Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru is delighted to announce that Anfamol, a new play by Rhiannon Boyle, will be touring Wales this autumn.
The play will open at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, at the end of September, followed by a tour of another seven theatres during October. Following on from the open-air tour of Gwlad yr Asyn in August, this will be the first play since the beginning of the pandemic for Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru to tour to indoor venues.
Anfamol is a new, tender and mischievous play about Ani – a highly successful lawyer who decides to use a sperm bank to have a baby. She thinks this might be what’s needed to reunite her complicated, and sometimes dysfunctional, family. But when the pandemic strikes, Ani’s life grinds to a halt. As a new, single parent, she’s suddenly confined to her home with a baby who cries constantly. Being a mother isn’t what she expected at all. Why did no-one warn her?
Anfamol, a one woman show, will be presented by Bethan Ellis Owen, who is a familiar face as Ffion in Pobol y Cwm. Bethan was also a member of the cast of Nyrsys produced by Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru in 2018. With Sara Lloyd as director, this will be the first play by the playwright Rhiannon Boyle to be presented professionally in Welsh. Rhiannon was BBC Cymru and National Theatre Wales’s first resident author in 2019, and her first play for radio, Safe from Harm, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 earlier this year.
The creative team also includes Amy Jane Cook as Set and Costume Designer, Katy Morison as Lighting Designer, Tayla-Leigh Payne and Niamh O’Donnell as Composers and Sound Designers, Deborah Light as Movement Director, and Juliette Manon Lewis as Assistant Director. Gwawr Loader will be Bethan Ellis Owen’s understudy.
Rhiannon Boyle, author of Anfamol, said:
“I wrote Anfamol after hearing of someone who used a sperm bank to have a baby, and I was full of admiration for her. This, and my experience as a new mother when I had my own children – as well as thinking of new mothers during the pandemic – inspired me to write this play. People rarely mention how difficult the first few days after having a baby are – we’re familiar with the perfect photos that appear on social media, but the loneliness that comes from being home with your new baby is something that I, and every mother I know, can identify with. In addition to this, mothers have had to cope with problems that have arisen in the wake of the Covid crisis, during which studies have shown that working mothers have been under greater pressure, with their careers being affected. I believe that it is an age-old story that needs to be heard and acknowledged.”
Arwel Gruffydd, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s Artistic Director, said:
“We as a company are delighted that, at last, we are preparing for a national tour to many of our theatres after an extremely challenging period for the theatre industry and live events in general. It will be a pleasure for us to open this production at the Sherman before touring to theatres across Wales that are very familiar to us as a company. We are looking forward eagerly to welcoming our audiences back to the theatre once more after such a long period away. It has also been a pleasure to work with Rhiannon Boyle for the first time. This is a play with so much to say about being a parent, being single, being a woman in today’s society, and about living through one of the most challenging periods we’ve ever known. When I first read the play, I was often in tears – one moment laughing out loud and the next overcome with emotion. This play is a confident, exhilarating work by one of our most exciting contemporary playwrights.”
Sibrwd – Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s language access app – will be available to guide the audience through the story using text on a phone screen and a voice in the ear, however fluent they may be in the Welsh language. The company has recently launched a new and updated version of the app.
Performances with British Sign Language (BSL) will be on the 30 September at Sherman Theatre, Cardiff and 21 October at Galeri, Caernarfon.
Anfamol will be presented by Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru in collaboration with Sherman Theatre.
Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
29.09.21 – 02.10.21
BSL performance on 30 September
shermantheatre.co.uk / 029 2064 6900
Aberystwyth Arts Centre
05 + 06.10.21
aberystwythartscentre.co.uk / 01970 62 32 32
08 + 09.10.21
pontio.co.uk / 01248 382828
Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan
mwldan.co.uk / 01239 621200
theatrausirgar.co.uk / 0345 2263510
Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea
taliesinartscentre.co.uk / 01792 602060
Y Stiwt, Rhosllanerchrugog
stiwt.com / 01978 841300
21 + 22.10.21
BSL performance on 21 October.
galericaernarfon.com / 01286 685222