Theatre in Wales

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Jesus!     

Jesus! Following rave reviews of performances during this year’s National Eisteddfod in Cardiff last month the controversial play Iesu! (Welsh for Jesus) is set to tour Wales’ main theatre venues starting in Bangor’s Theatr Gwynedd next week.

The play by Porthmadog’s Church in Wales Priest, Aled Jones Williams, takes a sobering look at the relevance of Christ’s sacrificial death on the Cross in today’s conflict-ridden world.

“Iesu! Is an opportunity to look afresh on this historical character and to re-define Christianity,” said the Reverend Aled Jones Williams, who has been Parish Priest in Porthmadog for the last 13 years.
“Although I wouldn’t describe Iesu! as a religious play per se it does raise a number of pertinent questions about the role of fundamentalist religions not withstanding my own especially after 9/11,” he added.

As part of his quest for answers to his questions Aled Jones Williams has put Jesus Christ in a female persona in Iesu!

“The man-created image of Jesus Christ has always been of an effeminate nature with long flowing locks of hair,” he added.
“I’ve just taken that imagery a step further to see if it’s of any significance to the audience,” he said.

Iesu! is a Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru – the Welsh National Touring Company - production and will be staged in Bangor’s Theatr Gwynedd (01248 351708) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, 11-13 September, 2008, before going on to:
· Cardigan’s Theatr Mwldan (01239 621200) on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings, 17-19 September, 2008;
· Carmarthen’s Lyric Theatre (0845 226 3508) on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings, 24-26 September, 2008;
· Mold’s Clwyd Theatr Cymru (0845 330 3565) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, 2-4 October, 2008; and
· The Aberystwyth Arts’ Centre (01970 623232) on Friday and Saturday evenings, 10-11 October, 2008.

All these performances start at 7.30pm. The play includes some strong language and scenes of a sexual nature.

“Aled Jones Williams is no stranger to courting controversial challenges in his plays and Iesu! is no exception,” said Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s Artistic Director, Cefin Roberts.
“It won’t be a comfortable theatrical experience but Aled’s plays never are,” he added.

The cast include Gareth ap Watkins, Dafydd Dafis, Dafydd Emyr, Llyr Evans, Mathew Lloyd, Sioned Wyn, Dorien Thomas, Llion Williams and Fflur Medi Owen as Jesus.
 
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