Kyle Legall: RATS, an allegory for Tiger Bay

May 27, 2017 by

I am a visual artist, animator, writer and theatre director.

I had the idea for Rats firstly as animation.  A major part of my residency with National Theatre Wales in 2012 was spent in developing my multi-media theatre presentation.

Rats is an allegory for my own community, Cardiff’s world-famous Tiger Bay. Not many people know that a small part of the docks was called Rat Island. My story takes place beneath the buildings of the new development. When Rat is forced to come to the surface in search of her name. Something that she must steal from the humans that she can identify with for the rest of her life.

The play revolves around a group of young rats who go out on a “rats to passage” when she discovers that a secret society of rats plotting to blow up the bay, with an unexploded bomb that was dropped during World War II.

ras 3

With this theme in mind the rats’ costumes and all the sets and backgrounds will be made out of recycled things. The rats have a song: “What humans waste is another rat’s treasures. There’s so much I cannot measure”.

One most exciting thing about my play are the masks. I have made all of the masks out of my old Adidas Shell Toe trainers. This was an artistic and emotional decision. I think they encapsulate at a glance exactly what I am trying to portray with my characters and my story.

rats new

As well as bridging the social and economic gap between Tiger Bay and the new Cardiff Bay, my project is designed to bridging the cultural abyss between Hip Hop and traditional theatre.

My talented cast of four will be performing an exciting and unprecedented mix of traditional African and Cuban dance, spoken word poetry, Rap, the Brazilian martial art and dance form, Capoeira, all in a cool mask. 

The show is already picking up excellent ‘buzz’ via word of mouth and the media and I also created a graffiti poster that can be seen on James Street, Cardiff Bay. 

RATS (Rose Against The System)

Tickets £10

Age Guidance: 13+ (No Under 2s)

Running Time: Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes (no interval)

Show runs 2nd-3rd June; 2nd June 8pm,  1.30pm and 8pm on 3rd June.



Leave a Reply