Indoor theatre returns to Wales with play about working-class martyr Dic Penderyn
Live indoor theatre will be returning to Wales with a play that tells the tragic story of Dic Penderyn.
The staging of the play at Port Talbot’s Princess Royal Theatre will be the first indoor performance in Wales since pandemic restrictions were imposed.
The community-led project, Iniquity (Camwedd), has been written and directed by local actor Stuart Broad and tells the story of Richard Lewis, nicknamed ‘Dic Penderyn’.
Richard Lewis was a 23-year-old miner who became involved in the Merthyr Rising – an 1831 protest in which workers took control of the town.
Lewis was accused of having stabbed a soldier in the thigh and sentenced to death despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence.
After each performance, the audience will be invited to sign a petition that calls for Dic Penderyn to be granted a posthumous state pardon.
Speaking to ITV Wales, Stuart Broad said: “Richard Lewis, who became known as Dic Penderyn, was a scapegoat.
“He was a father, husband and just an Honest Joe – a working man who was executed on the 13th of August, 1831.”
Permission to stage the play was granted after the theatre received a ‘See it Safely’ accreditation and will feature a socially distanced seating plan.
Special arrangements are being made so that audience members do not need to move directly past other groups when entering or exiting.
Stuart added: “The arts have suffered immeasurably recently and we’ve been hearing a lot about ‘It’s coming home’ over the past two weeks.
“I know that it’s three hours down the road and we have devolved laws but there were 60,000 people at Wembley Stadium, hugging and kissing – no masks.
“So it’s about time we started promoting the arts.”
The play’s title comes from the last words that Richard Lewis said before he was executed, ‘O Arglwydd, dyma gamwedd’ (’Oh Lord, here is iniquity’).
Iniquity (Camwedd) runs from Tuesday 27th to Saturday 31st July at Port Talbot’s Princess Royal Theatre.
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Welsh singer/songwriter Martyn Joseph has written an excellent song about the tragedy of Dic Penderyn.
Good News, lets hope that it can be taken on tour throughout Wales. It has been so long since the likes of Hi Jinx Theatre came to the rescue of stranded audiences across the Country (No funding for the arts for years up here). I believe Theatr Ardudwy opens with a performance next month too…a couple of shoots growing amongst the ruins. Is it being streamed ? Chin up you thespians
Should we not as a nation still be seeking a pardon for Dic Penderyn?! This completely innocent man was the victim of dishonesty and corruption at the heart of power. No change there so let’s pursue justice for Dic Penderyn. May it fan the flames for self-determination.
There was a government petition running earlier in the year but it is now closed. However there is another one which was being signed in the theatre last night – sadly I did not sign it because I thought that it was the one which I had previously signed on-line.
“How to Win Against History” opened 10th June at Theatr Clwyd and has been followed by other productions. South Wales has been the last part of Wales and England to perform.
This is an interesting play and very well performed but sadly I don’t think it will be performed very often as unless there is a great deal more editing of the script it was far too long. The actors all spoke very clearly, but rather too slowly and the scene changes were also rather slow. Additionally, the programme states that it is the “True” history of Dic Penderyn, but then inside there are 2 pages of information about historic facts and the use of poetic licence in writing the play with details of why they have / haven’t used certain… Read more »