Stuck in the Mud a dazzling dance journey

Stuck in the Mud 

A GDance production in partnership with Ballet Cymru

Stuck in the mud from John Whittle on Vimeo.

"We saw you guys perform on Sunday (twice), My wife cried and my oldest boy (4) loved it so much he's asked us to find him Ballet classes, which he went to and signed up to today :) Look forward to seeing next years show" CJ Barr (Llandudno, LLAWN02) via Facebook

This year GDance toured Stuck in the Mud to three towns in Wales, working with many partners including local schools and dancers. See the menu on the right for more information about the performance.

“We visited Swansea at the weekend and came across your Stuck in the Mud performance quite by chance. My wife and I just wanted to let you know we were simply enthralled and exhilarated by the event. We’re not usually dance event attendees, but the wonderful journey through the National Waterfront Museum was so enchanting. Hats off to the performers who gave us such a magical entertaining afternoon…Wonderful, simply wonderful.” Deb and Mike Bright, from Cardiff

Internationally renowned Marc Brew provided direction and was the lead choreographer. Original music was by Newport-based composer, Jack White and the performance featured a live French horn.

"Absolutely amazing. One of the most beautiful things I've seen. The kids loved it. It was like an adventure." Audience member, Hidcot Manor Garden 2013

The performance was free to watch, lasted around an hour, was suitable for all ages and was accessible to wheelchairs and assistance dogs.

The production was generously supported by The Arts Council of Wales and small grants from Ernest Cook Trust and the Crest Foundation.



Venue: National Waterfront Museum, Oystermouth Road, Swansea SA1 3RD

 Sat 12 & Sun 13 July 2014

Times: 11.45am and 2.20pm

Part of Taliesin Arts Centre's Dance Days festival.


Venue: began at Llandudno train station

 Sat 20 & Sun 21 September 2014

Times: 11:45am and 2:45pm

Part of Llawn02


Venue: Wales Millennium Centre

 Sat 27 & Sun 28 September 2014

Times: 12pm and 3pm

About the show

Stuck in the Mud is a magical, family friendly, free-to-see promenade dance show, recreated to work in each Wales venue in 2014. It features top professional dancers from Ballet Cymru and GDance, both disabled and non-disabled, plus many dancers from local Welsh schools and dance groups.

Director and lead choreographer is the internationally renowned Marc Brew. Original music is by Newport-based composer, Jack White and the performance features a live French horn.

The playful piece will weave through each venue, with pieces ranging from brief vignettes to full scale, whole cast spectacles.

The performance is presented as a promenade – a guided tour of the site by the performers with some interactive sessions with the audience. It is a family-friendly piece - parents are welcome to bring small children as they do not have to ‘sit still’ and be forced to observe traditional (shh!) theatre conventions. 

The accompanying original music, enhanced by a live French horn, was scored by Newport-based Welsh Livery Guild award-winning composer, Jack White.

Helen Crocker, GDance producer, says: “Stuck in the Mud is completely different to other dance performances. It combines ballet and contemporary dance, and it’s specially adapted to work with the museum space. It features disabled and non-disabled dancers and some brilliant community dancers. Audiences won’t have seen anything like this before!”

The name, Stuck in the Mud, is inspired both by the beauty that can grow from mud and the children’s game of the same name. Helen explains: “To make this a brilliant show, Stuck in the Mud has amazing credentials, and we’re committed to supporting new, talented disabled dancers and choreographers,” says Helen. 

The original dance and artistic direction is by internationally-renowned choreographer Marc Brew, supported by Ballet Cymru’s assistant artistic director, Amy Doughty. Millions of viewers saw Marc’s work at the 2004 Beijing Olympics handover ceremony and he also devised pieces for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Assisting Marc is emerging talent Viv Gordon, a GDance choreographic fellow. 

Stuck in the Mud was newly devised in summer 2013 by choreographer Marc Brew. It was produced by GDance in association with Ballet Cymru and National Trust property Hidcote Manor Garden.

GDance was invited by Arts Council Wales to recreate Stuck in the Mud for Wales in 2014. Their support, alongside Wales Dance Consortium and Disability Arts Cymru has made this happen. A substantial investment from the National Trust in 2013 made possible the creation of Stuck in the Mud.

In 2013 Stuck in the Mud toured to Hidcote Manor Garden in Gloucestershire, Blackfriars Priory in Gloucester, and Newport City Market.

What the audience thought in 2013

Blackfriars Priory, Gloucester

"Simply awesome! It was dynamic, beautiful, creative and imaginative. The music was superb and fitting and the movement throughout the priory was an excellent idea. Choreography was so clever. It was eye-catching and at times mesmerising. The lighting was so good in its colour and subtlety. It was the best live show I have been to this year and that includes a trip to the Bristol Old Vic! I will be there in Newport with many friends to support you all! Well done - dazzling!"

"Excellent - eye-opening, enjoyable, magical! Would definitely come again."

"Lyrical and beautiful! Quite a magical experience!"

Hidcote Manor Garden, Gloucestershire

"I went on Saturday with my family...We all love the dancers in the hedge (the ballet and tap) and the Long Walk dance. And the finale part through the meadow. And the dance with the wellies. And...I could go on and on!"

“Should have TV exposure”

“Full of endless wonder and surprise”

"A unique and magical event gracing the county this week literally breathes new life into the meaning of dance...But it's the harmonious entwining of so many different kinds of dancers which is the real highlight of the work, unravelling conventions and challenging ideas of what this art form is all about. Able-bodied and wheelchair-bound performers, professionals and those who dance just for the joy of it, including children from local schools, made up the cast and proved this is an art form for everyone, everywhere."

Review by the Gloucestershire Echo. Read the full review here.

Newport City Market

“One of the most stunning illuminations offered by Stuck in the Mud was the way in which each element of the show related to the space, amplified by a minimalist electronic score composed by Welsh Livery Guild award-winner Jack White, so that even this long-time Newportonian paused to marvel at the atmospheric and dramatic qualities of the city’s Victorian Market…the integration of historical space, music, lighting, performance and audience interaction combined to create a profoundly moving and inspiring experience.”

Review by Wales Arts Review. Read the full piece here.