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Watch: Treorchy Male Choir belts out Yma o Hyd following powerful Welsh musical

10 Mar 2024 2 minute read
Welsh Not scene from Turning the Wheel. Image: Abigail Lewis Photography

Punters at the Lion Hotel in Treorchy were treated to a stunning rendition of Yma o Hyd by Treorchy Male Choir after the opening night of a new musical set in the south Wales valleys.

In a video which has since gone viral on TikTok, members of the world-famous choir join second tenor and actor Richard Elfyn after the production of Turning the Wheel – belting out the Dafydd Iwan classic with all the passion the song famously inspires.

Viral moment

To date, the video of this very special moment has amassed nearly 200k TikTok hits and 34k views on Facebook.

Playing for three nights and a matinee to sold out houses last week, Turning the Wheel shines a spotlight on coal, culture and community, celebrating the humour, hardships and hiraeth of the south Wales valleys.

In a powerful marriage of Welsh humour and stirring emotion, the musical touches on the struggles facing industrial communities at the time – not least, the attempt to eradicate the Welsh language.

In one particularly moving scene, the audience was confronted with the infamous Welsh Not, whereby speakers were shamed for speaking their mother tongue by being made to wear a wooden board around their necks.


At a time when coal was king and miners’ lives were cheap, the tale explores the deep sense of community spirit and camaraderie that inspired the working classes of industrial Wales to rise-up and make their voices heard.

Turning the Wheel poster

Exploring the events leading up to the Tonypandy Riots in 1910/11 when Winston Churchill, who was Home Secretary at the time, sent in police and the British army to end the miners strike, the show was initially showcased last year and there are hopes to tour it further in the future.

Welsh production

Turning the Wheel is penned by Treorchy born writer, Kieran Bailey and directed by Welsh actor, director and musician Llinos Daniel and is a a co-production with RCT Theatres.

The cast of eight Welsh actors including James Ifan, Phylip Harries, Caitlin Lavagna, Sam Bees, Max Hoare, Tamara Brabon, Ryan Owen and Jemima Nicholas performed at the Park & Dare Theatre, Treorchy.

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4 months ago

Cymry need to be reminded more often about the story of “Welsh not”.

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
4 months ago
Reply to  Frank

I agree, we also need to be reminded of the story of the Labour party in Wales denying our children the teaching of Welsh history.

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