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Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon


Recent posts

When The Night Fell (part one)
April 7, 2021
Owen Thomas, who wrote the breath taking piece let us into his thoughts behind the performance and shares some stories from working with the theatre.
Punch Maughan
March 1, 2021
We caught up with Punch Maughan just before the weekend, we asked her some questions about her time at Theatr Brycheiniog and ‘found’ out what she is up to now…
Rosie and Tin's theatre interview
January 21, 2021
We have another lovely blog post for you! We would like to thank Rosie and Tin for their support, not only are they patrons of Theatr Brycheiniog but they are also regularly involved in many creative projects and classes. We asked them if they would answer some question for us and they were kind enough to give us such interesting and heartwarming responses.
Time Traveller Jo
December 8, 2020
I would lead social media posts with Meet Jo, she is part of our amazing box office team, she is currently Furloughed and spending some time in 2074 when she can, apparently everything is much better there.

When The Night Fell (part one)

Posted by velvet at 09:29 on 7 Apr 2021


This February we filmed a new short work created for the Theatr, written by local celebrated playwright Owen Thomas. Frequent visitors to Brycheiniog’s stage Gareth John Bale and Louise Collins joined the project with another local professional, Director Phil Clark, to create a wonderful performance recording (all within Covid-secure measures of course).– When The Night Fell – Owen’s vision of hope, will feature in full as part of the cultural café when we reopen. Owen’s words, and the actor’s voices fill us with optimism and we hope you enjoy the work.

We asked Theatr Brycheiniog Director, David Wilson on his thoughts behind the performance. Here is what he had to say-

“The more recent news regarding the pandemic has been encouraging, and here at TB we’ve also started to see our work return. We’re preparing to reopen the building when measures allow, and have commissioned designer Harry Pizzey to surprise and delight you all with a new environment.

We also worked with local playwright Owen Thomas on a new piece, full of thoughts about these challenging times and hope for the ways in which we might return. We were delighted to welcome professional Actors Gareth John Bale and Louise Collins, with Director Phil Clark to bring the piece to life and we cannot wait to share it with you. It was fantastic to see performance work being crafted and gave us goosebumps, we hope you will enjoy it too.

Whilst we are closed you will see short excerpts being trailed by us, please look out for them, with the full piece on proud display in the building when you visit.”

Owen Thomas, who wrote the breath taking piece let us into his thoughts behind the performance and shares some stories from working with the theatre.

Can you tell us more about the meaning behind this piece of writing? What inspired you?
I was approached by David at Theatr Brycheiniog to ask if I wanted to write a short theatre piece that reflects both the experience we have all gone through over the last 12 months, but also a piece that offers some hope. We have all been through and lost so much. I lost my Gran a couple of months ago. She was in a nursing home in Llangorse, and the staff there were incredible. But having to say goodbye to someone so special by writing a card, and to not be able to hold her hand, was something I will never forget. This piece of writing is dedicated to her, and to everyone else who has lost someone or something they hold dear in these extraordinary days. The inspiration took the form of the night. The fact that a night can be long, and it can be incredibly dark, but that morning does come, and the sun does rise. This is something we can all relate to. I think we’ve all had quite enough of the night we are currently enduring and we are all waiting patiently for the morning to break and offer us some relief.

How many times have you worked with Theatre Brycheiniog?

When I was young it was always my ambition to write for the theatre. Soon after Theatr Brycheiniog opened I rang on the off chance of getting some experience and I was kindly offered the role of trainee technician. I wasn’t an especially good technician, but I loved the experience of working there and I learnt a lot from watching the other technicians at work. Seeing the range of performances and shows coming in and out of the building was a fantastic learning experience and solidified in my mind that this was the field in which I wanted to work.

As a playwright I have been lucky enough to have my work tour nationally several times, and some of my plays including ‘Grav’ and ‘The Wood’ have played at Theatr Brycheiniog over the last few years. I always attend those performances, jumping at any chance I can to come back. This was why I agreed instantly to write this piece. It is lovely to be able to create something which marks the theatre reopening and finding a way out of this darkness. In the future it would be lovely to write a full-length piece for Theatr Brycheiniog, ideally with the local community involved. It is a very special place and needs to be protected as we move forwards.

Can you tell us about your background in the arts?

I have always written. As a kid I would write poetry for Eisteddfod competitions. I wrote my first play when I was at school. When I moved to London after university I did a playwriting course at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, which culminated in my first public performance. I was hooked. From there I cut my teeth writing for pub theatres and learning my craft. My breakthrough came with a play called ‘Richard Parker’ which did very well in Edinburgh before being invited out to Los Angeles in 2012. It won ‘Best International Show’ at the Hollywood Fringe Festival which opened other doors for me and ultimately lead to me writing ‘Grav’, a one man show about Ray Gravell. ‘Grav’ has toured several times including runs in London, New York, Edinburgh, and Washington DC. But the best moment was doing a special one-off performance for the Welsh rugby team

in the dressing room of the Principality Stadium, just before they played England in the 2019 Grand Slam campaign. That was just unforgettable.

What are your connections to the Brecon area?

I grew up on a farm in Bronllys and I went to Bronllys Primary School before moving on to Gwernyfed High School. My parents still live and work on the farm and I love getting back there when I can. I now live in Tongwynlais, just outside Cardiff, but Breconshire is where my heart is and where it always will be. I met my wife Amelia at Gwernyfed, and we have both always pressed home the beauty and importance of this very special area to our daughters.

How have you found being a creative and working in the pandemic?

Playwriting is one of the jobs best suited to lockdown. I am lucky because I have a shed at the bottom of my garden where I work, and that I had enough commissions to keep me ticking over. I have been writing monthly radio plays for RCT Theatres and I even wrote an online series called ‘Isolationship’ with my creative partner and star of ‘Grav’ and also this new piece, Gareth John Bale. There are also a few projects I am working on which will come to fruition later in the year. I was very lucky that ‘The Wood’ was recently filmed for streaming in a strict COVID-19 secure bubble. It will be out soon if people want a theatre fix in their own home.

With writing, one of the real joys is that you can lose yourself in another world, something that has been very welcome over the last year. So, if anything, I have been more productive. But I have felt enormously sympathetic to those whose jobs in our industry have been harder to sustain. I hope we return to some sort of normal over the course of the next 12 months so we can see this talented army of creative people working once more. It would be tragic if some people did not return to the industry, or if we lost the next generation of theatre talent in this country because people felt that the pandemic had made them re-evaluate their lives.

Theatre has always been a huge part of our culture.

I am confident that Theatre will rise again.

After filming was complete we caught up with director Phil Clark and asked him how it felt to be involved.

Can you tell us more about this piece, what it meant to you and how it felt to directing it?

I really like Owens’ poem for two voices. It reflects how the world is in this pandemic. A world of darkness needing light. That is similar to theatre going. We put our audience into darkness and then take them on a journey into light. I think Owens’ poem is full of hope.

How many times have you worked with Theatre Brycheiniog?

Over the years I have worked with Theatr Brycheiniog in many ways. When I was Artistic Director of The Sherman Theatre in Cardiff we regularly brought our shows to the theatre. I have also done management training sessions with the staff and the board. A few years ago I created a new production at the theatre called Follow Me by Mike Kenny. A new play performed by an actor with disability and a live musician. It toured throughout Wales.

Can you tell us about your background in the arts?

I trained at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama as an Actor/Teacher. I have an MA from Durham University and a PhD From University of South Wales. I set up and worked with Bruvvers Theatre Company in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the 1970s. I then set up Tyne Wear Youth Theatre Festival. For 6 years I was Associate Director at the Crucible Theatre Sheffield. From 1990 I was Artistic Director of the Sherman Theatre Cardiff for 15 years. For the last 12 years I have been a freelance theatre director working Internationally. I have created work throughout Britain and on Broadway NY and Sidney Opera House.

What are your connections to the Brecon area?

I am a Brecon boy born and bred. We have a family business on the High Street, Clarks Toys and Gifts. As a teenager I was a member of Brecon Little Theatre, The Westenders and the legendary Llynsafaddan Players. After living all over Britain I returned to live in Brecon in 2020.

Thank you for reading! We love that you love the theatre as much as we do… It’s an amazing place after all!

We will have interviews from both the amazing actors involved in our next post, when we ask Louise Collins & Gareth Bale on their thoughts behind the work and about their time working with Theatr Brycheiniog.

We might even have a sneak peek of the brilliant performance!

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