Hi! I’m Ifan Gwilym Pritchard. I’m eighteen years old, and my home is at Pontrhydybont, near Holyhead, Anglesey. I’ve moved down to Carmarthen temporarily to work on the play ‘Y Tad’, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s latest production, which is a translation by Geraint Løvgreen of ‘Le Père’ (The Father) by the French author Florian Zeller.
My main job on the production of ‘Y Tad’ is to be the operator for ‘Sibrwd’, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s app that gives access to non-Welsh speakers to the company’s productions. Sibrwd has been a great success with non-Welsh speaking audiences in recent productions, including ‘Macbeth’, ‘Nansi’ and ‘Chwalfa’. I’ve also been fortunate enough to act as an assistant to Arwel Gruffydd, Director of the project. As someone who is very interested in the theatre, especially in directing, it’s an honour to be part of the artistic process, in terms of analysing the script and discussing theatrical aspects with Arwel. Seeing the play developing from day to day is extremely interesting and a very exciting experience. By this stage in the preparations, Sibrwd is taking up most of my time, but it’s also great to be welcomed back to the rehearsal room to see the latest developments.
This is my second period of work with the company, as I was also part of the production ‘Chwalfa’, Gareth Miles’s stage adaptation of the novel by T. Rowland Hughes, in which I was a member of the community cast and played the part of Llew Ifas.
As a young Welsh-speaker who has a lively interest in the field of drama and the theatre, I have great respect for Theatr Genedlaethol’s decision to extend their audiences and welcome non-Welsh speakers to watch Welsh plays, thereby breaking down the linguistic barrier – something which is, in my opinion, vital to the future of Welsh-language theatre companies.
‘Le Père’ by Florian Zeller is a very intense play. You could spend hours analysing it, discussing it, and arguing over it. As there is no definite answer to any questions that arise in the play, it asks a great deal mentally of the actors and the audience.
Having discovered this, I realised that the main challenge in presenting the Sibrwd script is to ensure that the non-Welsh speaking audience is given the same information as the Welsh speakers. Naturally, this is important with any play that has been translated but, in my opinion, it’s vital in the case of a play such as ‘Y Tad’.
In this play, once the audience grasps any sense of a particular situation or narrative, Florian Zeller demolishes it and tears it into pieces – and Geraint Løvgreen has succeeded in translating and transferring these aspects perfectly into Welsh.
As well as having a great play to work on, the welcome I’ve been given down here in Carmarthen has been very warm, and that certainly makes the work much easier. The creativity of the rehearsal room permeates through the whole building, and as a result I have developed a new appreciation of all the work that happens off the stage itself.
‘Le Père’ is also a very emotional play, and we can all identify with the storyline. As you leave the theatre at the end of the performance, you will certainly feel a great deal of appreciation and respect towards people who live with dementia on a day to day basis, and those who care for them.
Get your tickets to see Y Tad (The Father) on tour. Full details here.