Llanelli’s Ffwrnes Theatre is one of the first Welsh venues to unveil its re-opening plans, with audiences being welcomed back into the building as part of a one-of-a-kind sound and light experience, Ghost Light.
Ffwrnes Theatre, part of Carmarthenshire County Council’s collective of three theatres known as Theatrau Sir Gâr | Carmarthenshire Theatres, closed in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It will be the first venue out of the trio to welcome audiences back when Ghost Light opens for a six-week run over the summer from June 23 until July 31. The event has been designed to be Covid-safe with audiences guiding themselves through the sound and light experience in bubbles of up to 6 people.
The concept for the experience centres around the symbolic Ghost Light, a light which is left on in every theatre while it is empty. Over the past 15 months, the Ffwrnes’s Ghost Light has been shining brightly throughout the pandemic.
Audiences will be invited to explore the areas usually only seen by the performers and theatre staff, as they step backstage and see the Ffwrnes through the eyes of the Ghost Light.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board member for culture, sport and tourism, Councillor Peter Hughes-Griffiths, said, “It’s with great pleasure that we announce our plans to re-open the Ffwrnes this summer. The team at Carmarthenshire Theatres, along with a hand-picked creative team, have come together to develop an event for audiences unlike anything else they will have experienced. We’re looking forward to sharing this remarkable sound and light experience with local audiences and being able to welcome them back safely to Carmarthenshire’s flagship theatre at the Ffwrnes.”
Discussing the inspiration for the event, Ghost Light’s Creative Director, Jane Lalljee said, “It has always been a dream of mine to create a show that starts with the lighting concept and everything else supports and takes inspiration from the lighting.
“I first came up with the idea of Ghost Light during lockdown last year. My inspiration came from the ghost light that gets left on when the rest of the theatre is in darkness. The show is an exploration of light and sound in the parts of the theatre an audience would not normally be able to explore: backstage, dressing rooms and especially on stage. I want audiences to be part of the fabric of the experience and to feel the lighting and sound.”
The Ffwrnes will still be in operation as a Vaccination Centre while Ghost Light is taking place, although the two services will be kept entirely separate. A temporary box office has been created on the opposite side of the building to the vaccination centre where audiences will arrive for the experience, and the self-guided tour only takes in areas which are not occupied by the vaccination centre.
Provisions have been made to ensure the experience is accessible for all. Audio described sessions will take place on selected days and videos with British Sign Language descriptions have been incorporated into the tour. The route is also step-free throughout.
Each tour takes approximately 30 minutes with each group booking a specific time slot. Single groups of up to 6 people from 6 different households, including children, are permitted per booking. Tickets on sale from June 9. Book online at www.theatrausirgar.co.uk