Does anyone want to talk about theatre performed in Welsh?

Chris Ricketts, 16 September 2012

Taking part: Chris and Ryan, joined by Maeve and Richard

Viewpoints, observations and more questions; some contested, some shared:

Outside of the Theatre for Young People/Younger Audiences sector, the handful of professional companies performing work in Welsh can now be counted a few fingers.

But, there is an audience for the work.

Should we go back to grassroots activity in order to build/rebuild interest?

Next generation - Points of reference for young and emerging artists are really important, if they don't see good work in the language there isn't the same inspiration to create it.

Language is shaped by landscape.

How important is ‘bilingual’ work as an access and entry point for audiences who only speak English, or have limited Welsh knowledge?

There's a much higher proportion of Welsh speaking actors than there are other ‘theatre makers’, we need to do more to foster the interest of writers, directors and


Should we be less worried about a production process being partly/significantly in English if it means there is good theatre in Welsh for audiences to experience and enjoy?

Is this compromised when ‘the language’ of a play will always have a relationship to the language of the play? Is cultural empathy more important than linguistic ability?

There is a political choice in making Welsh the working language of a company.

Knowledge of the history of theatre in Wales has collapsed.

Work has gone back more to a language base, and with less focus on spoken language as one of the components of a play.

How much would we miss the passing of theatre performed in Welsh when there are other cultural forms that better sustain the language and culture?

Politically we can't not have Welsh language theatre, but does it have to mimic English language constructs/models so much?



Grassroots, Audience, language, bilingual, next generation, Welsh, cultural landscape, Wales, audience, grassroots