Y Fenyw Mewn Du: Brand new Welsh language version of The Woman in Black set for autumn tour
The team behind last year’s Shirley Valentine re-boot have announced the upcoming world premiere of Y Fenyw Mewn Du, a new Welsh language translation of West End hit The Woman In Black.
Produced by Y Consortiwm Cymraeg, the new adaptation will tour across south Wales this autumn.
Y Consortiwm Cymraeg was established by the award-winning Theatr na nÓg, Awen Cultural Trust, Theatr Soar and The Welfare Ystradgynlais to present high-quality accessible Welsh language theatre.
Their first production, Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine, translated by Manon Eames and performed by BBC Radio Cymru’s Shelley Rees-Owen delighted critics and audiences alike last spring.
Adapted by Stephen Malatratt from the 1983 gothic novel by Dame Susan Hill, The Woman In Black is one of the longest-running West End plays ever.
It tells tells the story of Arthur Kipps, a solicitor sent to settle the affairs of Mrs Alice Drablow.
While working alone on her secluded estate he finds himself the subject of a terrifying haunting and at the mercy of the curse of the woman in black.
In an attempt to rid himself of this misery and exorcise the ghost once and for all, he engages an actor to help him tell his tale, and thus the stage is set for one of theatre’s most enduring thrillers.
Director Geinor Styles said: “I love being scared. Since I was very young, I have always loved ghost stories. When I read Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black it scared me so much, I had to have the book cover facing downwards so that I never saw her – The Woman.
“I saw the Stephen Mallatrat adaptation for the stage in the early nineties. It was not only a very clever adaptation of the story but also terrified me and those who sat with me watching it in the theatre.
“The simplicity of the storytelling in the show elevates the power of theatre and the spoken word. That memory has stayed with me and it remains one of my favourite plays.
“Years later, after a feedback session with audiences following the Consortiwm production of Shirley Valentine, Welsh learners suggested that a known story or play helped with their confidence in attending Welsh language theatre. Venues also said that their biggest sellers were thrillers.”
Y Fenyw Mewn Du has been especially translated for Y Consortiwm Cymraeg by writer and actor Gwawr Loader.
She explains why she feels this production is important: “I was thrilled when Geinor asked me to be a part of the team of Y Fenyw Mewn Du.
“Having the opportunity to present a new adaptation of a West End classic to the Welsh-speakers and learners of the valleys, in their own language and with a Welsh spin is such a pleasure.
“With costs rising across the board it’s vital that audiences have access to theatre of the highest standard in their towns and villages and Y Consortiwm Cymraeg excels at taking work to communities.”
Y Fenyw Mewn Du tour details:
Porthcawl Pavillion on 26 – 28 October
Theatr Soar, Merthyr Tydfil 2 – 4 November
The Borough Theatre Abergavenny 9 -11 November
The Welfare, Ystradgynlais 16 – 18 November.
Tickets will be on sale from Friday 26th May and full details can be found on venue websites or at theatr-nanog.co.uk.
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