Pirates, cock-fighting, drunken judges; life in eighteenth century Wales was riotous and adventurous, and had its highlights and challenges: all reflected in ‘Mr Bulkeley o’r Brynddu’, a unique bilingual production touring Wales in April.
Having received great reviews and filled halls and theatres during the first tour, Cwmni Pendraw are re-touring with their own perspective on the Wales of three centuries ago.
The production is based on the diaries of William Bulkeley, an Anglesey squire. His own words are interspersed with dramatic scenes and music, portraying an authentic voice from rural Wales of a bygone age- though with twists and turns, crises and celebrations enough to resemble a modern soap opera!
Script writer and producer Wyn Bowen Harries, who also plays diarist William Bulkeley said: “When I read the Anglesey squire’s diaries, I was struck by their inherent drama, but also how they provide a fantastic record of rural life in Wales in an overlooked period of our history. As a result, this show is a little different to what you might expect, as Mr Bulkeley himself is present, writing his diaries and speaking with the audience.”
Welsh television and theatre actors, Rhodri Siôn and Manon Wilkinson are utterly believable as they move through a pageant of characters drawn from the diaries. Traditional folk musicians Stephen Rees, Huw Roberts and Gwenno Roberts bring music from the period, some of it recorded in the diaries, to life, adding another layer of authenticity to the production.
“We received such a positive response from audiences during our first tour of north Wales, that we felt we could take the production further afield and are delighted to be adding dates in south and west Wales and even London to this tour,” added Wyn Bowen Harries.
Due to the bilingual nature of the production, it should be suitable for Welsh learners. It is also suitable for an audience aged 11+.
Tour details: every showing starts at 7.30:
Saturday 16/4/16 Canolfan Ucheldre, Caergybi/Holyhead 01407 763361 ucheldre.com
Thursday 21/4/16 Theatr Y Miners, Rhydaman/Ammanford 0845 2263510 theatrausirgar.co.uk
Friday 22/4/16 Y Llwyfan Caerfyrddin/Carmarthen 01239 712934 mentergorllewinsirgar.cymru
Saturday 30/4/16 Neuadd Llanover Hall, Caerdydd/Cardiff 02920 631144