Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s Estron will be touring throughout Wales in the spring, in co-operation with the National Eisteddfod of Wales and Carmarthenshire Theatres.
This mischievous and heart-rending play by Hefin Robinson won the Drama Medal at the 2016 National Eisteddfod, and was performed on stage for the first time in the Drama Hut at the 2017 Anglesey National Eisteddfod. The performances at the Drama Hut were enthusiastically received by reviewers and audiences alike.
Lowri Cooke said that the play was “one that must be experienced” and “. . . fresh and funny, causing a veritable explosion of memories in the viewer’s mind.” Hefin was nominated for the award for the Best Author in the Welsh Language at the Wales Theatre Awards 2018 for this play.
As a result of the great response to the play, we are looking forward to taking it to a wider audience on a national tour, with the same team as the one that brought it to life in 2017. Janet Aethwy will be directing a cast that includes Gareth Elis, Ceri Elen and the voice of Elin Llwyd. The cast and production team will be based at the Miners’ Theatre, Ammanford, from 3 April onwards for the rehearsal period, and we are proud to announce that this venue will also host the opening night of the tour, on 19 April, to celebrate the fact that Ammanford is Carmarthenshire’s Town of Culture 2018. There are several connections between the production and Carmarthenshire: Hefin Robinson, the author, and Gareth Elis, who plays the part of Alun, are both originally from Carmarthen, and Janet Aethwy, the Director, is from Llandeilo. And, of course, Carmarthen is also home to Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s headquarters.
Cllr. Peter Hughes-Griffiths , Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Carmarthenshire County Council said: “We welcome Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru to the Miners Theatre, Ammanford and are extremely proud to host the opening night of the tour. This certainly will boost Ammanford and marks the significance of it being Carmarthenshire’s 2018 Town of Culture.”Estron is part of Theatr Gen Creu – Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s new initiative that affirms the company’s commitment to developing new writing and nurturing new talent for Welsh-medium theatre.
Rhian A. Davies, Executive Producer of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, said: “We are delighted to be able to take this rare opportunity to tour the work that won the Drama Medal to audiences outside the Eisteddfod Maes (field). With this national tour, we are not only giving a platform once again to new writing, but also continuing to develop a new author at the start of his career. In addition, it is a privilege to be able to join in the celebrations noting Ammanford as Carmarthenshire Town of Culture 2018.”
Following the opening night, Estron will go on a national tour to various venues, including many community centres, by means of the Night Out scheme. The Arts Council of Wales’s Night Out scheme works in partnership with Local Authorities to help groups of volunteers throughout Wales to bring professional productions to community venues. The tour will visit the following: Garth Olwg Lifelong Learning Centre (Church Village, Pontypridd), Neuadd Dwyfor (Pwllheli), Stiwt Theatre (Rhosllannerchrugog, Wrexham), Theatr Bro Alaw, Ysgol Bodedern (Bodedern, Anglesey), Theatr Felinfach (Aeron Valley), Pontio (Bangor), Morlan Centre (Aberystwyth), Maenclochlog Community Hall (Pembrokeshire), Ffwrnes (Llanelli), Chapter (Cardiff), Taliesin Arts Centre (Swansea) and Galeri (Caernarfon). For full details, including dates and how to reserve tickets, please go to http://theatr.cymru/portfolio/estron-2018/
.An invitation to attend rehearsals
Several sessions of the Estron rehearsals, will be open to the public, and we cordially invite local residents to contact the company to declare an interest in attending these rehearsals. This is a great opportunity for people to have a foretaste of the production, and for the Ammanford and Carmarthenshire community and pupils and students to experience the rehearsal process of a professional company.