Hijinx Odyssey's Christmas classic at WMC

Hijinx Odyssey bring a reimagined Christmas classic to the Wales Millennium Centre

This December, Hijinx Odyssey is thrilling audiences with a Christmas classic The Silent Toy Soldier at the Wales Millennium Centre. Following the success of last year’s The Spirit of Christmas, The Silent Toy Soldier is a wonderful festive treat for the whole family and follows the Nutcracker, the Sugar Plum Fairy and other much loved festive characters as they journey to find a place that everyone can call home.

Hijinx Odyssey is an inclusive community group for adults who share a passion for performance, as well as the amateur arm of Welsh theatre company Hijinx. The magic of Odyssey, and what makes it a rare find, is that it brings together people with and without disabilities from very different backgrounds to explore, play, and journey together into the world of make believe. This year Odyssey is joined on stage by pupils from Ely-based special school, Woodlands High, with Tchaikovsky’s iconic music reimagined by talented music students from the University of South Wales, Caerleon.

Nia Ramage, a long standing member of the group, describes Odyssey as “like having an extended family,” she continues, “There's an amazing sense of unity between all the members of Odyssey as well as Hijinx staff and volunteers and we pride ourselves on working together as a team at all times. We continuously help each other out whether it's during our Monday night sessions, weekend rehearsals or during our actual performances.”

Adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic ‘The Nutcracker and the Mouse King’ this show will take audiences on a journey to a land that should be full of magic and festive cheer, where joy and song should fill the air, but where something dark is stirring at the edges. As the threat draws closer, toys have been disappearing. How can you feel safe when you don’t have a voice?

Making The Silent Toy Soldier possible

This production is made possible by revenue funding from Arts Council Wales, the support of Cardiff Council’s Cultural Projects Scheme and by the members of the group who have come together over the past year to fundraise towards putting on a Christmas production in the Weston Studio at the Wales Millennium Centre. Simon Richards, an Odyssey member with Asperger’s who sits on the group’s fundraising committee, sees the importance of this team spirit, “It’s a cast of people with and without disabilities, but it’s so much more than that...it’s a cast of friends!”

As one would expect from such a dynamic group, the fundraising activities have been colourful and eclectic, from a Curry and Quiz night to ‘Sign and Sing’ at Sainsbury’s! It’s been fun for all as they continue to raise funds.

The performance

Director Jon Dafydd-Kidd said “Creating The Silent Toy Soldier has been a truly collaborative effort. Every turn and journey has been born and crafted from the individuals on stage, who through their passion for each other and theatre, bring The Silent Toy Soldier to life”.

Booking

The Silent Toy Soldier is at the Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre on 3rd and 4th December at 7pm, and 5th December at 3pm & 7pm. Tickets are £8 for adults and £6 for under 16s and are available to book in person from the Wales Millennium Centre ticket office, over the telephone on 029 20 636464, or online at http://www.wmc.org.uk

For further press information, images, to arrange an interview or for reviewer tickets to The Silent Toy Soldier please contact Jacqui Onions at Hijinx Theatre on 02920 300331, jacqui.onions@hijinx.org.uk.

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