Category Archives: Theatre

Dyma Adolygiad Mags, Cwmni Pluen Gan Lowri Cynan (Review Mags, Cwmni Pluen By Lowri Cynan in the Welsh Language)

Dyma brofiad theatrig diddorol. Mae ‘Mags’, drama ddiweddaraf Cwmni Pluen, a ysgrifennwyd gan Elgan Rhys yn gynhyrchiad awr o hyd ond yn un sy’n eich gadael angen gwybod mwy. Mae’r stori yn mynd â ni ar daith y ferch ifanc o Ogledd Cymru i Lundain a nôl i’w phentref genedigol. Ond nid yw ei thaith yn un rhwydd. Mae’n profi anhapusrwydd plentyndod ac yn ffoi i chwilio am antur yn Llundain lle mae’n colli’i ffordd yn llwyr. Mae’n darganfod rhyddid peryglus dinesig, cariad dros dro a beichiogrwydd. Ond o’r holl themâu hyn, efallai mai’r un mwyaf torcalonnus yw’r ffaith ei bod yn rhy ifanc i ofalu am ei phlentyn ac yn gorfod rhoi ei merch i ffwrdd. Mae colled ar sawl lefel felly’n amlygu yn y stori hwn.

Llwyfannir y ddrama mewn gwagle addas a defnyddir symbolau yn unig i ddynodi lleoliadau. Roedd y cyfarwyddwr, Gethin Evans, wedi stwythuro hyn yn dra effeithiol gyda deunydd o garped, cadair syml a gorchudd plastig. Does dim angen mwy oherwydd mae’r actorion yn medru awgrymu’r sefyllfaoedd drwy eu gwaith corfforol. Ensemble o bump sy’n perfformio yn y cynhyrchiad – Anna ap Robert, Seren Vickers, Matteo Marfoglia, Eddy Bailhache a Casi – ac maent yn defnyddio cyfuniad o waith traethu, deialog, canu a gwaith corfforol yn dda. Roedd eiliadau hynod deimladwy gyda’r actorion yn creu delweddau emosiynol iawn gyda’u cyrff. Ond cryfder y ddrama i mi oedd y sgôr gerddorol a’r caneuon. Teimlais bod hyn yn gyfeiliant hyfryd a theimladwy i’r stori, gyda llais hudolus Casi yn serennu.
Roedd gwaith goleuo Ceri James hefyd yn creu awyrgylch addas i arddull symbolaidd y cynhyrchiad.

Er bod darnau hyfryd i’r sioe hon, roeddwn yn teimlo fy mod am wybod mwy am fywyd Mags, yn enwedig wrth ddeall ei bod dal yn hiraethu am ei babi a gollodd flynyddoedd yn ôl. Mae’r ddrama yn trafod themâu oesol fel pwysigrwydd perthyn a cholled sy’n gyffredin i bawb. Byddwn yn annog pobl ifanc yn arbennig i weld y ddrama hon er mwyn cael syniadau ynghylch arddulliau theatrig gwahanol.

Review Roots, National Dance Company Wales by Eva Marloes

Roots is an engaging, diverse, and emotional production that marries Welshness with contemporary dance and gives life to art that is accessible without compromise on quality. Roots is the biannual production by the National Dance Company that brings dance to audiences around the world and around Wales. It makes its way into venues with little technical equipment and space, in towns and villages around Wales, to bring dance to new audiences. Roots succeeds equally in introducing new audiences to dance and in delighting dance enthusiasts. 

This year’s production features four very different pieces from four choreographers at different stages in their career and artistic maturity. Écrit, choreographed and performed by Nikita Goile is an emotional dance recounting a conflictual love relationship executed beautifully. Goile, a budding choreographer, combines an elaborate work of hands, inspired by Indian Bharata Natyam dance, with her lover’s silouette behind a curtain, and a more traditional duet form. It is effective in conveying the power imbalance between the two lovers, the hurt, and the closeness. The only weakness of the piece comes from its inspiration: the letters of Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera. Although they both had other lovers, Kahlo suffered from Rivera’s numerous affairs. In Écrit, Goile’s graceful and gentle movements do not capture the intensity of Kahlo. Having suffered from polio, Kahlo had very weak legs, underwent many surgeries, and had miscarriages. Kahlo’s suffering body was the source of her art and Kahlo used her body to reinterpret her MexicanidadÉcrit is at its strongest when Kahlo is forgotten and Goile is herself. Goile conveys a nuanced fragility, which contrasts with the powerful gestures and movements of Moronfoluwa Odimayo as her dominating lover. It is effective and moving. 

The second piece, Why Are People Clapping? is also by a new choreographer, Ed Myhill. It is an entertaining and funny piece that conveys the joy of dancing to the rhythm of elaborate clapping. In contrasts with the intimate piece Écrit, Myhill’s Why Are People Clapping? plays to the audience and for the audience. It begins with a tennis match with no actual balls or rackets, conveyed by only a single clap and well-timed movement. It is all so well tuned that you can almost see the ball hit the racket. The piece includes dancers in a semicircle taking turns to do and enjoy a solo to Steve Reich’s clapping music, followed by claps that bring order and dictate action, a catwalk, and a run through as many facial expressions as possible. I would have liked the tennis players in 1970s headbands and wristbands for a replay of Borg v. McEnroe, but Clapping oozes fun anyway.  

The third piece, Codi (rise up) is by emerging choreographer Anthony Matsena, who is finding his voice in a socially and politically aware dance infused with energy. Codi takes the audience underground, into the mines of the Welsh Valleys. There is a sense of suffocation, isolation, struggle, and helplessness. The small headtorches the dancers wear around their necks are used effectively to convey the darkness of suffering, of perishing, of being forgotten. Then, they rise up. They beat wooden rods to the ground and the energy rushes through the body. There is power in being together. Together, we can rise up. When I interviewed Matsena, he told me that once you recover, you still have the past hurt with you, like a ‘stain on the shirt.’ With soot on their clothes and faces, the dancers face the audience calling for attention. The past is not forgotten; it is there to give strength and purpose. 

Roots concludes with the longer piece Rygbi. Annwyl i mi, by Fearghus Ó Conchúir, the Artistic Director of NDC Wales. Rygbi captures the passion and synergy of players and fans of the game, which ripple across the whole of society in Wales. It is the national game that takes over cities altering time, colouring the pavements with people in red shirts, and getting us stuck in traffic. Rygbi does not borrow movements from the game, it extracts the essence of rugby and gives it a new form. The piece alternates duets, ensembles, and solos to guide us through effort, injuries, fatigue, hopes, victories, and defeats. The dancers-players touch one another and in that touch is being part of a whole, something bigger than oneself, that is made of each one’s individuality. Dancers, like players, rely on one another, know what the other can do, is likely to do, the other’s weaknesses and strengths. Like players, they create together. Rygbi is elegant and strong. It is a painting and it is theatre. Ó Conchúir takes us onto the pitch with colour, movement, and music. He makes us breathe the tension of the competition, feel the strain of the muscles, and sense the elation of victory. Rygbi uses the language of dance expertly to tap into our emotions, thoughts, and ideals, and creates a moment of shared passion and commitment. 

Roots is currently on tour. More information can be found here.

Review Hela, By Mari Izzard, The Other Room, By Vic Mills

Hela (The Hunt) tells the story of a young woman (Erin’s) hunt for her missing little boy; her hunt for truth and justice and revenge and empowerment and the restitution or rescue of a Welsh culture which has been destroyed by a totalitarian, digital and male English culture.  The setting of tiny abattoir on a remote farm is very well-realised by designer Delyth Evans and Set Builder Will Goad – it feels solid and real, including its digital screens and use of technology – the modern and the ancient are convincingly blended in the tiny space of ‘The Other Room’ and that is a genuine achievement.

The play attempts to meld an array of battles into one: the Welsh culture represented by a young, rural woman with poetic sensibilities and an overwhelming sense of loss is pitted against the English culture represented by Hugh, a privileged abuser, who has himself been abused and been robbed of his own Welsh-ness by abuse (the real representative of the crushing English culture being The Circle – the dystopian algorithm which dominates life and justice); there is a gender battle; a battle for language; a battle between the small, human farmer and the megalithic, abusive system; a battle over victimhood…and on it goes.

Mari Izzard’s dystopian, bilingual piece is a challenge for performers and audiences alike.  The bi-lingualism is not part of the challenge – this is handled deftly and purposefully utilised – it feels central to the storm of ideas that whip through this short two-hander.  Any fears that this might be grant-driven lip-service to the language were quickly dispelled.

The real challenge for the performers is in realising the intensity which this bizarre and dreadful scenario demands,  The direction is not at issue here.  The space is well worked; the intensity is built and relaxed appropriately and the relationship between the two figures does build quite convincingly, given the material.  The huge challenge centres around the character and performance of he character of Erin.  We are informed repeatedly in the early moments of the play that she looks very young; she is referred to by Hugh as a ‘child’ and she intends him, initially, to believe that she is also a prisoner of ‘The Circle’.  Lowri Izzard has the unenviable task of delivering this mannered, fake naivety sufficiently to take us in, but at the same time, to give us doubts about who or what she really is.  Physically, she looks right for this – there is a kind of teenage appearance in the early sections realised through movement and expression but it is distracting, unconvincing at times and irritating.  We were meant to be unconvinced by it but even that wasn’t quite convincing.

Later in the piece, when we begin to see who she really is, Lowri Izzard delivers a strong and moving performance.  When her character wants to torture Hugh, but can’t do more than punch and tickle him, her humanity despite her dreadful situation and what has been done to her, is moving and evident.  It is only when he gets free and attacks her that she is able to commit the emasculation which is the play’s natural denouement.

Gwydion Rhys as Hugh, has much less of a challenge.  I wouldn’t have fancied the role – it looked a very physically uncomfortable one, and the character, though given something of a sympathetic back-story seems a bit thin.  He is too sympathetic a figure for too long and when his crimes are revealed they seem plot and issues driven and unconvincing in terms of the character.  He delivers a strong realisation of the role though, undoubtedly, particularly in his delivery of the movements between English and Welsh.

In retrospect, this is a thought-provoking play, but one which tried to explore too many issues, albeit hugely important ones, in a very short piece.  The later stages of the play are the strongest.  Despite looking very good, the early stages of the play, once the strong opening is over, feel contrived and don’t always hold the interest.  We sit outside the action rather than feeling riveted and drawn in.  As the play builds, and Lowri Izzard’s performance is allowed greater rein by the writing, this does draw us in to a powerful and well-played conclusion.

Review Lovecraft (Not the Sex Shop in Cardiff), Carys Eleri by Kevin Johnson

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Written and performed by Carys Eleri (‘Love Goddess’ in English) this one-woman show is like a cross between Fleabag, Eminem and Bonnie Tyler, exploring the science of love in a way that is earthy, informative and Welsh. It’s also very, very funny.

At heart it’s a monologue about the dangers of loneliness, which now has its own page on the NHS website, asking questions like do we have to have lovers we don’t love to fill that void or can friends suffice? Carys takes us through both the science behind why and how we fall in love, and also her own love life, revealing that our brain chemistry has a lot to answer for.

She intersperses the dialogue with unforgettable songs and a pretty good voice, ranging from rap to disco to heavy metal, and it’ll be a long time before I forget ‘Magic Taxi’ or ‘Tit Montage’, her ballad on a drunken lesbian threesome that probably didn’t actually happen.

There is also some audience participation about Tinder, and where we are all offered cocaine, only to discover that for logistical reasons it’s been replaced with chocolate instead. (Although it was very nice chocolate).

Lovecraft is a delightfully bawdy, funny and enlightening show that keeps you laughing throughout. The only thing I could find fault with is that the narrative is a bit all over the place at times, but that’s a minor detail.

Cerys hugged every member of the audience before the show started, and it was so much fun that after it ended, I really wanted to hug her back in gratitude!

Review Lovecraft (Not the sex shop in Cardiff) Carys Eleri by Lois Arcari

I usually like my comedy in darker shades, but if you’re looking for an irreverent comedy that’s packed with positivity and threaded with catchy musical numbers, Lovecraft (not the sex shop in Cardiff) is the perfect night out.

It all hinges on the winning charisma of Carys Eleri – a woman who wins over the audience even before the first word of her show. Introducing everyone with a genuinely warm hug, not even a cynic could be against this show as they wait for it to start. Her spoken comedy is brassy and fizzy. While there are only a few standout jokes once you leave the theatre – never to look at A&E Glangwilly the same again – her general aura of energy and enthusiasm sticks with you.

It truly is ‘something for everyone’ comedy. Using hugs and chocolate, plus general affability, Carys had the audience in the palm of her hand the whole way through. Even better, her broad range of jokes from shitty exes to loneliness and online dating meant everyone could relate to something. My personal favorite came when she described her alternative and decent ex. How he stood out in Camarthen, which ‘breeds rugby players like rabbits.’ He was:

‘‘absolutely not a rugby player. He wore eyeliner!’

I’ll always relate to that one!

Her musical numbers show a panache for parody and wordplay. While a few in the first act seemed a bit repetitive, they find their feet as more genre variation comes in. Carys luckily also gets the chance to show off her genuinely fantastic voice as the numbers progress. ‘I Brain you,’ ‘Magic Taxi’ and ‘Rat Park’ get points for the perfect balance of witty and catchy. The animation that accompanied them was basic but effective and had a few moments of great visual humour – like the unicorn’s cigarette horn.

If you’re missing Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and wish that Rachel Bloom would have swapped some Hollywood malarkey for Valleys realism, this show is for you. There are a few humourless gripes to be had – the basic science, the repetition of some musical numbers – but Carys Eleri pulls off her one woman show with charisma and bellyaching comedy.

My one big gripe was with the central conceit. This was that the neuroscience of love can be replicated with friendship and community.

While it is in itself a positive message, and it’s humbling to know such an extroverted figure as Carys experienced loneliness, it is somewhat accidentally incomplete. In the valleys or anywhere poor and hard to get to, social isolation has been the catalyst for many a horrible relationship. While her takeaway is a great message for people with good friends to stop worrying about romance, many people only do because those friends can be so hard to find.

Still, even when your physical community is desolate or disappointing, millions find community through art. And a happy, slightly tipsy, and adoring community watched Lovecraft (not the sex shop in Cardiff) that night.

Review Yes Prime Minister, David Ball Productions, Theatr Clwyd by Richard Evans

Living up to a legend?

Undoubtedly, the BBC series, Yes Minister and its sequel, Yes Prime Minister have provided us with many comic moments and fond memories.  To recreate that show on stage, doing justice to those original characters yet producing something fresh is a challenge that is met with panache in this show at Theatr Clwyd.  A combination of a great script and excellent delivery make this a thoroughly enjoyable evening’s entertainment.

While the script was at times complex and wordy, it captured the spirit of the original TV programme in a contemporary story that was easily understood and well communicated.  It struck a balance between political satire and farce that engaged the audience throughout.  

The lead actors were true to the characters portrayed in the original series yet not hidebound by them.  In fact, theybrought their own persona and comic touch to bear successfully.  Of particular note was Peter Forbes as Sir Humphrey whose handling of complex obfuscating sentences was an exercise in memory and diction that was passed with flying colours.  Paul Bradley, who for several years has played in TV series like Eastenders and Holby City was an excellent Jim Hacker, producing a comic performance naturally,combining a shambolic ingénue and streetwise politician well. I particularly liked Sarah Earnshaw as political advisor Claire Sutton, who had a confident, relaxed charm as she outfoxed the seasoned civil servants around her.

This was not a production that had me rolling in the aisles but it will live long in the memory and had many one liners that had the audience chuckling.  “We are here to serve the people, not to do what is right!’

I would recommend this play to anyone with a memory of the sitcom or who feels a frustration whenever they listen to those politicians who never know how to answer a straight question. That’s probably most of us then.  It serves as a good night out and left me with a warm, feel good factor.  A thoroughly worthwhile theatre experience.

Dyma Adolygiad Hela, The Other Room Gan Lowri Cynan. (Review Hela, The Other Room by Lowri Cynan in the Welsh Language)

Drama gyntaf Mari Izzard, enillydd gwobr Violet Burns, sef gwobr The Other Room i ddramodwyr ifanc yw ‘Hela’. Lleolir The Other Room y tu fewn i dafarn Porters yng nghanol dinas Caerdydd, a rhaid cyfaddef fod y theatr hon yn em fach, gyda’r  cwmni’n enwog am ei chynyrchiadau heriol ac arbrofol sy’n eithafu’r defnydd o’r gwagle bychan a hynny mewn amryw arddulliau. Disgwyl yr annisgwyl, dyma ddiben y theatr fach yma, ac nid yw’r ddrama hon yn eithriad.

Ffotograff gan Kirsten McTernan

Mae’n rhan o drioleg o’r enw ‘The Violence Series’, sef arlwy The Other Room ar gyfer y tymor hwn. ‘Hela’ yw’r ddrama olaf i’w llwyfannu yn y gyfres yn dilyn ‘American Nightmare’ gan Matthew Bulgo a ‘The Story’ gan Tess Berry-Hart.

Drama llawn cyfrinachau yw ‘Hela’. Mae’n agor gyda chymeriad Hugh sydd wedi’i glymu a’i gaethiwo mewn ystafell lom, dywyll. Ei herwgipiwr yw Erin, merch ifanc sy’n ymddangos yn blentynaidd ar yr wyneb ond sy’n meddu ar dueddiadau seicopathig beryglus. Mae wedi cipio’r gŵr a’i garcharu yno mewn byncer diflas. Ar y cychwyn, nid ydym yn sicr beth yw ei chymhelliant ond yn raddol drwy gyfres o gemau plentynaidd a chreulon, mae Hugh yn cael ei arteithio am resymau penodol.

Set syml ond effeithiol sydd i’r ddrama – un ystafell a drws i fyd anelwig. Mae Erin yn defnyddio’r allanfa yn achlysurol, sydd yn fodd o newid tempo’r ddrama drwy fynd a dyfod gydag offer arteithiol gwahanol. Er llymder yr ystafell, mae technoleg yn amlwg yn rheoli yn y byd dystopaidd hwn. Mae amryw sgriniau yn chwarae rôl y trydydd cymeriad, sef ‘M’, sy’n rhoi’r wybodaeth ychwanegol i ni ynghylch dwyster y sefyllfa.             

Mae’n amlwg fod gan y cymeriadau gefndiroedd cymhleth – Hugh wedi cael magwraeth anodd ac yn rhan o gylch ‘grwmio’ plant, ac Erin yn hiraethu ar ôl diflaniad ei phlentyn saith mlwydd oed. Daw’r thema o hela felly yn glir i ni’r gynulleidfa. Mae yntau wedi hela Gethin, mab saith mlwydd oed Erin, sydd nawr yn dod wyneb yn wyneb â realiti erchyll y sefyllfa.

Roedd y rhyngweithio rhwng y ddau actor, Lowri Izzard a Gwydion Rhys, yn argyhoeddi, gyda sawl eiliad o densiwn anghyfforddus. Wrth i’r stori ddatblygu, cawn ddiweddglo arswydus a threisgar gydag Erin yn dial. 

Drama ddwyieithog yw hon gydag Erin yn siarad Cymraeg a Hugh yn deall ond ychydig o’r iaith. Serch hynny, mae yntau fel ni’r gynulleidfa yn medru gweld y cyfieithu yn digwydd ar y pryd ar y sgrîn drwy gydol y ddrama. Er bod hyn yn gyfrwng diddorol sydd wedi digwydd mewn amryw gynhyrchiad arall eisoes, efallai bod sylw gormodol i’r cyfieithu ar brydiau. Efallai byddai llai o esbonio yn fwy heriol ac awgrymog ar adegau er mwyn dyfnhau’r thema. 

Gosodwyd y ddrama mewn cyfnod dystopaidd, anrhefnus gydag Erin nid yn unig yn dioddef colled ei mab ond hefyd colled enbyd ei hiaith a’i threftadaeth.  Nid thema newydd yw hon wrth gwrs, gan ein bod ar hyn o bryd yn byw mewn byd cyfryngol ac ieithyddol peryglus.  

Hoffais y deunydd o sain drwyddi draw a oedd yn creu awyrgylch annymunol a pheryglus yn ogystal â’r goleuo pŵl. Er bod hon yn ddrama anodd ei gwylio ar adegau, mae’n llwyddo i hoelio sylw’r gynulleidfa o’r dechrau i’r diwedd.    

Os gewch gyfle, ewch draw i weld ‘Hela’ yn The Other Room, ond os na chewch gyfle y tro hwn, bydd y drioleg yn mynd ar daith yn y Gwanwyn. 

Review : Some Like It Hop Hop, Zoonation, Peacock Theatre, By Hannah Goslin

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

A tale as old as time, Some Like It Hip Hop by Zoonation is a story about mistaken identity, crossed wires, love, loss and family. Taking themes from Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot and Shakespeare’s, Twelfth Night, this story is not like any other – of course, it has Zoonation’s comical, emotional and energetic style.

Verging on a cross between Street/Hip Hop dance and physical theatre, this piece sees little vocal additions to the performance except for a narrator. Emotions, actions and events are all played out physically, and this in itself is well formed, slick and smooth. The physicality looks so easy, so gentle but any one who has previously danced knows the extreme energy, the muscle and the technicality that goes into even the smallest of moves.

The character’s all do a great job of bringing the feelings into their general persona – this being reflected in their facial expressions, in every movement and the whole performance is well polished.

While I did enjoy this, and it arose a sense of longing for the days where I danced like this, it wasn’t my favourite of all the Zoonation productions I have seen. There is an essence of a similar theme with their storytelling – mostly always with a narrator, the character’s being quite stereotyped e.g. the nerdy guy who incidentally was the same nerdy guy in their Alice and Wonderland piece and it feels a little predictable when you have seen them a few times previously.

None the less, Zoonation’s pieces are always entertaining, fun, astonishing with skill and a definite good night out. If you like a little boogie after at your seats, or being very involved vocally throughout, then this is for you.

Review: On Bear Ridge, National Theatre Wales, Royal Court Theatre, By Hannah Goslin

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Set in the isolated mountains, this small cast encounter the almost apocalyptic world of a small rural town in Wales. Where everyone has left due to violence and lack of supplies, John Daniel (Rhys Ifans) and Noni (Rakie Ayola) endeavour to stay put, with their memories and their lost lives.

On Bear Ridge is a simple play, full of dialogue and not much need for anything else. There are some theatrical tricks implemented to add to the on-stage feel, and give it that National Theatre Wales (NTW) and Royal Court feel, but the main magic comes from the detailed narrative and fantastic acting.

As expected, Ifans is brilliant. With this being my second time seeing him on stage, I can already see complete differences from his role on the National Theatre Stage as a dying King, to this countryside man who is slowly losing everything. The accents are of course different, but how he holds himself, his emotions and the pure comedy he effortlessly eludes are different and brilliant. With such a big name in a production there’s more to draw upon and compare to other work, but along with the other actors, they all gel and bounce off one another effortlessly and triumphantly – creating an overall equal success on stage.

Ayola’s character fits perfectly with Ifans’s. They work well together and make the characters fit like puzzle pieces. While this feels slightly science-fiction as a narrative, yet also possible in our world, their relationship is very real, very loving and it’s clear that their character’s are meant to be as one.

On Bear Ridge is emotional, heartbreaking, wonderful and hilarious. A world that could easily be imagined, could easily be reality, we feel a part of a small family, and feel every bit of grief, every bit of happiness and every bit of love that these characters exude.

Theatre Company exports Welsh Hero

Welsh company Theatr na nÓg continue to innovate and increase awareness of Welsh Theatre! The company have just announced that they will present their original play “You Should Ask Wallace” in Indonesia.

The play tells the inspiring story of Alfred Russel Wallace, who was born in Usk and who left Wales in 1854 to document the diverse fauna, flora of the area in Indonesia now known as the Wallacea Region.

Ioan Hefin as Alfred Russel Wallace, credit Simon Gough.

The British Council has invited the award-winning Theatr na nÓg to take part in the Festival of Inspiration, Education and the Arts to celebrate the diversity of the Wallacea region. The Festival will be held in Makassar from the 22nd -28th of November 2019.

We asked the companies Artistic Director, Geinor Styles about the relevance of the work of Wallace today.

With the Welsh Government recently declaring a Climate Emergency the themes of this production seem especially relevant. What do your think Wallace might make of our Climate Emergency and organisations such as Extinct Rebellion if he was alive today?

I think he would definitely be part of Extinction Rebellion.

He was extremely aware of the impact man had on the environment, he certainly didn’t forsee the crisis we are in now. During the Industrial Revolution he was working in Neath as a surveyor for the railways , and although he had a love for nature and in particular beetles  he was conscious of the fact  that  “I was cutting up the land and beneath me a whole new universe teeming with life”.

Also whilst in Indonesia he explains that when he first discovered the King Bird of Paradise he describes it’s fate  as “should man ever reach these distant lands, we can be sure that he will disturb the balance of nature so that he will cause the disappearance, and finally extinction, of this creature.”

Paul Smith, Director of The British Council in Indonesia explained how delighted they are about the collaboration, “Here in Indonesia we are thrilled that the Welsh Wallace is returning to the Archipelago. In our Wallace Week in Sulawesi we are not just exploring biodiversity but also the cultural and ethnic diversities that Wallace encountered. Theatr na nÓg’s production will contribute greatly to the understanding and inspiration of young audiences along The Wallacea Line and we are thrilled that the company will transfer the production to local performers to ensure its own ‘sustainability’ here.

Each year Theatr na nÓg create original productions for over 5,000 young people which integrate live theatre performance with innovative creative learning resources. The organisation will be sharing their successful model of presenting theatre and education in workshops and symposiums in Makassar. The company is grateful to Wales Arts International and British Council Cymru for supporting this exciting opportunity.

Theatr na nÓg’s Artistic Director Geinor Styles said :- “It is an incredible opportunity for us to tell the Welsh story of Wallace to an area that celebrates and recognises this often forgotten scientist who co-discovered the theory of evolution with Charles Darwin, and to be here in the place where Wallace wrote the theory is inspirational.”

Styles together with actor Ioan Hefin, who originated the role of Alfred Russel Wallace, will not only perform the original play but will subsequently work with Indonesian actors and director to enable them to formulate their own version of the drama which they can continue to present to local audiences. “Our first performance of ‘You Should ask Wallace’ was in 2008. At the time I thought we were revisiting an important but forgotten historical figure. I now realise that ARW is very much a voice for today and tomorrow. He was, and still is, a visionary influence”

This terrific opportunity tops a great year for this small Neath based company where they started the year with another British Council invitation to present their hit musical “Eye of the Storm” in Hong Kong and which has just completed a UK tour captivating audiences and receiving rave reviews.