Theatre in Wales

The latest theatre, dance and performance news

Martha Drafferthys (English)     

Martha Drafferthys (English) Cwmni’r Frân Wen, the professional Theatre in Education Company for Gwynedd, Anglesey and Conwy, is currently touring its latest production ‘Martha Drafferthus’. This project is targeted at Year 0, 1 and 2 pupils across the region.

The project has been developed to coincide with the introduction of the new Foundation Phase for this age group

Gwen is a very anxious little girl. She sees the worst in every situation and nobody knows why. But one day, whilst her father reads her the story ‘Martha Drafferthus’, the main character, a cat, comes alive. Slowly, the relationship between them both develops as they come to understand and respect one another. Following a few adventures Gwen relaxes and realises that she can succeed and overcome her difficulties by trusting others.

By the use of live music, songs and puppets this production challenges the pupils to use their imagination and experience a range of feelings and emotions. Considering the experiences of others gives the pupils the opportunity to see the world in a new light.

“The company’s intention was to create a performance that would ignite the imagination and arouse the senses in order to introduce children to the skills needed to discuss and identify emotions. I was very eager to create a project that would appeal to young children on several levels – and that’s the reason behind the idea of using live music and puppets.” Iola Ynyr, Artistic Director, Cwmni’r Frân Wen

The company prides itself on the talented cast who deliver the project: Ioan Evans and Manon Wyn Williams.

Director: Iola Ynyr
Set Designer: Mari Elain Gwent
Puppet designer and maker: Owen Glynne Davies
Artist: Jac Jones
Composer and Musician: Neil Browning
Stage Manager: Steffan Cravos

‘Martha Drafferthus’ has been performed at several schools and has received a very positive response:

“The presentation in the classroom was very clear and the following performance was totally inspirational by very talented actors and musician. The combination of professional writers and actors are a fantastic resource to deal with these kind of subject matters. Children react differently to unfamiliar adults and teachers can develop the ideas further by focusing on the characters.”
Manon Dauncey Griffiths, Ysgol Llandygai

“Theatre in Education is very interesting and a totally different style to what is usually presented in the classroom. It’s great to see a Welsh medium production that deals with such relevant issues.”
Iola Jones, Ysgol Pencae

Celebrating 25 years

Cwmni’r Frân Wen is celebrating 25 years of providing high quality Theatre in Education this year. The company was established in 1984 as part of the activities of Theatr Harlech. The company was established to provide Theatre in Education projects for the schools of the old Gwynedd Local Authority. The philosophy from the beginning was to present a high quality theatrical experience to a classroom of pupils at a time, through the medium of Welsh.

The company has developed immensely since then and is now providing a fully bi-lingual Theatre in Education service. It has also expanded its artistic programme to include youth theatre projects and main stage productions and is continuously looking at ways of developing its artistic vision further.

The company receives funding from Gwynedd Council, Anglesey County Council, Conwy County Borough Council and the Arts Council of Wales

Due to the structural changes within Coleg Harlech, the company moved to its current home in the Old Primary School, Menai Bridge in July, 1995.

What else is in the pipeline?

‘C’laen’ by Iola Ynyr
Theatre in Education Project for Year 5 and 6 pupils
On tour from the 18th of May until 10th of July, 2009

Following request from several schools asking for a production dealing with the complex issue of bullying the company has decided to re-visit a successful project that toured initially back in 2001.

Manon is a very lonely person who makes everybody’s life a misery. She succeeds in persuading Iwan and Dewi to meet her at a building site with the intention of choosing one as her friend. Due to the appeal of her defiant behaviour, the two decide to meet her. The three characters long to establish a strong bond but how far will they venture to achieve this goal?

‘Y Gwylliaid, Y Bonheddwyr a’r Brain’ by Bethan Gwanas and Gai Toms
Children’s Show, Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru, Meirion, 2009

Cwmni’r Frân Wen has been commissioned to produce the children’s show at the National Eisteddfod this year and preparations are already in full swing! Bethan Gwanas and Gai Toms have been working hard for months writing the script and composing a very original and special show. I’m sure that the title ‘Y Gwylliaid, Y Bonheddwyr a’r Brain’ is enough to ignite your imagination so come to the pavilion at the Eisteddfod to see the talented young people of Meirionydd on Saturday the 1st of August.

For more information regarding locations and performance times please contact Nia Jones on 01248 715048 or via e-mail
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Monday, March 9, 2009back



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