The Catholic Parish of St Swithun Wells

SWAG - ST Swithun Wells Acting Group

Contact - Joanna / 07437 440299/ after Mass on most Sundays at St Eds…..I can be found with the choir!

Join The Angels - Dec 2017

“What do you get if you combine Facebook, Twitter and Youtube?” was the gag that formed the basis of SWAG’s rendition of Our Lord’s Nativity in “Join the Angels” on December 22nd 2017. A group of 21 young people formed cast and crew in St Edwards Theatre for a night and presented this well told story in a unique and engaging way showing respect for this unique event with a balance of humour and creativity

How did they do this? Well, God wanted more than the story to be told and he said he wanted something new and different. The angels were way ahead of him and with Jesus’ encouragement; they had anticipated a need for responding to change. Headed up by the geeky and somewhat bonkers Chief Angel in Charge (aka CAIC), they persuaded the Liturgy Committee in Heaven to think outside of the box, or “laterally” as Mary coaxed, and permitted the young angels to illustrate how they might re tell the same story we all think we know so well. But do we? Do we think about Mary’s journey to her destination in Bethlehem both physically and emotionally? Do we consider how frightened she might have been? The angels did and showed the assembled audience how she was nearly there, how she needed to continue to trust in God, how her prayers and our prayers would be answered When we listen to the story of the baby being born in a stable, do we understand with a renewed form of enlightenment what this means? The angels helped us to do this with use of mime and repetitive actions to illustrate how amazed the shepherds were, how joyful the angels were, how God had sent his Son down to earth to be our King. From moving and poignant images to foot tapping and energised celebrating, the angels presented an alternative way to listen to this true story.

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DISIPLE - June 2017

……..have done it again! In their second performance as a group, they overcame lack of rehearsing due to other commitments coming together literally ON the day of the performance. They overcame the obstacles of working in a Church and not a real theatre by using the space well and the facilities to their advantage AND they all had an immense amount of FUN.

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THE GIFT - December 2016

It all began with an idea to give something back as an adult in my Parish Community to our Youth….something fun, engaging, Faith based and something to tap into the things the Youth like to do. So, we put on a production of a Modern Nativity called “the Gift” ….called this because much of the music came from Graham Kendrick’s album called “the Gift” (he wrote Shine Jesus Shine) and also because all involved had gifts to bring to the table. We had actors, dancers, singers, comedians, artists and technical know-how all within a group of 12 young people who came together, shared ideas, worked as a team, joined in by participating on stage and off stage, multi tasked when the need arose and had a lot of fun producing a funny but emotive story of The Nativity of Our Lord.

The story was brought into the 21st century and whilst the foundations of the well told Nativity were not changed, the performance acknowledged the place of women in our society. Also, it acknowledged that both Mary and Joseph were young and unsure of what was to happen but that they were willing to trust in God, and demonstrated that the shepherds really didn’t know where to go and also had to trust in God and then ended with a huge celebration to honour this momentous and extraordinary event that took place all those years ago.

SWAG delivered this all in the form of a “musical” in which our star prop was a Vespa Scooter……or a 21st Century Donkey!! Each child had input into the direction of their characters and had a huge amount of fun during the dancing numbers and more amusing parts of the story. They chose the name SWAG for their group and the logo was designed by one of them and I have to say it’s brilliant! What might be difficult to see at the bottom of the logo are the words “God’s Crew” which is exactly what we all are. In short, they loved the whole experience which involved lots of hard work and their commitment and willingness to participate brought them huge rewards when it came to performing “the Gift” for their parents and many other parishioners, some from outside of the Parish. On top of all of this, they raised over £700 for CAFOD. Truly Amazing.

I am now looking to build on this and take this excellent Virgin Flight of SWAG into 2017 with a new project and would welcome anyone who would like to be involved aged 11/16. (secondary school only). The next performance is going to be just as exciting and will need lots of enthusiastic participants whether that happens to be on stage or off stage. We are looking to put on the performance during the May Half Term with rehearsals beginning at the start of April. BEFORE that starts, there will be some SWAG Workshops….which will involve Drama related games.


Joanna Azavedo-Parker
Email :
Tel: 07437 440299


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