Young writers to present the Industrial Revolution to generations of children. June 2 2017
Today, at the Urdd Eisteddfod Penybont ar Ogwr, Taf ac Elai, in partnership with the Urdd; National Library of Wales; Literature Wales; Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and Cadw, we are pleaed to announce the names of 12 young writers who will take up the challenge of writing a series of short plays for children to be staged at next years’ Children’s Festival of Welsh History.
In September 2018, the Children’s Festival of Welsh History hopes to present 12 different shows all representing different aspects of the Industrial Revolution in Wales, from copper at Parys Mountain, to the coal, tin and wool industries and the iron works of Merthyr Tydfil and Blaenavon. The project will also feature the contributions of individuals such as David Davies Llandinam, who next year we will celebrate 200 years since his birth, along with themes of poverty and protest which dominated the period.
All the shows will be staged at heritage sites relating to the character, story and industry, and we will work in close partnership with heritage bodies such as Cadw and the National Museum of Wales.
During the next few months, the young writers will receive training organised and supported by the project’s partners. This will include a day’s training at the National Library of Wales on research techniques; a residential course on Writing for Children at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre , and a day’s workshop at Y Llwyfan, the home of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, on the transition of script to stage.
Historian Dr Elin jones, who is advising the Festival on this project, comments:
“Wales was the first industrialised country in the world. But how did this happen in a small and poor country ? The history of enterprising and colourful individuals such as Thomas Williams from Anglesey, David Davies Llandinam and Amy Dillwyn of Swansea provides part of the answer. The history of protesters such as Merthyr’s Dic Penderyn and Newport’s John Frost may offer an alternative solution. What effect did this all have on the ordinary people of Wales ? This project offers an opportunity for young writers to discover answers for some of these questions– and more, I’m sure. Then, actors from the Children’s Festival of Welsh History will be able to present their short plays to children today, giving them an opportunity to learn an ask even more questions! Here we have an exciting and enterprising project which will bring history to life.”
Double winner of the Chair competition at the Urdd National Eisteddfod . Gwynfor is originally from Tonyrefail and is currently studying Spanish and German at Cambridge University. He’s an enthusiastic writer who has won many prizes over the years for scripts, short stories and poetry.
Iestyn comes from Llannerch y Medd, Anglesey. He works as a drama tutor and part time actor. Last year, Iestyn won the main theatrical prize at the Urdd Eisteddfod, Gwobr Goffa Llew.
Elan Grug Muse
Elan was raised in Dyffryn Nantlle, and is now a research student at Swansea University. She won the Chair at the Urdd Eisteddfod at Pembrokeshire 2013, and she has very recently published her first collection of poetry with publisher Barddas.
Sion Emyr is a young actor, originally from Penisarwaun, who now lives in London. He graduated from the Mountview Academy of Theatre and Arts and is currently starring in a one man show on the life of First World War hero Hedd Wyn.
Sian Elin Williams
Sian Elin is from Llanybydder, near Lampeter. She is a student at Aberystwyth University, studying Drama and Theatre studies, and is currently on a sabbatical work scheme with the Urdd working with young people.
Lois Llywelyn Williams
Lois, who is originally from Morfa Nefyn, is currently a student at Jesus College Oxford. She was the recipient of the Drama Medal at the Urdd Eisteddfod Flintshire 2016.
Mared, who is originally from Llandysul, is on her final year at Cardiff University studying French and Spanish. She won the Crown competition for poetry two years running at the Intercollege Eisteddfod.
Mirain Alaw Jones
Mirain , who is originally from Llanelli, studied script writing and Children’s Literature as part of her Welsh degree from Cardiff University. In 2016, she was chosen as one of 5 young writers to write a play for Fran Wen Theatre company, and the work was staged as part of an evening of Script to Stage at Galeri Theatre.
Mari Elen Jones
Mari Elen Jones comes from Cwm y Glo, Gwynedd. She has written many scripts and has seen her work performed on many occassions. She has never written specifically for children and as a young mother, is looking forward to creating a piece of work her young child can appreciate and enjoy.
Ceris Mair James
Ceris comes originally from Newcastle Emlyn, and is a teacher at Ysgol y Strade, Llanelli. In October 2015, Ceris published her first book for children with Gomer press – Nefoedd yr Adar.
Mared Llywelyn Williams
Mared, from Pwllheli, studied a Theatre in Education module as part of her degree from Aberystwyth University. Mared won the Drama medal at this years’ Eisteddfod at Bridgend.
Arddun Rhiannon Arwel
Arddun, from Dinas near Caernarfon, has just completed her second year studying Welsh at the University of Bangor. Last year, she took part in a project organised by BBC Wales and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru which led to her writing a drama for radio.