Children's Festival of Welsh History 2016


Gŵyl Hanes Cymru i Blant / Children’s Festival of Welsh History is a not for profit company, whose aim is to stage activities for children throughout September each year, at heritage sites all over Wales. It aims to encourage schools and the general public to learn about important characters from our past; to discover sites and buildings of interest, and to celebrate Wales’ rich history and heritage.

Around 5,000 schoolchildren across the country will attend the Children’s Festival of Welsh History which takes the form of lively, interactive one-man and one-woman shows held throughout September at heritage sites across the country. Sites for 2018 include the Copper Kingdom Museum at Amlwch; Raglan Castle; Tretower Court; Yr Ysgwrn; National Wool Museum, Drefach Felindre and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

We will be introducing some brand new shows this year, following a year long scheme in conjunction with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, Urdd Gobaith Cymru, Llenyddiaeth Cymru, National Library of Wales and Cadw, to develop 12 young writers to specifically write short plays for children. We will stage 5 of the young writers' plays this year, and will aim to stage the remaining 7 at next years' festival. Amongst the new shows, children will get the opportunity to learn about the Copper Ladies of Amlwch; Thomas Telford and his magnificent Pontcysyllte Aqueduct; Dic Penderyn; Lady Llanover and the history of the woollen industry and the incredible life of Llandinam bore industrialist, David Davies.

The Children’s Festival of Welsh History is the idea of Eleri Twynog Davies, founder and director of children’s theatre company ‘Mewn Cymeriad/In Character’:

Eleri Twynog Davies Eleri Twynog Davies

Welsh history is rich with dynamic, charismatic characters and this festival offers a wonderful opportunity to introduce those characters and more to children via lively shows which will feed the imagination. The fact that the festival is being held at historic sites linked to each character adds an extra dimension and will allow youngsters further opportunities to learn more about our history.

I’m very grateful to all the partners who have embraced the idea of a festival so warmly and am delighted so many schools have already signed up to be a part of this inaugural month-long event. I hope, in future, to develop the festival into an annual event, so that many more generations of children can learn more about their history and heritage.

The shows have been directed by actress and theatre director Janet Aethwy:

Janet Aethwy Janet Aethwy

“On the day when man told the story of his life to man, history was born.”
– Alfred de Vigny

When I started to direct the In Character shows, History – not my favourite subject in school - suddenly became alive and interesting as I started to discover and understand the stories of our forefathers. As we share the drama of these stories with children, emphasising “play” and “taking part”, history and the telling of stories of Welsh heroes is without doubt something to embrace with vigour and enthusiasm.

The Thomas Telford show was directed by Martin Thomas.

The Lady Llanover was directed by Sarah Bickerton.