PRYD MAE’R HAF? | STAGE PREVIEW
Buzz was at Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre the last time Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru put a production on a stage for a live audience. Our five-star review that night opened with this sentence: “Surprisingly, coronavirus did not affect the superb turnout at the press night of Daf James’s latest Welsh-language play, Tylwyth…” We all know only too well how COVID has affected us all since, with the theatre industry hit especially hard.
Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru has really stepped up to the mark in the last 12 months in response to the pandemic – as you might expect from a national theatre company such as this. They’ve worked collaboratively with numerous organisations, launching digital initiative after digital initiative and their latest online production promises to be another triumph.
Pryd Mae’r Haf? (When’s The Summer?) is a Welsh-language take on Chloë Moss’ play Christmas Is Miles Away. Translated by Gwawr Loader, who is also company director of co-producers Criw Brwd, she says: “After a difficult year for everyone, we are thrilled to announce that there will be further opportunities to see Pryd Mae’r Haf?, our co-production with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. There was an enthusiastic and encouraging response to our opening performances at Theatr Soar and the run at The Other Room. Don’t miss the electrifying performances given by our young cast – Aron Cynan, Ella Peel and Cellan Wyn.”
Set in the south Wales valleys at the end of the 1980s, this is an online play about friendship and the hopes and fears of young people – a timely subject with the world as it is right now.
Arwel Gruffydd, Artistic Director of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, says: “With the current situation requiring us to work in different ways, I’m delighted that we are able to stage this very special production, having had to cancel the tour arranged last year, and delighted also to be collaborating again with Criw Brwd, a young company that has a clear, bold and inclusive vision. This heartwarming play puts centre stage some of the challenging experiences faced by young people in any time. Gwawr Loader’s skilful and confident adaptation not only confirms how relevant this exceptional play is to communities the length and breadth of the UK, but also showcases new Welsh theatre talent.”
Again, emphasising the need to work collaboratively in the arts in Wales during these difficult times, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and Criw Brwd will be working with 14 venues across Wales to promote this online production: Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Galeri, Pontio, Riverfront, Sherman Theatre, The Other Room, Theatr Brycheiniog, Theatr Clwyd, Theatr Hafren, Theatr Mwldan, Theatr Soar, Torch Theatre, Taliesin Arts Centre and Carmarthenshire Theatres. Each will receive a percentage of the ticket sales when purchased via the respective venue website.
Pryd Mae’r Haf?, broadcast via livestream, Thurs 13 + Fri 14 May (8pm). Pre-recorded streams are on Thurs 20 May (1.30pm, 8pm with BSL) and Fri 21 May (with English subtitles). Tickets: £10/£5. Info and booking: here
words JAMIE REES