Theatre in Wales

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As many events take place around Wales and beyond to mark the 100th birthday of poet Dylan Thomas, in a black box theatre at Canolfan Arad Goch, three young actors and a lively director rehearse ‘Innocent as Strawberries’, a brand new contemporary theatre production for teenagers, based on the poet’s work...

The project dates back to 2013, when Cwmni Theatr Arad Goch were approached by the National Library Of Wales to produce an English language performance based on Dylan Thomas’s work. The aim was to produce a contemporary piece which would bring the poet’s work alive to young people in Wales today, with performances taking place at the prestigious National Library itself as well as
in secondary schools.

“I am delighted that Arad Goch is once again working with the National Library, the most important cultural institution in Wales” says Jeremy Turner, Artistic Director of Cwmni Theatr Arad Goch.

The director who has accepted the task of creating the script and developing the performance is Angharad Lee. Having worked with Arad Goch to develop work for young people in the past, Angharad admits that developing a contemporary script based on Dylan Thomas’ work is quite a challenge;

“To capture the young audience I’ve chosen three characters from Dylan Thomas’ ‘The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Dog’. Sydney, Dan and George have been a great starting point, allowing myself and the actors themselves to play and develop a fresh and physical performance that will hopefully spark the audience’s imagination, and allow them to appreciate Dylan Thomas’ work”

The cast of Innocent as Strawberries is made up of three young actors from South Wales; Chris Hoskins, Jack Quick and Morgan Thomas. It’s obvious that the boys have had a lot of fun during the first week of rehearsals...

“We’ve been playing and doing a lot of physical work that has enabled us to develop each character. I’m playing Sydney, and by now it’s obvious that he’s the cool guy, he gets all the attention from the ladies and he’s a real ‘Jack the Lad’! The audience will have a lot of laughs with ‘Sid’ “ Chris Hoskins

“Dan worships Sydney! If Sid asks him to jump off a wall or do anything stupid, he does his best to please! He does a lot of stupid things... I can relate to him!” Jack Quick

“I play George, he’s a bit of a geek who’s a budding writer and poet. Sydney and Dan are always making fun of him. I love developing the character as he’s different to the others and offers a lot of opportunities for the narrative to develop” Morgan Thomas

Thanks to the Dylan Thomas 100 fund, Innocent as Strawberries will be performed in the prestigious Gregynog Gallery at the National Library between the 10th – 14th of November, before touring to secondary schools in Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire until the 5th of December.

“It’s a pleasure working with Arad Goch to present a new and contemporary piece. The secondary school pupils who attend the performances here at The National Library are in for a treat, as it’s being performed in the gallery which is currently exhibiting a vast collection of original work by Dylan Thomas, including the original version of ‘Portarit of the Young Artist as a Dog’....the work on display is only a small part of our vast Dylan Thomas collection, hundreds of other items are kept safe and sound in the Library’s collections” Elwyn Williams, Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru.

As the second week of rehearsals gets underway at Canolfan Arad Goch, director Angharad Lee is looking forward to welcoming the young people to the performances at the National Library;

“I love libraries, they are full of treasures and I believe the audience, as well as the cast, will be totally mesmerised and inspired as they stand beside some of the great works of Dylan Thomas”
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Monday, October 27, 2014back



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