As the countdown begins for the National Eisteddfod of Wales, Anglesey 2017, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru are delighted to announce further details of our next production, namely Hollti by Manon Wyn Williams, that will open during Eisteddfod week.
Based on an original idea by Sarah Bickerton and Marred Glynn Jones, Hollti is a new, bold verbatim play about the rights of our communities to decide their own future. In response to plans to build a new nuclear power station on Anglesey, Hollti looks at the hopes and fears of some of the island’s residents, including the nearest neighbours to the proposed site of Wylfa Newydd, the family of Caerdegog, a working farm near Cemaes. With a script created from interviews with real-life people, the cast – including Siw Hughes, Gwyn Vaughan Jones, Dafydd Emyr, Sion Pritchard, Iwan Charles, Steffan Harri and Lowri Gwynne – bring the arguments for and against a new nuclear power station to life on the stage.
Sarah Bickerton (director of Nansi, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru) will be directing Hollti. Members of the creative team include Luned Gwawr Evans (Designer), Elanor Higgins (Lighting Designer), Gareth Brierley (Sound Designer) and Jason Lye-Phylips (Video Designer).
Sarah Bickerton said about the production:
The process of developing the original idea with Manon to become a play-script, using the exact words of those people interviewed, and thus getting to grips with this complex situation on Anglesey, has been a real eye-opener and the basis for much animated discussion! I’m looking forward immensely to working with a very talented cast and creative team to bring the words of this very special community, and this most controversial of issues, to life on the stage.
We will be presenting Hollti in Theatr Bro Alaw, Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern, next to the Anglesey National Eisteddfod field, between Tuesday 8 August and Friday 11 August (8.00 pm). The play will then be touring to the following venues in the autumn: Galeri, Caernarfon (5 + 6 October), Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan (9 + 10 October), The Lyric, Carmarthen (12 + 13 October), Aberystwyth Arts Centre (16 + 17 October), and the ATRiuM, University of South Wales, Cardiff (Tickets via Chapter) (19 + 20 October). For full details of the tour, please see our website.
Further news about other theatre events at the Eisteddfod
As well as performing Hollti near the Eisteddfod field, we will also be presenting an extensive and entertaining programme as part of the provision offered by the Pentref Drama (Drama Village), on the Eisteddfod field. The Pentref Drama will offer a variety of performances and theatrical events, giving a platform to several theatre companies and artists during the course of the week. Once again this year, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru will be sponsoring Theatr y Maes, and working in partnership with the National Eisteddfod in presenting the Cwt Drama (Drama Hut).
The Cwt Drama will provide a platform for new work currently being developed by theatre companies that include Dirty Protest and Sherman Theatre, and will also offer an opportunity for people of all ages to take part in activities such as voice workshops with Welsh National Opera. In addition, we can enjoy a variety of performances and presentations delivered by companies and artists such as Spectacle Theatre, Mair Tomos Ifans, Theatr Bwci Bo, Invertigo Theatre Company and a host of others. From Monday until Friday evening at 6.00 pm in the Cwt Drama, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, in partnership with the National Eisteddfod of Wales, will present Estron by Hefin Robinson – the play that won the Drama Medal prize at the Monmouthshire and District National Eisteddfod, 2016. This will be an alternative and contemporary production, taking us into the world of Alun – a young man who is trying to deal with recent devastating events in his personal life and beyond, and who seeks solace from a visitor from another world. Janet Aethwy (director of La Primera Cena, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru in partnership with the National Eisteddfod, Montgomery and the Marches National Eisteddfod, 2015) will direct the production.
Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru will also be working with other professional theatre companies and arts centres to create a varied programme of activities in Caffi’r Theatrau, the colourful and welcoming café that is a haven on the Eisteddfod field for those interested in theatre and dance, and who wish to know more about theatre activities during the Eisteddfod week and throughout the year. The full timetable of activities at Caffi’r Theatrau will be confirmed soon.
Arwel Gruffydd, Artistic Director of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, said:
“We are extremely pleased that the cast of Hollti includes some very familiar names, and some not so familiar, with several of them being natives of Anglesey! Manon Wyn Williams, who also hails from Anglesey, is one of our most brilliant new playwrights – she has twice won both the Drama Medal at the National Urdd Eisteddfod and the Drama Association of Wales’ Welsh-language Script Award. Hollti is a new, important play that grapples with one of the hottest issues of our time in a fresh, honest and innovative way. Once again this year, it will be a busy Eisteddfod for us as a company, as we’ll be working with the Eisteddfod itself and with the drama sector in Wales to provide a prominent and valuable platform for new talent and young artists at the start of their careers, side by side with seasoned practitioners. The programme of work this year at the Cwt Drama and beyond is a reflection of the wealth of activity happening in the field of professional Welsh-language theatre throughout the year, and we are extremely glad of the opportunity to provide a shop window on the Eisteddfod field to showcase the talent and hard work of these artists and companies”.