Ana designed Award winning Fix Freddie! and 5***** show Land of the Dragon with PuppetSoup as well as having been a supportive artist and designer on other PuppetSoup productions including the design and production of puppets, artwork and set. She has collaborated with companies such as Untitled Projects on immersive theatre experiences and has worked as a design assistant for Annemarie Woods for “Don Giovanni” at the Bergen National Opera, “Salome” at the Belfast Opera and “Hair” at Staatstheater Darmstadt in Germany. Ana has recently worked as an artist for The National Theatre and has designed for Blind Summit on their production ‘Citizen Puppet’ and is about to take part on a design project with the RSPB. She is very pleased that her designs and artwork will be taken on tour with ‘Land of the Dragon – Gwlad y Ddraig’.
Technical Touring Manager - Chris Lyon
Chris was introduced to theatre tech while studying Mathematics at the University of Bath, and has been in love with it ever since. Despite an aspiration to become an accountant he has become a freelance technician and has enjoyed supporting theatre and live music events with his friends from university. Currently based in the East Midlands, he’s looking forward to working on his first bit of puppet theatre with Land of the Dragon on tour.
Lighting - Norvydas Genys
Norvydas is a lighting designer who has worked within lighting design and production in both the events industry and within theatre. He has a broad experience in all areas and levels of lighting both as lighting director and technician including theatre, live events, film, dance, corporate events, concert touring etc.
Norvydas has toured Europe providing lighting for a variety of events. Having trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama London he is a highly qualified in all aspects of design and technical production. Although Norvydas enjoys every single project he takes on, his main interest is in Live events and concert touring. He has created several projects for PuppetSoup and is a regular artistic collaborator whose skilled lighting designs bring Land of the Dragon and other PuppetSoup productions to life.
Original Sound Design - Sam Conor Smith
Sam has been passionate about theatre, design and sound design his whole life and has created successful soundscapes for many productions. Sam has an intricate understanding of sound design and sound manipulation which has been further enhanced by his training at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Sam collaborated with PuppetSoup to create a bespoke and detailed soundscape for the NHS piece, Fix Freddie! and created the original soundscape for Land of the Dragon in 2014.
Updated Sound Design - Daniel Balfour
Daniel trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, his recent works include: Assistant Sound Designer for Robert Icke’s adaptation of Oresteia (Almeida Theatre), Offstage Theatre’s ‘Walking the Tightrope’ (Theatre Delicatessen, Underbelly Edinburgh Fringe 2015). You can find more about Daniel’s work and upcoming shows at www.danielbalfour.com.
Costume and textile design and construction - Annalisa Spezzacatene
Annalisa has long history of working with a range of productions, and was previously lead producer for a number of shows in Italy and London. Her most recent work before this show was an award-winning puppet opera with the Third Hand Opera company.
Music – Gwilym Morus – www.mwncinel.com
Advised By – Gwilym Morus – www.welshmythology.com
Scenic Art and Props –
- PuppetSoup – Including contributions from all cast and crew members
- Natalie Wilson – Scenic Artist (Exterior of Giant Tree)
With special thanks to :
Heledd Gwynn – Original Cast Member
Dr Gwilym Morus – www.welshmythology.com
Ronnie le Drew