Category Archives: Theatre

A response to Casgliad 2018 – Nurturing Youth Arts in Wales By Beth Clark

I am going to explore with you the invaluable discoveries and perspective gained from participating in the YANC event held at the Wales Millennium Centre over last weekend.

Firstly, a massive thank you to YANC and Get the Chance for the opportunity to be part of this event. Ground breaking engagements are being made by YANC with a diverse scope of arts practitioners and young people of today pushing boundaries in delivering up to date masterclasses, whilst providing and facilitating the relaxed and required networking opportunities. I loved the fact that YANC seemed to be almost inclusively driven by what the Youth want out of these sorts of occasions, with lots of brain storming and idea throwing activities around.

As soon as, I walked in, I was greeted by Sarah  Jones, YANC network’s Chair and artistic director for Mess Up the Mess. Sarah kindly told me exactly what was going on and where. A welcome pack was provided in English and Welsh, this included the days schedule where you would choose what masterclasses you wanted to attend which was also sent by email prior, a feedback pull-out, a substantial list of delegates names, company and their email was provided (invaluable data!), when your wish to pursue contact with people that you have met. This handy touch further enables the networking continuing process, after the event, something that is sometimes missed at previous events similar to YANC’s.

The types of delegate in attendance

There were various freelancer’s in attendance, dramaturgs’ and performers’ from many companies and practitioners, many having toured throughout the UK, ladies from SPARC theatre and Valley Kids, Various personnel from Mess up the Mess Theatre, tutors from CAVC and RCT, Flossy and Bo, Opera Sonic, Rawfest, Ethnic minorities and youth support, Team Wales (EYST), Narbeth Youth Theatre, Wales Millennium Centre, 20 stories High, Circus practitioners, Theatre Na nOg, Jukebox collective, Young Identity, Common Wealth theatre, and Paper trail.

I especially enjoyed my chats with a young man called EZ Rah, a Cardiff based Mike Controller, who has recently won an award for his contribution in attendance at Jason Camilleri’s Radio Platform held at the Millennium Centre and that was launched last year. It was also good to see, such a myriad of people from all over Wales and even outside of Wales enjoying and interacting creatively.

Masterclasses

Young Identity

Young Identity is Led by outstanding facilitators, versatile poets and established spoken word performers. Shirley A May @thegirldreams is one of the founders of Young Identity, someone who I found talks deeply from the heart.

It was herself, her daughter, practitioner and spoken word artist Nicole May and Reece Williams, an artist development advocate and one of BBC1 Extras Words First Finalists, that delivered to the group.

The session starts with interactive word, action and mind play. “Hulla hulla Dance, Dance – Hoop, Dance. It was extremely interactive with competitions from the offset. After all that dancing about and whilst our adrenaline was pumping, they asked us to talk about our life stories. They used their own life experiences to encourage people talk about theirs. “Today I was feeling” and you were then asked to write for 5 minutes about this. Some were spoken aloud, then significant sentences were drawn out, through a thought provoking process they taught. “Cloudy with a chance of rain” and, “I often get nervous around people, but I love them”, were proudly spoken by others. Many other practical skills and ways of creating structured poems in the conventional and un-conventional ways were explored and I ended up coming away feeling I could literally carry on with the process they taught and explore the whole concept a lot more having been in attendance.

Shirley May talked about visiting Picasso’s house in Malaga and the journey that Picasso took to get to the end art product and breaking form. She said Art; whether, it’s in written form or whether its structured to everyone’s approval or not, it is about developing but not discarding the old forms and the characterized elements like rhyme, line length, and metrical pattern.

Young Identity encouraged participants to always read; whatever that may be. To push yourself to overcome barriers, stance and with practice how, power can come through your body. The no disclaimer policy whereby you are not allowed to say anything to support or condemn your own words before talking. This is great because it encourages equal levels when delivering this art form. Another thought concept noted, “Is it even a poem, if we cannot hear you speak it?” Reece Williams told us that we could click our fingers also known as snapping, instead of clapping our appraisals and that this is becoming more and more popular in today’s culture.

Young Identity is part of the Frankfurt International school, but sadly has had their funding cut recently from the government. For me an absolute shame, as the work they are doing as like YANC and Common Wealth Theatre needs to be done.

Common Wealth Theatre

Common Wealth make site-specific and award-winning theatre events that encompass electronic sound, new writing, visual design and verbatim. Their work is political and contemporary – based in the present day – the here and now. Described by Lyn Gardner from the Guardian, “a company that bursts open our consciousness”, a statement, I wholly agree with.

Facilitating this event was the absolute amazing Rhiannon White. Rhiannon is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Common Wealth and a Cardiff local. I received an outstanding energy from Rhiannon and the depth of her work is liberating. This part of the day is where I felt I was intensively challenged positively, enforcing collectiveness and the freedom of individual thought. Rhiannon did this well, by firstly asking us to speak to people and tell them random things about yourself, what we are most proud of etc. Before I knew it there was fully grown and smaller humans of all walks of life, dancing around imitating Body Builders, their Fathers after a few, and people in-love.!

It was hilarious, but a respected art form at the same time. Jumping back into the thought pool you were asked to write down three things to do with each thought induced subject. The subjective answers of individuals were then placed into a centred bundle, we talked about these, using different forms of expression, whether voice, movement or complete silence. The range of ways that you could respond in felt like art in present and was moving, emotional and sometimes philosophical.

Rhiannon talked about her projects, what she feels about theatre and how we can all be a part of it. WOW is a festival that celebrates the achievements of woman and girls, also looking at the obstacles woman face across the world. They are holding think in sessions and big public planning meetings starting Wednesday 2nd May at Butetown community centre and around Cardiff at various locations over the period of four days. I would highly recommend attending one of these sessions, which are open to everyone, woman, men, girls and boys.

Last but not least

The YANC Meeting

The very important YANC meeting took place, minutes were provided and accounts. Why did this happen at the networking event? I was thinking this at first then it come to me. If you are going to buy a membership and invest in this group, then surely you would want to know where the money is going? It was a brilliant way of demonstrating just how much work and support is provided. Also, how most of the work done is voluntary, reflecting just how much this group wants to help the youth sector.   There is to be a lot of role swapping and the inclusion of new people this year which is hoped to bring for new and exciting projects. YANC will be supporting RawFfest this year and planning more Casgliad events.

Overview

I need to be honest and give you how I saw attending this event from my very personal view. I had been looking forward to this event for weeks, but I suffer with acute anxiety. My anxiety stopped me from attending the first day as I hadn’t been to this sort of event for some time, I felt I was totally out of the loop, but with help from the fantastic Guy O’Donnell, I attended Sunday and I am elated from the experience. My barriers were instantly broken down, I was enjoying myself, learning, laughing, meeting new people and wondering why the heck I was scared to go in the first place. So, If you are reading this and you too, have anxiety, about these sorts of events, then get in touch with YANC because these meetings are so inclusive, down to earth and real in approach you will worry about nothing and instead be in one creative bubble to the next. They also offer support and membership through email and social media interaction and one to one meets if necessary as well as these fabulous events.

Beth Clark

An interview with Cathryn Haulwen McShane

Hi Cathryn, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your practice?

I’ve been a practicing BSL/English interpreter for over 12 years. I am also a fluent Welsh speaker and have over the years been asked to do occasional BSL/Welsh interpreting assignments. Generally the majority of my assignments are in workplace, health, and legal settings. Last year I did my first full play which was a Welsh language production. I really enjoyed the intellectual challenge it posed and so was interested when the producers of Estron, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru approached me regarding a BSL interpretation.

Estron is a production in the Welsh Language. There is a BSL interpreted performance at Chapter Arts Centre on Wed 16 May at 7:00pm What response have you had from the Deaf community about your BSL provision?

We have only just started advertising, but I am aware that three Deaf people have already secured tickets. I have posted the BSL advert on social media and have had a lot of positive comments, and good luck messages! Generally the feedback I get is that Deaf audiences prefer BSL interpretation to captioning. In this instance captioning would be inaccessible to the majority of Deaf BSL users having had very limited opportunities and exposure to learn Welsh.

Get the Chance works to support a diverse range of members of the public to access cultural provision Are you aware of any barriers to equality and diversity for either Welsh or Wales based artists?

As mentioned previously, generally Deaf children do not have the same access to Welsh in education and therefore experience barriers to learning Welsh and to accessing the rich cultural offerings of their national heritage.

If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?

Wow! Big question. Improving accessibility has to be high on the list. Making the arts more inclusive, but also I am passionate about participatory art forms and making these accessible to all.

What excites you about the arts in Wales?

We have so much fresh talent – and such a rich cultural heritage – we need to promote both.

What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

As an audience member – Taking Flight’s family show addressing issues of mental health – ‘You’ve Got Dragons’ showcasing two young Deaf actors and their pioneering work in striving for accessibility for all.

As an interpreter – Rhodri Miles’ ‘Sieloc’ – one man show in the medium of Welsh, a play about Shakespeare’s character Shylock and a social history of the Jewish community. Originally in English, the play has been translated into several languages, and it was a privilege to work alongside Rhodri to render his Welsh translation into BSL.

 

 

Review: Northern Ballet’s Jane Eyre, New Theatre Cardiff

It’s always a treat when the Northern Ballet comes to Cardiff, and it’s been a privilege to indulge in the artistry of their past productions that include the lovely likes of  Cleopatra, to Beauty and the Beast, and Casanova. But their production of Jane Eyre, currently on its UK tour, is an utterly breath-taking feast for the eyes, ears and emotions that simply must be seen.

Based on the classic novel by Charlotte Brontë, the ballet follows the traumatic, and eventually triumphant tale, of our titular heroine as she navigates a wearying world of romance, mystery, drama and deceit. The story has been retold time and time again across a myriad of mediums, so what could possibly set this version apart?

My question was answered as soon as curtain rose. Cathy Marston has choreographed and conceptualised this show to perfection, delicately maintaining an admirable faithfulness to the source material whilst developing a distinct, innovative edge to the newest telling of this transcendent tale, from imaginative staging to exciting choreography. (The most striking scene for me was when a row of headstones glided into view, from which ghostly figures emerged to taunt a young Jane as she visited her parents’ grave – such Gothic touches had me giddy with glee). Every single dancer – principal, soloist and ensemble alike – brought their A game, from the joyously carefree Adela to the sternly solemn St John and the sadistic Mrs Reed, but I have to shout out to the particular performers who carried the singular burden of portraying their exceptionally complex, flawed and iconic characters with seeming ease and natural elegance.

Our titular heroine is always tricky to adapt from the page to the visual medium due to the fact that she is largely introspective;  though wildly passionate within, Jane’s emotions are often compressed and concealed behind a calm, collected facade. Ayami Miyata is completely heartbreaking as a young Jane, expressing both her overwhelming despair and her iron will in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds and corrupt authority figures. Because of this we understand how Jane became the person she is in adulthood, with each emotional scar and every sorrow-honed trait being beautifully portrayed by Abigail Prudames. As Jane forges her own identity through torment and toil, Prudames encapsulates the character’s growing sense of self, strength and independence with every expressive movement.

Jane’s love, Edward Rochester, is also troublesome to translate because he is, in technical terms, what we literary folk like to refer to as a ‘hot mess’. But Mlindi Kulashe was more than equal to the task, inhabiting both of these elements of Rochester’s personality with effortless grace, and completely embodying the character from the moment he strode onto the stage. Thorny and thoughtful, alluring and angsty, Kulashe’s painstakingly detailed performance conveyed every gamut of Rochester’s being from his swaggering imperiousness to his surprising tenderness, and his chemistry with Prudames is palpable. Every stage of their relationship feels simultaneously real and magical, from tentative interest and aching frustration, to its beautiful fulfilment and the inevitable fallout. Their intricate, instinctive and incredible performances anchor the entire show, and their dances were the standout moments in a production positively brimming with gorgeous choreography.

As ballet is a dialogue-free medium, it’s down a heady mix of the dancers’ expressive movements and the skill of the orchestra to convey the high, complex emotions of the story being told. Live music has no equal in this regard, and Philip Feeney’s sumptuous, near-supernatural score, performed live by the incredible Northern Ballet Sinfonia supplanted the need for dialogue and beautifully complemented the action taking place onstage. Similarly, lighting is largely a thankless task, because it’s only generally noticed if it’s very good or very bad. Thankfully this ballet boasts the former, with the wonderfully expressive lighting enhancing the nuance of emotions at play and complementing the dancing and music in lieu of words.

And because a doubles PhD researcher gotta double, allow me to enthuse about how deftly themes of duality, also inherent in the text, were woven into this production. After the prologue, in which a traumatised, wandering Jane is found and cared for by St John Rivers and his sisters, Jane looks melancholically into the middle distance as her younger self appears on stage; we know it is her because the adult Jane mimics her past self’s movements as if in a mirror, or a memory. Later, when Jane finds herself in the direst of straits, she sees her young self again, a memory that mocks and offers no comfort, merely a reminder of her misfortunes. The scariest, most unsettling moment occurs when Bertha, Jane’s foil and spectral double, duplicates Jane’s movements as if she is indeed her shadow, demonically illuminated behind a curtain as the fire she started burns behind them.

Mariana Rodrigues gives a cunning, characterful performance as the first Mrs Rochester, and she and Mlindi Kulashe wonderfully convey the characters’ strange, spiky history. Happily, then, that Bertha has a more active, present role than her book counterpart, literally haunting the characters as a living spectre, a revenant in a red dress. In a daring, active change from the book, this version of Bertha breaks out of the attic to crash the wedding, giving her more agency and expression than her novel counterpart. At one point, Rochester and Bertha resemble Gone with the Wind’s Rhett and Scarlett down to the clothes and the burning background, though their interpersonal connection is even more tangled and twisted than Margaret Mitchell’s selfish star-crossed lovers.

Themes of mental health, present in the original text, are also deeply entrenched in this version, perhaps most notably through Bertha, who’s often crudely and cruelly referred to as ‘the madwoman in the attic’. Bertha acts as a lens through which to analyse the period’s struggle to understand issues of mental health issues  (something which, along with the postcolonial context, is explored further by Jean Rhys’ ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’). Jane is periodically plagued by physical manifestations of her inner maladies, in the form of grey-clad dancers who pull and poke and prod at her. Are they spectres of Jane’s past, an externalisation of her depression? Perhaps they insidious angels, or vindictive demons? At first I wondered if they personified the windswept moors, the Gothic landscapes that so inspired the Brontë sisters. But above all I viewed them as the cruel hands of fate, dragging Jane inexorably from one unfortunate event to the next in her sorrow-saturated life.

At the end, Jane extricates herself from Rochester’s loving arms, but she isn’t leaving him; in fact, she has bound herself completely to him and he to her. Instead, her ending the play standing alone and apart embodies the notion that this is Jane’s story. She has found a purposeful, fulfilling life as well as a partner and an equal – possessing both the independence and companionship she has long craved, and proving without doubt that those things are not mutually exclusive. I did miss some iconic scenes from the book, such as Jane and Rochester’s dramatic anti-meet cute in the forest, and the burning of the wedding dress; though both would be tricky to recreate, and also proved unnecessary in an already packed production thatfully captured the soul of the story.

Haunting, harrowing yet hopeful, Jane Eyre’s story remains as relevant to us now as it ever did. Northern Ballet’s adaptation weds faithfulness with innovation in an enchanting adaptation of a timeless story that will linger long after the final curtain.

FAT FRIENDS THE MUSICAL

(4 / 5)

Fat Friends The Musical brings fun, laughter, hopes, dreams and a range of talented voices to the stage of the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.

Originally written for the small screen, Fat Friends effortlessly transfers to a stage musical with a timeless story of love and romance, centered around the all consuming trials and tribulations of diet goals, body image and the search for true love.

Created by the talented Kay Mellor, the characters of Kelly, Kevin, Betty, Fergus, Lauren, Val, Paul and Alan are brought to life once more and this time with song.

All Mellor’s characters are larger than life in every way and the hilarious story-line is both engaging and true to life. Far too often people put their lives on hold whilst they try to achieve their goals in dealing with weight and body image. Mellor shows us that this is a fruitless exercise and that life is for the living and quite often what you seek is indeed right under your nose, you just have to open your eyes and look.

Nick Lloyd Webber’s original music score partnered with Mellor’s lyrics give the characters voices to match the entertaining story-line. The powerful vocal performances add to the larger than life characters feel so familiar.

Jodie Prenger gives a credible performance as Kelly and her energy on stage is breathtaking. Kelly’s intervention in her mother’s television interview is the funniest thing I think I have ever seen. All the things we would like to say and do but society and convention prevent us. “Let it go!” However, be aware there are always consequences as Kelly discovers.

Sam Bailey plays Kelly’s mother, Betty, a seasoned dieter and a long standing member of the slimming club. She is married to Fergus and is very much the mother figure of the group taking Alan in hand over his diet whilst his wife is away.

There is also a hillarious fantasy scene which brought the house down. Feel assured that this really is a musical where you felt that the cast are enjoying the experience as much as the audience.

Natalie Anderson and Jonathan Halliwell are delightful as they portray Slimming Club leader, Lauren and Vicar, Paul. It is hard to watch as they struggle to overcome their lack of confidence, self-esteem and awkwardness. Their duets are wonderful and their chemistry believable, nevertheless you can feel the audience willing them to take the next step forward without looking back despite their social and cultural differences.

The Set and Costume Design is by the awarding winning designer, Bretta Gerecke and is outstanding. Centered around a row of buildings the exterior and interior of the dress shop is realistic and charming. Nick Richings lighting design is a triumph both with the neon foreground on the buildings but also bringing them to life. The clever use of the lighting in the background on the sky-line added atmosphere for both day and night.

The whole cast, including the talented ensemble of wonderful voices, gave a high impact, fast moving and hillarious night.

During the closing number ‘Love who you are’ it didn’t take much encouragement from the cast to raise the audience to their feet to join them in celebrating this triumph of a musical.

This is a musical to see in the company of friends, large or small, young or old, married or single. You will enjoy a entertaining time packed with fun and laughter, a guaranteed night to remember.

An interview with Janet Aethwy, Director of Estron, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru

Estron Rehearsals, Janet Aethwy (Cyfarwyddwr / Director). Images: Kirsten McTernan Photography & Design

Hi Janet, great to meet you. Can you give our readers some background information on yourself, please?

Hi Guy – I’m an actress and director. I can be seen sometimes on the Welsh soap opera Pobol y Cwm playing the role of a local detective. I’ve been acting for nearly forty years, but in the past five years I have turned to directing. I am a voice director for Welsh versions of animated series for S4C as well as a director for several one-person history plays for schools.

So what got you interested in Directing and the Arts?

In 2013 I attended a directing course with Elen Bowman of Living Pictures, which provided me with valuable tools and opportunities. I took part in several workshops ranging from Meisner and Frantic Assembly to writing sessions with Mike Bartlett and Sacha Wares. The creative process is integral to any vibrant society and developing the ideas of playwrights and staging their work enables me to contribute in that function.

A new initiative for Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru is Theatr Gen Creu which will support talent, develop theatre craft and offer unique opportunities to artists in Wales. One strand of this new initiative is support for new directors. Why do you feel this new initiative is important?

As a beneficiary of an innovative directing course myself, I fully endorse any support given to fledgling directors.

Ceri Elen (Han), Janet Aethwy (Cyfarwyddwr / Director). Images: Kirsten McTernan Photography & Design

Estron was previously brought to life in 2017 at the National Eisteddfod. Will this new production differ in any way?

As we have been given the opportunity to take the work around Wales, the production is not intrinsically different but it has evolved, developed and matured.

Playwright Hefin Robinson won the Drama Medal at the 2016 National Eisteddfod for Estron. As someone who has a personal relationship with this work, what do you think caught the judges’ eyes? 

Hefin’s writing is playful, imaginative and original. He confronts a difficult truth with a light, humorous touch. He deals with the subject of death and loss, but only as part of the continuum of life. His message is both positive and uplifting.

The production will have a BSL performance. Can you please tell us more about this, and why you feel it is an important part of your offer for audiences? 

Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru are committed to making their productions accessible, and providing a BSL performance is part of that commitment. They want their productions to reach as wide an audience as possible, and they seek to remove barriers that may prevent people from attending. They are working with industry specialists – Cathryn McShane as the BSL interpreter and Jonny Cotsen as their advisor – to ensure that the BSL performance meets the needs of the audience.

Get the Chance works to support a diverse range of members of the public to access cultural provision. Are you aware of any barriers to equality and diversity for either Welsh or Wales-based artists? 

We welcome the opportunity to extend our work to as broad an audience as possible. The theatre should reflect society in all its diversity.

If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales, what would this be and why?

I would like to see more funding for local musical/art/drama events in our communities. Supporting live events promotes small town businesses and engenders a sense of well-being to all those involved.

What excites you about the arts in Wales? 

The Welsh arts scene is an incubator for young talent as well as a stage for established and well-versed world class performers.

What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

Recently, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Tudur Owen – a well-established comedian from Anglesey – at The Miners’ Theatre, Ammanford. I now hope that you will enjoy your visit to the same theatre to see Estron – directed by another Angleseyarian.

Many thanks for your time.

Estron is on tour 19 April – 19 May 2018 Y Daith / The Tour: Theatr y Glowyr, Rhydaman / Miners’ Theatre, Ammanford: 19 + 20.4.18 Canolfan Garth Olwg / Garth Olwg Centre: 24.4.18 Neuadd Dwyfor, Pwllheli: 26.4.18 Y Stiwt, Rhosllannerchrugog: 1.5.18 Theatr Bro Alaw, Bodedern: 3.5.18 Theatr Felinfach: 5.5.18 Pontio, Bangor: 8.5.18 Canolfan Morlan, Aberystwyth: 9.5.18 Neuadd Gymunedol Maenclochog Community Hall: 11.5.18 Ffwrnes, Llanelli: 12.5.18 Chapter, Caerdydd / Cardiff: 14-16.5.18 Canolfan y Celfyddydau Taliesin Arts Centre, Abertawe / Swansea: 17.5.18 Galeri, Caernarfon: 19.5.18

 

Cyfweliad gyda cyfarwyddwr Estron Janet Aethwy Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru

Ymarferion Estron, Janet Aethwy (Cyfarwyddwr / Director).  Kirsten McTernan Photography & Design.

Shwmai, Janet, mae’n dda cwrdd â chi. Allwch chi ddweud tipyn wrth ein darllenwyr am eich cefndir, os gwelwch chi’n dda?

Shwmai, Guy – dwi’n actor ac yn gyfarwyddwr sydd i’w gweld o bryd i’w gilydd ar yr opera sebon Pobol y Cwm, yn chwarae rhan ditectif lleol. Dwi wedi bod yn actio ers bron i ddeugain mlynedd, ond yn y bum mlynedd ddiwethaf dwi wedi troi at gyfarwyddo. Dwi’n gyfarwyddwr llais ar gyfresi animeiddiedig ar gyfer S4C ac yn gyfarwyddwr nifer o ddramâu un-person ar thema hanesyddol i’w perfformio mewn ysgolion.

Beth ysgogodd chi i gymryd diddordeb mewn Cyfarwyddo ac yn y Celfyddydau?

Yn 2013 cefais gyfle i fynd ar gwrs cyfarwyddo gydag Elen Bowman o’r cwmni Living Pictures, a rhoddodd hynny nifer o sgiliau a chyfleoedd gwerthfawr i mi. Cymerais ran mewn sawl gweithdy, yn amrywio o Meisner a Frantic Assembly i sesiynau sgrifennu gyda Mike Bartlett a Sacha Wares. Mae’r broses greadigol yn rhan annatod o unrhyw gymdeithas ffyniannus, ac mae datblygu sgiliau dramodwyr a llwyfannu eu gwaith yn fy ngalluogi i gyfrannu i’r swyddogaeth honno.

Un o gynlluniau newydd Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru yw Theatr Gen Creu, a fydd yn cefnogi talent, yn datblygu crefft y theatr, ac yn cynnig cyfleoedd unigryw i artistiaid yng Nghymru. Un elfen o’r fenter newydd hon yw darparu cefnogaeth i gyfarwyddwyr newydd. Pam, yn eich barn chi, mae’r fenter yn un bwysig?

Fel un sydd wedi cael budd fy hun o ddilyn cwrs arloesol ar gyfarwyddo, dwi’n llwyr gefnogi unrhyw gymorth sy’n cael ei roi i egin-gyfarwyddwyr.

Cafodd Estron ei llwyfannu’n wreiddiol yn Eisteddfod Genedlaethol 2017. Fydd y cynhyrchiad hwn yn wahanol mewn unrhyw ffordd?

Gan ein bod wedi cael y cyfle hwn i deithio’r gwaith o amgylch Cymru, dydi’r cynhyrchiad yn ei hanfod ddim yn wahanol, ond mae o wedi esblygu, datblygu ac aeddfedu.

Enillodd y dramodydd, Hefin Robinson, y Fedal Ddrama am Estron yn Eisteddfod Genedlaethol 2016. Fel rhywun a chanddi gysylltiad personol â’r gwaith hwn, beth yn eich barn chi oedd wedi apelio at y beirniaid?

Mae gwaith Hefin yn chwareus, yn llawn dychymyg, ac yn wreiddiol. Mae’n mynd i’r afael â gwirionedd anodd gyda chyffyrddiad ysgafn, doniol. Er ei fod yn delio â marwolaeth a cholled, mae’n gwneud hynny fel rhan o gontinwwm bywyd. Mae ei neges yn bositif ac yn ddyrchafol.

Ceri Elen (Han), Janet Aethwy (Cyfarwyddwr / Director). Kirsten McTernan Photography & Design

Bydd y cynhyrchiad yn cynnwys perfformiad mewn Iaith Arwyddion (BSL). Allwch chi ddweud rhagor wrthym am hyn, a pham eich bod o’r farn ei bod yn rhan bwysig o’r hyn rydych yn ei gynnig i gynulleidfaoedd? 

Mae Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru wedi ymrwymo i wneud eu cynyrchiadau’n hygyrch, ac mae darparu perfformiad BSL yn rhan o’r ymrwymiad hwnnw. Mae’r cwmni’n awyddus i sicrhau bod eu cynyrchiadau’n cyrraedd cynulleidfa mor eang â phosib, ac yn ceisio chwalu rhwystrau a allai atal pobl rhag mynychu. Maen nhw’n gweithio gydag arbenigwyr yn y maes – Cathryn McShane fel Dehonglydd Iaith Arwyddion Prydain (BSL) a Jonny Cotsen fel ymgynghorydd – i sicrhau bod y perfformiad arbennig hwn yn cwrdd ag anghenion y gynulleidfa.

Mae Get the Chance yn gweithio i gefnogi ystod eang o aelodau’r cyhoedd i’w galluogi i gael mynediad i ddarpariaeth ddiwylliannol. Ydych chi’n ymwybodol o unrhyw rwystrau i gydraddoldeb ac amrywiaeth sy’n bodoli yng nghyd-destun artistiaid Cymreig neu rai sydd wedi’u lleoli yng Nghymru? 

Rydyn ni’n croesawu’r cyfle i ymestyn ein gwaith i gynulleidfa mor eang ag sy’n bosib. Dylai’r theatr adlewyrchu cymdeithas yn ei holl amrywiaeth.

Pe byddech chi’n gallu ariannu un maes celfyddydol yng Nghymru, pa faes fyddai hwnnw a pham?

Hoffwn weld mwy o gefnogaeth ariannol ar gyfer digwyddiadau cerddoriaeth/celf/drama lleol yn ein cymunedau. Mae cefnogi digwyddiadau byw yn hyrwyddo busnesau bychan mewn trefi ac yn ysgogi teimladau llesol ym mhob un sy’n cymryd rhan.

Beth sy’n eich cyffroi chi ynghylch y celfyddydau yng Nghymru? 

Mae maes y celfyddydau yng Nghymru’n feithrinfa ar gyfer talent ifanc yn ogystal ag yn llwyfan ar gyfer perfformwyr profiadol a hyddysg o safon uchel.

Beth oedd yr un digwyddiad arbennig y gwnaethoch chi ei fwynhau’n ddiweddar, y byddech yn hoffi ei rannu gyda’n darllenwyr?

Yn ddiweddar, cefais bleser mawr yn gwylio Tudur Owen – comedïwr adnabyddus o sir Fôn – yn Theatr y Glowyr, Rhydaman. Dwi’n mawr obeithio y byddwch chithau’n mwynhau eich ymweliad i’r un theatr i weld Estron – sy’n cael ei chyfarwyddo gan Fonwysyn arall.

Diolch yn fawr i chi am eich amser.

Ar daith 19 Ebrill – 19 Mai 2018 On tour 19 April – 19 May 2018 Y Daith / The Tour: Theatr y Glowyr, Rhydaman / Miners’ Theatre, Ammanford: 19 + 20.4.18 Canolfan Garth Olwg / Garth Olwg Centre: 24.4.18 Neuadd Dwyfor, Pwllheli: 26.4.18 Y Stiwt, Rhosllannerchrugog: 1.5.18 Theatr Bro Alaw, Bodedern: 3.5.18 Theatr Felinfach: 5.5.18 Pontio, Bangor: 8.5.18 Canolfan Morlan, Aberystwyth: 9.5.18 Neuadd Gymunedol Maenclochog Community Hall: 11.5.18 Ffwrnes, Llanelli: 12.5.18 Chapter, Caerdydd / Cardiff: 14-16.5.18 Canolfan y Celfyddydau Taliesin Arts Centre, Abertawe / Swansea: 17.5.18 Galeri, Caernarfon: 19.5.18