Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and Sherman Theatre have been working with choirs from across Wales to take part in the world premiere production of Tylwyth by Daf James, which will open at Sherman Theatre (10–13 March) before touring to seven theatres across Wales (17 March – 4 April).
Directed by Arwel Gruffydd,Tylwyth is a witty and compelling new play that reunites the much-loved characters from the award-winning Llwyth, ten years on from that Welsh-language cultural phenomenon. Taking an irreverent look at love, family and friendship, it is a provocative commentary on contemporary Welsh life, following a group of gay friends living in Cardiff.
Like Llwyth, music is a hugely important element of Tylwyth. Music – traditional, contemporary and completely original – is at the heart of this major new play which, like its predecessor, recognises Wales’s incomparable choral tradition with the inclusion of a choir live on stage. For Tylwyth, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and Sherman Theatre have invited choirs across the nation to perform in the play.
The choirs performing in Tylwyth are Côr Aelwyd JMJ in Caernarfon and Bangor, Corlan in Aberystwyth and Cardigan, Côr Seingar in Llanelli, Côr y Pentan in Newtown and Mold and Côr CF1 alongside students from Trinity St David’s and young people from ABC (Academi Berfformio Caerdydd/The Cardiff Performance Academy) in Cardiff.
Each choir will appear on stage and sing arrangements of Welsh choral classics. The arrangements have been specially created by the play’s writer Daf James, who is also Music Director and has composed original music for the show.
Daf James is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, composer, performer and Sherman Theatre Writer in Residence. Llwyth – Daf’s first full-length play – established him as one of the most exciting dramatists working in Wales. Over the past few weeks, Daf has been travelling around Wales to rehearse with each of the choirs in advance of the performances.
Daf James said: “The choirs' contribution to Llwyth [Tribe] was a crucial part of the play's success. Their appearances on stages across Wales and beyond grounded the show within an extended community, beautifully signifying that what we share transcends our differences. The score was a 'mash-up' of cultures, bringing together LGBTQ+ and Welsh anthems in harmony. Tylwyth [Family] echoes and develops this gesture. It's been thrilling and humbling to reconnect with these fantastic choirs again ten years on, as well as welcoming new choirs into the tribe!”