Calling budding young actors!
A massive search has been launched to find two youngsters to take over the title roles in the hit TV series, Deian a Loli, about a mischievous pair of twins with secret super powers.
Production company Cwmni Da are looking for two child actors to take over the main characters because the current duo, Gwern Jones, 11, from Llanrug, near Caernarfon, and Lowri Jarman, 12, from Llanuwchllyn, near Bala, are too long in the tooth to play the parts in the Welsh language series.
According to producer Angharad Elen, no previous acting experience is necessary.
The candidates will need to send in a video of them talking about themselves and those showing promise will be called for an audition.
The hunt was launched after a new wave of Deian a Loli mania swept across Wales.
Over the school holidays extra screenings had to be put on to accommodate the huge demand for tickets for premieres of the latest series.
More than 500 tickets for a special, extended episode at Galeri in Caernarfon were snapped up within seconds – with three additional screenings selling out within minutes.
The pattern was repeated at other venues, including the Chapter arts centre in Cardiff and at Canolfan S4C Yr Egin in Carmarthen, with the first two episodes of the latest series also being shown.
The series has also been a big hit with television industry critics.
As well as being recognised at the BAFTAs, it was shortlisted as a finalist at the prestigious 2019 New York Festivals TV & Film Awards, along with other finalists from the UK include network favourites Peaky Blinders and The Durrells.
The S4C show made by Caernarfon-based television Cwmni Da has also won a Highly Commended award at the UK Broadcast Awards where it was up against the biggest names in children’s TV, Disney Junior, CBeebies and Nick Jr.
By saying the magic word, Ribidirew! Deian and Loli are able to freeze their parents while they go off on fantastic adventures.
The first four series have already established Deian and Loli as a firm favourite with Welsh youngsters and their parents.
As the original Deian a Loli, played by Erin Gwilym and Moi Hallam, were growing up, it was decided to recast the roles for the show’s latest outing which is when Gwern and Lowri came in.
Meanwhile, real-life husband and wife Rhian Blythe and Simon Watts were drafted in as the new mum and dad.
Now, the whole process is starting over again with Cwmni Da looking for new actors for all four main characters.
Producer Angharad said: “Gwern and Lowri have been absolutely brilliant, as were their predecessors, Erin Gwilym and Moi Hallam, but the inevitable march of time means we are having to recast the roles again.
“We tried to tell them not to grow up”, joked Angharad, “but they didn’t listen – and Gwern’s voice will start breaking soon!
“The process is a bit like Dr Who regenerating with a new actor taking over the role every few years.
“We have put out a general call out for budding young actors to send in tapes of themselves telling an interesting story about themselves. We’ll also be visiting a few schools as well.
“Two years ago, we received around 300 tapes so it will all take a bit of time.
“We’ll be starting to film then in June and we expect the new Deian and Loli to be with us for two years.
“When it comes to Deian and Loli, they don’t need any previous experience of acting or anything like that.
“We’re looking for youngsters who have personality and a bit of mischief about them – probably no older than 12. Because of the rules around filming, they will have to be aged at least nine.
“We are going to be filming 10 new episodes and a special extended episode and we’ll be doing the same next year.”
For more information go to Cwmni Da’s website: www.cwmnida.cymru