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.