Today, we are delighted to announce a programme of work for the week of the National Eisteddfod of Wales (1–9 August 2020) to celebrate the success of past winners of the Drama Medal competition, including a new, digital production of last year’s prize-winning play.
For the past seven years, we have been the main sponsor of the National Eisteddfod’s Pentref Drama (Drama Village), and this is the seventh consecutive year for us to produce the prize-winning play in the previous year’s Drama Medal competition as part of a special partnership with the National Eisteddfod of Wales; this year it will be produced digitally. Adar Papur (Paper Birds) by Gareth Evans Jones was the winner of the Drama Medal competition at the Conwy County National Eisteddfod in 2019, and we, in partnership with the National Eisteddfod of Wales and with support from the Gwenlyn Parry Literary Estate, have created a presentation of the play to be released during this year’s Eisteddfod week. The digital play – a hopeful work about loss, fragile mental health, and an unexpected friendship – has been created under social distancing guidelines, and it will be published on digital platforms. Adar Papur will be available to watch through Facebook Live on our page as well as that of the National Eisteddfod of Wales at 7pm on Wednesday 5 August 2020. A version with Welsh and English captions will be available on our YouTube and AM channels.
To celebrate this special partnership between us and the National Eisteddfod, we are also releasing three previous presentations as part of Theatr Gen Eto’s programme: Estron by Hefin Robinson (prize-winner in 2016), Milwr yn y Meddwl by Heiddwen Tomos (prize-winner in 2017, in a co-production with Sherman Theatre) and X by Rhydian Gwyn Lewis (prize-winner in 2018). This collection of plays will be available to view on our AM and YouTube channels from 7pm on Wednesday 29 July. Then, on Thursday 6 August at 1.30pm via the Eisteddfod’s website, there will also be an opportunity to hear the four previous winners – Gareth Evans Jones, Rhydian Gwyn Lewis, Hefin Robinson and Heiddwen Tomos – discussing their work in the company of Arwel Gruffydd, our Artistic Director.
In addition, the rom-com Bachu by Melangell Dolma – a play about love, friendship and mixed-up emotions, which was staged last year at Caffi Maes B – has already been released as part of the Theatr Gen Eto programme. Bachu is also available to view on our AM and YouTube channels. Bachu was a co-production by Melangell Dolma, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and Theatr Clwyd, with support from the National Eisteddfod of Wales and Wales Millennium Centre.
As part of the programme for the Eisteddfod’s Pentref Plant (Children’s Village), we are also pleased to work in partnership with Theatr Iolo to provide an interactive session for young children, Amser Chwarae gyda Llygoden yr Eira. With Iwan Garmon performing and Ffion Wyn Bowen directing, this is another opportunity for children to step into the magical world of Llygoden yr Eira and enjoy twenty minutes full of fun and laughter in the company of the sweet little mouse and its friend. As well as this new play session, along with Theatr Iolo we are also offering another opportunity for young children and their families to watch a recording of the production Llygoden yr Eira. This wintry adventure will be available on our AM and YouTube channels as part of the Theatr Gen Eto programme for two more weeks from 31 July 2020.
Arwel Gruffydd, our Artistic Director, said:
“This year, as it was not possible for us to present theatre activities on the traditional Eisteddfod Maes, we have turned to digital platforms and we are delighted to be able to continue to work with the Eisteddfod, albeit in a very different way. Although we will, undoubtedly, miss being able to come together for this year’s Eisteddfod, we hope that this programme of varied digital activities – which is part of AmGen’s imaginative feast – will once again be a celebration of the talents of our Welsh theatre artists, an exciting stage for their creative skills, and an accessible platform to enable them to take part in a slightly different way this time.”
Betsan Moses, Chief Executive of the National Eisteddfod of Wales, said:
“We are delighted that our relationship with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru will be developed into a virtual one at this present time. We hope that the opportunity to show some of the major productions from recent years, together with some brand new sessions, will give a new audience a taste of the theatre and that we will see more people than ever coming to see us in Theatr y Maes next year. We would like to thank Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru for their willingness to be part of Eisteddfod AmGen, and I hope that everyone will enjoy the veritable feast of theatre that will be published over the coming week.”
30 July 2020