In January of 2017, Theatr Felinfach staged an ambitious production of ‘Teilwng yw’r Oen’ - a rock adaptation of Handel’s Messiah at the theatre. The show combined 3 community choirs from various areas of Ceredigion - the Aeron Valley, Lampeter and Ponterwyd, professional artists and a professional music director along with members of the Ceredigion Music Service. There were also two narrators, Meleri Bronwen who has recently graduated from the Drama, Film and Television Studies degree course at Aberystwyth University and the other was the current Chief Executive of the local authority in Ceredigion, Bronwen Morgan, both of whom are recognised public speaking and National Eisteddfod competitors. The show was fronted with two well-known professional soloists Deiniol Wyn Rees, originally from New Inn, Carmarthenshire, but who’s lived in London until very recently and Non Parry Williams from the girl group ‘Eden’, and Rhys Taylor, an Aberystwyth born professional freelance musician directs the show as a whole.
Our intention was to stage 3 performances, but due to the demand for tickets we had to put on a 4th show which meant that nearly 900 people came to see the production. We hadn’t anticipated the response and acclaim that we received and no one was ready to lay the show to rest. We took that same production to the Welsh Church of Central London in October 2017.
Theatr Felinfach is well known for its innovative ideas and participatory projects. It uses the arts to celebrate culture, promoting a sense of belonging and providing a social and cultural context for the Welsh language. It promotes skills development – creative, artistic, social and bilingualism and teaches through the arts developing community confidence to question, to challenge, to encourage, to share, interpret and celebrate.
We enjoyed taking the creative energy within our communities to London, and to show what is possible when we come together. The production had the full support of the Welsh community in London. Thanks for the opportunity.