News 10/06/2022

Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru thrilled to return to this year's National Eisteddfod

Shot of a woman on a stage set. She has short brown hair, and the top is plaited. She is wearing a grey waistcoat with a grey top underneath, and tight grey trousers. In the background we can see the top of a wooden chair, colourful bunting. In the corner of the image in the background, we can see a man with a guitar stood underneath a canopy. There is also a microphone near his mouth, and he has a keyboard in front of him.

After much anticipation, the Eisteddfod is finally back this year and will be held in Tregaron in Ceredigion. Theatr Gen is really looking forward to being part of the festival, and has something for everyone. We are proud to support Theatr y Maes this year and will be presenting a production, interesting talks and more.  

Gwlad yr Asyn was originally presented in summer 2021, as a co-production between Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and Os Nad Nawr. Playwright Wyn Mason, co-founder of Os Nad Nawr, hails from Ceredigion and is looking forward to sharing this pleasant production in his home county.  

"I’m delighted that the play will finally be staged at the National Eisteddfod in Tregaron: that was the original plan. It's the perfect setting for the story, not far from Aberystwyth, where donkeys provide rides along the beach, and within sight of the Pumlumon hills, where they would like to escape! I'm looking forward to seeing how the staging of the play at Theatr y Maes, an indoor venue, will change the feel of the show, compared to last summer's outdoor performances." 

The play is directed by Steffan Donnelly, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru's new Artistic Director. This will be his first production in his new role, and he is looking forward to working once again with actor Gwenllian Higginson (Merched Caerdydd, Macbeth, Enid a Lucy, 35 Diwrnod) and composers and musicians Sam Humphreys and Bethan Rhiannon, from renowned folk band Calan. Steffan said; 

'Welcoming audiences back for the first time since the start of the pandemic with Gwlad yr Asyn in 2021 was a thrilling experience. I'm so glad there’s another opportunity to see this play as part of all the activity of the Eisteddfod. Experience a feast of live electro-folk music, an hour of imaginative and humorous allegorical storytelling, and Gwenllian Higginson's magical performance.' 

There will also be an opportunity to hear more from Steffan during a question and answer session at Theatr y Maes where he will discuss his role as Director of Gwlad yr Asyn and his new role as Artistic Director at Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. The discussion will take place at 3.15pm on 3 August.  

On Thursday 4 August at three o'clock, there will be a reading of a selection of scenes from Gareth Evans-Jones' – winning play of the Drama Medal competition at the 2021 Eisteddfod. Come to enjoy the first reading of excerpts of this  play in conversation with the playwright and the team.  

As well as the presentations, there will also be an opportunity to be part of a ‘Parents and the Theatre’ talk, following the initial ‘Mothers and the Theatre’ discussion held online in November 2021, where Dr Rhiannon Mair talked to parents about the challenges they face when working in theatre and the arts in Wales. During the discussion at the Eisteddfod, she will look at the wider role of the parent/carer/guardian when working in the theatre, and the accessibility of attending the theatre as a family. Everyone is welcome to come to listen or to take part in the conversation. We will be providing a creative workshop to entertain the children at the same time, and both will take place at Theatr y Maes. 

Angharad Jones Leefe, Executive Director of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, said, "It’s a pleasure to announce Theatr Gen's activities at the Eisteddfod this year. We are delighted to be able to bring the production of Gwlad yr Asyn to the Maes following the warm response from last year's audience, and to provide a range of other activities. We are looking forward to get together again on the maes, and to welcome new friends and audiences. Theatr Gen is also proud to support Theatr y Maes by providing staff and equipment, ensuring a home and a diverse theatre offering as part of all the activity of the Eisteddfod in Tregaron.