North West Wales

The Gathering farming theatrical show on Snowdon hillside

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Media captionPutting culture into agriculture - actors, musicians and farmers all take part in the new theatre production

Theatre-goers will have to don boots for a hike in Snowdonia for National Theatre Wales' latest production.

The Gathering is a four-hour walking performance covering about 6km (3 miles) and tells the story of the annual cycle of sheep farming.

And the cast includes local shepherds and their 200-strong flock as well as local children and professional actors.

The all-weather show performed at Hafod Y Llan farm will take place come rain or shine, say organisers.

It also includes film and sound and the work of Welsh poet Gillian Clarke.

Show creator Louise Ann Wilson said the production was drawn from the culmination of three years' observation of the working life at the National Trust's Hafod Y Llan, a working hill farm, and focuses on the September gathering of sheep brought down off the mountains and hillsides.

"It is an extraordinary sight," she said, describing a "river of sheep" being pushed down the mountains by shepherds and sheepdogs amid whistling, shouts and cries.

"What's wonderful is the shepherds go right high up, virtually to the summit of Snowdon," she said.

Image caption A red carpet with a difference for the show on the slopes of Snowdon

She said it was an immense technical challenge designing the show given the environment around the farm at Caernarfon in Gwynedd which is on a protected site and includes the remains of tramways and workers' bunkhouses created to serve nearby Victorian slate quarries and copper mines.

The performances start at midday between September 12-14.

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