A THEATRE troupe from Blackwood is heading to Canada to perform at an international theatre festival and to foster links with a primary school there.

Blackwood Little Theatre will be joining crews from North America, Egypt, Iran, Brazil, South Africa and other countries in taking part in Nova Scotia's  Liverpool International Theatre Festival on May 16.

The biennial competition in Liverpool will be played out in front of an audience of around 400.

Before the trip, chairman of Blackwood Little Theatre  Neil Maidman was inspired to create links between Blackwood Primary School and the John C. Wickwire Academy, a primary school in Liverpool.

Mr Maidman said: "It's about making the world a smaller place.  "We're going not only to represent Wales at an international event, we are also there to foster lasting links between our children here and the children in Canada."

Part of the plans include a live stream from Wickwire Academy to Blackwood Primary as the troupe performs there, and they spent yesterday filming the Blackwood Primary students singing Calon Lan, a Welsh hymn sung at rugby matches, and a Welsh language class.  The troupe will be performing The Godfather's Death, a play written by a member of the cast, Victor Mills.

Mr Maidman said: "We wanted to see how we can form these links, and to engage the community here and in Liverpool.  "A great way of doing so is with the children. Hopefully this will bring a long, lasting legacy."