Canrif / Century – a world premiere and a national tour

The National Youth Theatre of Wales is set to bring a brand new play to audiences in Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold and Sherman Cymru in Cardiff, with ten public performances in just eight days!

With support from the Arts Council of Wales, Canrif / Century is the result of months of research and writing by award-winning playwright, Manon Eames. The second in a trilogy of work, Canrif / Century draws upon Wales’ recent historical heritage – unlike last year’s hugely popular and successful NYTW production, Magnificent Myths of the Mabinogi, which focused on our mythological past. From an opening scene that depicts evolution as a time-traveller’s equivalent to speed-dating – from monkey to Man in the blink of an eye – this year’s production looks at some of the crucial events of the last century that have shaped and formed the world, and the Wales, in which we now live.

Canrif / Century is an emotional roller-coaster of a play that combines text with music, movement, and archive photographs and film-footage. Members of the cast assume a myriad of roles ranging from monkeys to Maggie Thatcher (four of them!), and include suffragettes, soldiers and strikers, and the scourge of parents in the 1950’s – teenagers! NYTW Music Directors, Dyfan Jones and Greg Palmer, have composed music and songs in the style of each era, and the design team has had the challenge of dressing the Company to reflect the massive changes between the 1900s and the 1960s.

Without giving away too much of the plot, the audience sees history unfold through the lives of Dai and Myfanwy – or at least four generations called Dai and Myfanwy. Their respective stories are full of humour, banter and remarkable spirit – often in the face of harrowing adversity.

The members of the Youth Theatre are aged between 16 – 21 years and are drawn from all over Wales. Over 300 young people auditioned for NYTW 2009. The Youth Theatre is managed by WJEC on behalf of the 22 unitary authorities of Wales.

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