Welsh language audio musical gets Halloween premiere on Radio Cymru
This Halloween, BBC Radio Cymru will premiere a brand-new Welsh audio musical starring three of Wales’ most celebrated performers: Olivier Award winner Rebecca Trehearn, West End star Luke McCall and S4C’s Aled Pedrick.
Written and produced by award-winning songwriter Adam Wachter and TV writer/producer Gareth Owen, ‘Ysbrydnos‘ (“Spirit Night”) is described as a fast paced, funny, tuneful, and intense musical drama which explores contemporary themes including sexuality, addiction and relationships.
A modern reworking of ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ by Washington Irving and adapted from Wachter’s own original musical ‘Tarrytown‘, the show takes place in a sleepy Welsh village in the weeks leading up to Halloween.
Framed by old Welsh folk superstitions about the traditional “Spirit Night” on October 31st, ‘Ysbrydnos‘ follows Ichabod Crane (Aled Pedrick) – a young, gay teacher from London who moves to the Welsh countryside to escape a life of excesses and debauchery in the city.
Once there, the awkward outsider befriends a local couple: vivacious teaching assistant Catrin (Rebecca Trehearn) and her rugby-loving husband Bryn (Luke McCall).
As the three bond, secrets and insecurities come to light and Ichabod finds himself torn between his new best friend and his growing love for her husband; setting the scene for a climactic night when the three gather to celebrate Halloween.
Speaking about the show, Trehearn said “Many factors attracted me to this project. Mainly the opportunity to record a new musical in the Welsh language, but also the script and the music; it’s so strong, and it’s exciting to get to work on something like this. The story is contemporary and funny, and it will probably break your heart too.”.
Co-writer Adam Wachter added “There’s nothing I’m more passionate about than new musical theatre writing, so to see BBC Radio Cymru putting on this kind of programming and giving resources to this kind of work really invigorates me as a writer and artist and makes me so excited to see what the future of new Welsh musical theatre holds.”
Gareth Owen said: “It’s rare that musicals are written for radio, so we’re very excited that BBC Radio Cymru are investing in new musical theatre writing like this, especially one with such contemporary and pertinent themes.”
‘Ysbrydnos’ will air on BBC Radio Cymru at 9pm on Monday October 31st and will subsequently be available to stream on BBC Sounds through November.
The show features orchestrations by Music Supervisor Brian Usifer (Broadway’s ‘Frozen’, ‘Kinky Boots’) and was recorded and mastered by Auburn Jam Music Ltd (‘Millennials’, ‘Rumi: The Musical’). The show is produced by Lawr y Grisiau Ltd for BBC Radio Cymru.
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I have not seen the film yet. But I just like these Welsh Names. Funney Tuskish names. IN Brittany I have to take my boots off when I go into the houses, because I have dirty chedar cheese feet. I have smelly ffeet.
I tried to listen last night but it was unbearable. Rebecca Trehearne’s voice is like bagpipes.
“and her rugby loving husband, Bryn.”
So some real complex characterisations here then. I’m presuming Bryn is a coal miner who sings in the local chapel male voice too?
I’m so shocked I nearly spat my Laver bread seasoned Cawl over my bara brith!