Theatre in Wales

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"Y Fenyw" visits the Torch     



End of February and throughout March, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru will be touring its new stage play 'Y Fenyw Ddaeth o'r Môr' (The Lady From The Sea) by Henrik Ibsen around many of Wales' theatres. Translated into Welsh for the first time by Proffessor Menna Elfyn, this long awaited play is suitable for children of secondary school age and up.

According to the Artistic Director, Arwel Gruffydd, Ibsen explores early development in the idea of social freedom for women.
He says: 'Although people may be more familiar with A Doll's House by Ibsen, the play The Lady From The Sea is a world-wide classic that explores the idea that a woman has the right to choose her own fate, and it goes as far as to discuss divorce and how marriage can take away a person's freedom,' explains Arwel who is directing a play by Ibsen for the first time ever.'

This compelling play has strong female characters. These characters face the dilemma of choosing between an exciting life and a safe life and are they happy with the compromise?' adds Arwel who recently directed the play Blodeuwedd where another strong female character faces a similar dilemma.

Menna, who is well known to us as a poet and author, is the Director of Creative Writing at the University of Wales Trinity St David. She has published a dozen poetry books, along with novels for children, libretti for composers in Wales and the United States as well as writing plays for radio and television.

She said: 'I have very high regard for the work of Ibsen, he is one of the best and he is so innovative, so timeless and contemporary. He speaks to us today in the same way as he did two centuries ago. He's special in the way that he can create memorable characters and he truly understands the depth of human nature and brings this to the surface. His plays make us think and feel, and feel different after seeing them,' Menna explained with enthusiasm.

She added: 'Indeed, when I was translating, I did so tentatively in a way, as if Ibsen was watching over my shoulder and eavesdropping almost. I am in awe of his spirit,' laughed Menna. 'Translating a play of my own is very different to translating the work of another playwright.'

A daughter of a lighthouse keeper, the main character Elida yearns for the freedom of the sea. Though her husband is kind, she is caged by their marriage, the mountains tower above her while she floats in the stagnant water of her perfect life. A visit from a stranger changes everything. But is he really a stranger? As she comes face to face with her troubled past, she suddenly must make the ultimate decision…stay or flee?

This most exciting love story by Ibsen, directed by Arwel Gruffydd, will open in the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven mid February and will go on tour across Wales – to Aberystwyth, Mold, Cardiff and Llanelli.
 
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