Rehearsals are underway at the Torch Theatre for The Wood, the play from Owen Thomas, director and writer of the award-winning Grav, written to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.
The production will be directed by the Torch’s award-winning Artistic Director, Peter Doran (Best Director, Wales Theatre Awards 2017) and can be seen at the Torch Theatre from Tuesday 20 February to Thursday 1 March 2018, before it heads off on a tour of Wales throughout March 2018.
Peter Doran said: “I commissioned Owen to write The Wood for the centenary of the end of the First World War, I never imagined that we would end up with such a powerful, moving piece of theatre. Based on an idea by the actor Ifan Huw Dafydd, it charts an old man’s journey back to Mametz Wood to fulfil a promise he made to his best friend who lost his life alongside him in 1916. It has a wonderful poetic feel to it and set to a fabulous original underscore by James Williams, it really is one to look out for.”
Gwydion Rhys, Ifan Huw Dafydd and Peter Doran
Based on an idea by BAFTA Cymru award-winning actor Ifan Huw Dafydd, The Wood has been developed by Owen and Peter as a two-hander, performed by Ifan Huw Dafydd alongside Pembrokeshire’s Gwydion Rhys. Huw has had an extensive career on stage and television, and in 2009 won the BAFTA Cymru ‘Best Actor’ award. Gwydion has featured as a regular on various S4C and BBC Dramas including ‘Hinterland’ and ‘Craith/Hidden’. For both actors this is their first collaboration with the Torch Theatre.
“Peter wanted to mark the anniversary of the end of the war in some way and how it linked in with poetry and writing such as Sassoon and Wilfred Owen,” Owen said. “It’s quite a poetic approach and is set in a clearing in Mametz Wood in 1916 when a soldier who lost his best friend in the battle returns there to lay a ghost to rest. The Welsh involvement in the battles, of course, was very strong and when I visited the site I spent about an hour and a half just walking through the wood soaking up the atmosphere. There are still shells on the ground and Welsh flags on the trees. It’s a very haunting place and I wanted to capture that in the play as well. I hope people are moved by it, I wanted it to be a very emotional experience.”
The atmospheric, evocative set for The Wood has been designed by Sean Crowley, who has been working with the Torch Theatre for over 20 years. This will be his 53rd production for the company, following last year’s successes of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Dick Whittington.
Tickets are on sale for The Wood now and can be booked online at torchtheatre.co.uk or by calling the Torch Theatre Box Office on 01646 695267.
TORCH THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS ‘THE WOOD’
Written by Owen Thomas • Directed by Peter Doran
Based on an idea by Ifan Huw Dafydd
SHOWING FROM Tue 20 Feb – Thu 01 Mar 2018
DURATION: 75 mins (approx.), no interval
TICKETS: £15.00 | £13.00 Concession | £12.00 TLC | £11.00 Matinee | £8.50 Under 26s.
For more information and to book tickets, contact the Torch Theatre Box Office on 01646 695267 or online at torchtheatre.co.uk