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Watch: Stage choir’s stunning version of Calon Lân

06 Dec 2023 3 minute read
The miners choir from The Corn Is Green perform Calon Lân (Credit: National Theatre)

If you were to write a list of most beautiful Welsh songs it’s very likely that Calon Lân would be amongst your choices.

The traditional Welsh song has been firm favourite of male voice choirs and audiences worldwide.

It also featured in a production of the Emlyn Williams’ play The Corn Is Green, staged at the National Theatre in London last year and now available to rent via National Theatre Home.

The Welsh writer’s 1938 play has been described as a ‘kind of Billy Elliot of the Valleys’. It’s an old-fashioned but hugely entertaining and affecting story of a Welsh miner’s son who escapes his class-bound home town with the help of a bold schoolteacher – proving that one person can make all the difference.

Miss Lily Moffat arrives in rural North Wales, determined to help young local miners out of poverty by teaching them to read and write.

Lily soon spots talent in the unruly Morgan Evans, but when she faces growing resistance from the community, she does everything in her power to forge him a new future.

The Miners Chorus in costume (Credit: Johan Persson)

Emlyn Williams’ semi-autobiographical play was given a bold new staging by director Dominic Cooke (The Normal Heart, Follies) in its first London revival for 35 years – featuring Nicola Walker (Unforgotten, The Split) playing the visionary Miss Moffat.

One of the stand-out moments during the play is the performance of Calon Lân by the miners chorus.

To promote the production now being available on the National Theatre’s Home service, which allows you the opportunity to watch many of the NT’s theatre productions in the comfort of your own home, they have posted stunning performances of Calon Lân on social media.

Here below are two slightly different arrangements, but both equally beautiful, that were recorded out of costume by the chorus.

So put your headphones on – and enjoy!

Watch the trailer for the Corn Is Green HERE

Find out more about National Theatre at Home HERE

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