This winter, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru will entertain children across Wales with Swyn, a wonderful, wintery bilingual tale in BSL and Welsh. Filled with charm, magic and dance, this adaptation of Krystal S Lowe’s Whimsy is directed by Rhian Blythe.
Krystal S Lowe herself stars as the titular Swyn, a young girl who goes on an adventure through nature. A familiar face to Welsh audiences as a dancer and artist, she will also coreograph the production. Two narrators will star alongside Krystal to tell Swyn’s story through BSL and the Welsh lanugage. Deaf dancer and poet Sarah Adedeji will narrate the story through BSL, and actor Aisha-May Hunte will appear as the Welsh language narrator. The cast will bring all the animals and cheeky characters from Swyn’s world to life through dance, theatre, and storytelling.
As she gets ready to bring Swyn to the stage, Krystal S Lowe says:
“Swyn has been with me for 10 years, and each and every year I have grown to love her more. It feels incredible to have the opportunity to take the next step in her journey through this wintery wonderland. I'm so thankful that Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru have treated both me and Swyn with care throughout this entire process. I can't wait for you all to adventure with her!”
Rhian Blythe leads the way as Director. As an actress, Rhian was one of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s core actors when the company was established in 2003. Recently, she has joined the company as Associate Director and this is the first production for her to direct within her new role.
An incredible creative team will bring Swyn’s magical world to life. Stella-Jane Odoemelam is designing the set and costumes, breathing life into the animals who form part of Swyn’s story and bringing the magic of winter to the stage, alongside Lighting Designer Elanor Higgins. Kizzy Crawford also joins the team, composing original music for the show.
Supporting Sarah to develop the BSL language elements of the production, we’re thrilled to welcome Steph Bailey-Scott from Taking Flight Theatre Company to the team as our BSL Advisor as well as a team of BSL interpreters: Nez Parr, Zoe Bevan, Claire Anderson, Samantha Hopkins, Rachel Jones, Simon Johanson and Hannah Wilson.
With the team in their final week of rehearsals, Rhian Blythe says:
“Discovery and play: in my eyes this is the essence of the rehearsal process. Children are masters at this, of course; pushing and questioning. What an honour it is then to have the opportunity to make theatre for these curious young minds. My hope is that the show will spark their imaginations, and challenge them to never stop playing and discovering.”
Swyn tells the story of a young girl who goes on an adventure through nature and meets different animals along the way. After the success of the original book, the first stage adaptation of Whimsy was presented in 2019, and the first bilingual stage adaptation in BSL and Welsh toured in 2022. It’s a pleasure to bring this special story to young audiences across Wales in a new wintery adaptation by Krystal S Lowe and translated to Welsh by Melangell Dolma, who has also worked with Krystal as a Dramaturg on this project.
Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru is proud to present exciting productions to children in Wales, and Artistic Director Steffan Donnelly says:
“Since reading it for the first time, Swyn’s wonderful story has captured all of our hearts – it’s an honour to present this new wintery version to young audiences across Wales with Krystal. We’re passionate about sharing new stories, and platforming voices that are not heard often enough on stage. I can’t wait for Swyn’s story to enchant children across Wales and to welcome them into Swyn’s world in this incredible show interweaving BSL and the Welsh language.”
As well as this special show for children, Krystal and Sian Elin Williams, the company’s Participation Coordinator, have been hosting dance and drama workshops in schools across Wales. Over two weeks in October, both travelled to 9 schools, bringing Swyn’s story and messages of self-love and positivity to more than 300 children.
For more information on the tour and to book your tickets, click here.
Latest news + blogs
02/12/2023 NewsEnchanting young pupils in wintery workshops
Krystal and Sian Elin spent a fortnight visiting primary schools with drama and dance workshops based on Swyn’s wonderful world.
08/11/2023 BlogThem - or us? An evergreen Rhinoceros | Mike Parker
So, sixty-four years after its debut, what should we take from a Welsh Rhinoceros?