Thursday, 31 March 2016

On Stage: Jem & Ella, Newport Riverfront

As I'm a forty-something Dad with a teenage daughter, I felt it important to visit The Riverfront studio on Thursday afternoon to catch Run Ragged Productions latest dance show, Jem & Ella which is currently touring theatres across Wales.

Directed by Paula Crutchlow and performed by father and daughter team Jem and Ella Treays, the show focuses on change and transition in the pair’s lives through dance, dialogue, sign language and mime.

The show itself is a culminate snapshot of Jem and Ella’s father and daughter relationship of the last two years. Ella, a 12 year old, soon to be teenager is constrained to fitting in her passion, ballet, between school timetables, washing up and Netflix. Jem is also dealing with his own pressures as a dance artiste, while developing a bald patch, fixing the shower, sending belated greeting cards and hitting the milestone age of 50.

A celebration of the father/daughter relationship, Jem & Ella brings a personal scenario to the forefront with a beautiful honesty. The show highlights the importance of giving each other space and accepting each others differences through solo dance routines. Importantly though it also displays through carefully placed choreography the importance of putting differences aside and how strength and trust can be found in collaboration and communication.

Accessible, identifiable and even challenging, Jem & Ella is a must-see show for all the family, particularly fathers and daughters! There are three further performances to catch at Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre on April 8 and 9. Visit for details.

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