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Merched Caerdydd / Nos Sadwrn o Hyd

“A welsh-language double bill”

Wales’ capital city connects the plays in this Welsh-language double bill from Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. While Merched Caerdydd (Cardiff Girls) and Nos Sadwrn o Hyd (Saturday Night Forever) explore universal themes, the characters in them are pure Cardiff.

Playwrights Roger Williams and Catrin Dafydd both write vibrant, naturalistic dialogue that taps into the city’s diversity and bilingualism.

Williams’ Nos Sadwrn o Hyd has the edge over Dafydd’s play. First performed in English in 1998, it’s a harrowing tale of gay love that still feels current. In this new Welsh translation by Williams, his damning of societal attitudes towards homosexuality gains a lyricism not present in previous English productions. It’s anchored by a riveting performance by Sion Ifan as Lee – 50 minutes in his company fly by.

Dafydd’s new play Merched Caerdydd doesn’t afford its actors the same opportunity. It follows three women making difficult choices at a pivotal stage in their lives. However, there’s not enough time to become invested in the characters. The scenes are broken up by well-choreographed movement and there’s a pulsating score by Dyfan Jones, but these only serve as a distraction from the under-developed narratives.

Cardiff is the central character in both pieces. A minimalistic set design from Heledd Rees recalls the city at night and lighting designer Elanor Higgins does a superb job, filling door-shaped spaces with dazzling neon light. Like the people in these stories and the city as a whole, it is at once glamorous and murky.

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Production Details
Production nameMerched Caerdydd / Nos Sadwrn o Hyd
VenueTheatr Clwyd
StartsMarch 13, 2019
EndsMarch 15, 2019, then touring until April 13
Running time2hrs 15mins
AuthorCatrin Dafydd, Roger Williams
DirectorAled Pedrick, Mared Swain
Movement directorJess Williams
Set designerHeledd Rees
Lighting designerElanor Higgins
Sound designerDyfan Jones
CastEmmy Stonelake, Gwenllian Higginson, Hanna Jarman, Sion Ifan
Stage managerFfen Evans, Gareth Hughes, Lisa Briddon
ProducerTheatr Genedlaethol Cymru
VerdictTheatr Genedlaethol Cymru presents a varied Welsh-language double bill of plays set in Cardiff
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