Theatre in Wales

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Brassed Off, the acclaimed British film, has now been adapted into a hit stage play set in Wales, which comes to The Coal Exchange, Cardiff Bay, from Tuesday 7 to Thursday 16 June (evenings 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday matinees 2.30pm). The best of Welsh professional theatre joins with Welsh brass bands in a new stage production of this heart-warming story of pride and passion. This is the first performance of Brassed Off in Cardiff, following sold-out performances on tour in the Clwyd Theatr Cymru Mobile throughout Wales last Autumn.

Clwyd Theatr Cymru is a Welsh national performing arts company that is recognised as one of the best theatre companies in Britain. Now it joins with championship bands from South Wales - Tylorstown Band, from the Rhondda and the Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen Band (BTM) - to present Brassed Off. This superb production features ten professional actors and over twenty musicians performing live.

Any fans of the hit film starring Ewan McGregor, Tara Fitzgerald and Pete Postlethwaite will know that Brassed Off is the story of romance and determination about a tight-knit industrial community uniting to fight for its future. This adaptation, set in Wales in the early 1990s, explores a defining moment in the modern history of both the mining industry and of the country as a whole.

It_s 1994 and Tonfardre Colliery is up for closure. Things are desperate - if the pit goes then the village will die. Money is so tight that Haydn and Mandy can’t afford to feed the kids. Rita and Vera are picketing with the women to keep the pit open. Their husbands, Dai and Brian, must resign from the colliery brass band to save their dues. But how will they tell Dafydd, the Conductor, for whom music is everything? At practice, the band mirrors the general mood, playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order. Then in walks the stunning young Gloria. As Barry’s eyes light up, hope is rekindled...

Scott, the young narrator, is played by Ciaran Joyce, instantly recognisable to younger audiences as an impish wheeler-dealer with an eye for trouble from the long-running BBC children’s series The Story of Tracey Beaker. Dafydd is played by Newport-born actor John Cording. He is known to Cardiff audiences from the highly acclaimed recent Clwyd productions of Troilus and Cressida and, last season, as Scanlon in Terry Hands’ hit One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Both productions toured to The New Theatre, Cardiff in Spring 2005 and 2004 respectively.

Haydn is played by Ioan Hefin and Sandra by Pontypridd actress Maria Pride, who won the BAFTA Cymru Best Actress award in 2000 for the award-winning BBC drama Care. Branwen Gwyn, who plays Gloria, is a familiar face as a presenter of music programmes on S4C. Brassed Off is her professional stage debut.

The company also has several actors from the Clwyd company including Gwyn Vaughan Jones, Dai, whose credits include Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird, for which he received the Daily Post Best Actor Award in 2002. Lynn Hunter, playing his wife Vera, was seen with Griff Rhys Jones in the six part ITV network comedy drama Mine All Mine, written by Russell T Davies and set in Swansea.

Brassed Off will be at The Coal Exchange, Cardiff Bay, from Tuesday 7 to Thursday 16 June (evenings 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday matinees 2.30pm). The Brass Bands appearing at The Coal Exchange, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff will be:

Tuesday 7 - Saturday 11 June
Tylorstown Band Arriva Trains Wales

Monday 13 - Thursday 16 June
The Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen (BTM) Band

For press tickets, further details, photographs and interviews please contact
Anthony Timothy, Press Officer, Clwyd Theatr Cymru:
01352 701569

To book tickets please 'phone the Box Office on 0845 330 3565.

web site
Anthony Timothy
Monday, May 23, 2005back



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