Theatre in Wales

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Clwyd Theatr Cymru - young professional actors to stage ‘Mimosa’ musical for family audience     

Clwyd Theatr Cymru - young professional actors to stage ‘Mimosa’ musical for family audience The 150th anniversary of the establishment of Y Wladfa, the Welsh settlement in Patagonia, has inspired a brand new musical tour, Mimosa* from Clwyd Theatr Cymru for Young People.


The talented, Tim Baker, Associate Artistic Director of Clwyd Theatr Cymru with Dyfan Jones as Musical Director, has created a brand new show, Mimosa, that tours Wales during May, June and July this year. Chaired bard Tudur Dylan Jones created the song lyrics.
With a cast of four young professionals performing the show, it is likely to strike a chord with families when visiting theatrical locations across Wales.

"It is amazing to think that no one has really grasped this story theatrically, the history of our enterprising Welsh ancestors take this route out of Wales, travelling 60 days on a ship from Liverpool in search of a better life in South America,” Tim Baker from Cwm in the Vale of Clwyd explains.

"It’s a magical tale, but one that is also filled with disappointment, hardship and fear. The Welsh went on a dangerous voyage on Mimosa in anticipation of reaching paradise. But once they arrived they faced this bleak infertile terrain, a desert. We can only imagine the disappointment.”

Tim and Dyfan, a prolific popular TV and theatre composer from Aberdare, have been working as a team on numerous projects in recent
years:

"I make some odd noises about the effects I'm looking for to compliment a piece of script, and Dyfan always comes up with some powerful music that suits the piece to a tee. We almost have our own language, "explains Tim.

Tim and Dyfan have previously worked with some of the Mimosa cast. Dylan Williams, has just finished performing Les Miserables in London’s West End, and previously worked at Clwyd Theatr Cymru along with Hanna Jarman, a talented singer, who worked with Tim during his period as Director of the National Youth Theatre of Wales.

Third cast member, Tom Blumberg is no stranger to the Flintshire production theatre either, he played, David, in the drama 'Somewhere in England' at the hands of director Peter Rowe at Clwyd Theatr Cymru last year. The youngest of the cast, Bethany Gwyn, has just finished at the Mountview Academy of Theatre in the Arts in London.


The four will play a number of characters during the show, including the captain of the Mimosa vessel, the leaders and families who
made the ultimate decision to leave their homes and families in Wales never to see them again. Characters include William Jones and his wife, Catherine, who together with their two daughters, aged one and three, made the journey from Bala to Patagonia.

"The cast of four are very talented," explains Dyfan Jones. "It was imperative that we cast strong singing voices, because so much of the show revolves around the music. It is an integral part of our Welsh culture, the congregational chapel singing during the period, for example.

"For the crew, the production is challenging because the show will be performed in Welsh in some theatres and English in others. But, the singing and the music is always performed in Welsh, whichever show you choose to see. It is a story about the language, the people, the indigenous Welsh culture, so we it made sense to sing in Welsh," explains Dyfan.

For Tim, the story has gripped his imagination, more so after he was commissioned by the Arts Council of Wales to travel to small countries around the world to explore the history, culture, languages, nations and the influences they had on native people’s theatrical and performance experiences.

"It is difficult to convey the experience without being in Patagonia itself. And I was lucky enough to visit in 2011. I vividly remember standing on a hill in Patagonia looking one way and seeing desert and drought, and turning the other way and seeing fertile green land. That's a sign of the Welsh community’s success, the vision they had to irrigate the land to make it productive, and secure a living for their families from the land.

"We know that, as Welsh people, we are a determined, committed bunch. And in the long run, the Welsh settlers were successful. One of the visionaries, Michael D Jones was determined to succeed where other Welshmen who had migrated to America previously, had not.

Two generations after the Welsh moved to America, they had lost their language and their culture.

"In Patagonia today, thousands continue to speak Welsh, 150 years later," said Tim Baker.

Children and pupils have the opportunity to watch and participate in Mimosa workshops during the performances. The public family shows in Welsh will begin at Galeri, Caernarfon on 28 May for two nights, before going on to the Mimosa Festival in Liverpool. Theatre Gartholwg, Pontypridd; Theatr Soar, Merthyr; Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern and Theatre Mwldan, Cardigan. Wyeside Arts Centre, Builth will see an English performance before returning to a Welsh performance at Theatr Felinfach, Ceredigion. The show then returns to Mold’s Clwyd Theatr Cymru from the 16 June until 10 July where both Welsh and English performances can be enjoyed.


Another exciting element to the production will be the collaboration** that occurs after the tour with members of the youth movement of Wales, Urdd Gobaith Cymru and young people from Patagonia. There will be 22 young people joining the cast of four professionals for a special performance at the National Eisteddfod at Meifod before taking the show and the whole cast over to Patagonia during the autumn.

Mimosa Public Tour Dates
28 May - Galeri, Caernarfon at 7.00pm - 01286 685222, www.galericaernarfon.com
29 May - Galeri, Caernarfon at 1.30pm & 7.00pm - 01286 685222, www.galericaernarfon.com
30 May – Gŵyl Mimosa, Liverpool Maritime Museum – sections of the show
3 June - Theatr Gartholwg, Pontypridd at 6.30pm - 01443 219589, www.gartholwg.org
4 June - Theatr Soar, Merthyr Tudful at 1.00pm - 01685 722176, www.theatrsoar.co.uk
9 June - Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern, Anglesey at 7.00pm - 01248 725 700, www.ysgoluwchraddbodedern.co.uk
10 June - Theatr Mwldan, Ceredigion at 1.00pm - 01239 621200, www.mwldan.co.uk
11 June – Wyeside Arts Centre, Builth Wells at 1:00pm (English performance) - 01982 552555
12 June - Theatr Felinfach, Ceredigion am 7.30pm - 01570 470697, www.theatrfelinfach.com
16 June tor 10 July - Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold (Welsh and English performances) – 0845 330 3565
 
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