Theatre in Wales

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Dramatic Year...     

Audiences totalling up to 10,000 people attended productions and other activities staged by Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru – the Welsh National Theatre Touring Company during its first year in operation. 

Productions ranged from Meic Povey’s highly charged, Yn debyg iawn i ti a fi, which dealt with the effects of schizophrenia, to William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Plas Drycin, a modern-day comedy comment on the rural housing crisis. On average they reached a capacity audience of 66% touring Wales’ main theatre venues.

“Our initial policy of taking our plays as close as possible to our audiences has been a key factor in our success,” said Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s Chairman, Lyn Jones.

“Now, one year on, we are able to plan for the future with the certain knowledge that we have a strong audience allegiance throughout Wales,” he added.

Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru employs 10 full time members of staff, including four of the company’s core team of young and enthusiastic actors. The company also has the highly talented Cefin Roberts as its full-time Artistic Director.

 Drama students and Welsh language learners also benefited as pre-performance appreciation workshops, tailored to meet their needs, were held in conjunction with the various productions.

The company is now all set for its next production. T? ar y Tywod is considered an important milestone in the development of the Welsh theatre, with dramatist, the late Gwenlyn Parry, being one of the most prolific and versatile Welsh playwrights of the twentieth century.

First staged in 1968, T? ar y Tywod and has often been compared with some of the works of world renowned dramatists such as Harold Pinter and Eugéne Ionesco.

Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s production of the play will begin its six-week tour of Wales in Mold’s Theatr Clwyd on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 21-23 of April, 2005. The other venues include Bangor’s Theatr Gwynedd (27-29 April, 2005); Carmarthen’s Lyric Theatre on Wednesday, May 4, 2005; Swansea’s Taliesin Arts Centre,  6-7 May, 2005; Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan, 13-14 May, 2005; Theatr Ardudwy Harlech, 17-18 May, 2005; and the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, 0n 26-28, May, 2005.

Plans are also being laid to present a musical later in the year based on the remarkable religious revival which swept Wales exactly a hundred years ago.

“It has taken a long time and considerable effort to realise the dream of a Welsh language national theatre, but the response we’ve received in all part of Wales over this last has clearly shown the demand is there,” added Lyn Jones.

“I am confident that the venture will grow from strength to strength and we as members of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s Management Board, as well as our accomplished team of eager actors and backstage support, will rise to the challenge,” he said.

Presently based in Llanelli Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru will move to Carmarthen when the new pupose-built arts centre in Trinity College is completed.
 
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