Type : Announcement
Ceri Williams | 19 Sep 2023 20:05pm
Rhinoseros: Rhodri Meilir leads stellar cast in new Welsh-language adaptation of Ionesco’s classicReport Content
Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru is thrilled to announce the talented cast and creative team that will bring their latest production, Rhinoseros, to stages across Wales this autumn. Filled with unexpected humour and nightmarish tension, the company will present Eugène Ionesco’s absurdist masterpiece in the first ever Welsh language adaptation by renowned author Manon Steffan Ros (Llyfr Glas Nebo/Blue Book of Nebo – winner of the Carnegie Medal), directed by Steffan Donnelly, Artistic Director of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru.
Rhodri Meilir (Y Sŵn; In My Skin; Craith/Hidden) stars as the unlikely hero Bérenger, with Bethan Ellis Owen (Anfamol; Pobol y Cwm; Nyrsys) appearing alongside him. Also joining the cast and bringing the colourful characters of this play to life are familiar faces Dafydd Emyr (Guys and Dolls; Hollti; Y Tad), Ioan Gwyn (Pobol y Cwm; Rownd a Rownd; The Tempest), Eddie Ladd (Fy Ynys Las; Dawns Ysbrydion; Amser | Time), Glyn Pritchard (King Lear; Y Cylch Sialc; Coronation Street) and Victoria Pugh (Rownd a Rownd; Craith/Hidden; Deffro’r Gwanwyn). Comedienne, author, and actor Priya Hall (Beena and Amrit) will also tread the boards in her first ever role in Welsh-language theatre.
Director Steffan Donnelly has assembled a talented team of creative experts to bring this new production to the stage. Set and Costume Designer, Cai Dyfan, will bring the chaotic and dystopian world to the stage alongside Lighting Designer Ceri James, and Sound Designer and Composer Dyfan Jones. Also joining the creative team are Melangell Dolma as Assistant Director, Nia Lynn as Voice Director, and Catherine Alexander as Movement Director.
As he prepares to kickstart Rhinoseros rehearsals, Steffan Donnelly says:
“As I direct my first touring play as Artistic Director, it’s an honour to work with such a talented, experienced, and dedicated team of actors and artists. They are all experts in their craft and I know that they – with the support of the fantastic Theatr Gen team – will offer audiences across Wales a very special experience this autumn. I’ve been eager to present a Welsh language adaptation of Rhinoseros for a while. As well as being a belter of a play full of humour and fun, its themes related to the decline of communities and political extremism feel just as relevant in contemporary society. It’s a story that questions the individual’s relationship with wider society – what is the cost of refusing to conform?”
As relevant now as ever, Rhinoseros is a commentary on society, extremism, and how hatred can spread like a virus. One by one, the villagers succumb to the new order and transform into beasts – but one man holds a tight grip on his identity and refuses to surrender.
This is the first ever Welsh language adaptation of this famous play, translated by the talented Manon Steffan Ros. Originally written by playwright Ionesco, the first English language production of Rhinoceros in 1960 starred Laurence Olivier and was directed by Orson Welles, and the subsequent Hollywood film adaptation featured Gene Wilder in the starring role.
Sibrwd, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s language access app, will be available at each venue on tour to guide audiences through the play, whatever their level of Welsh proficiency. Performances with BSL interpretation will be presented in Cardiff and Bangor. Post-show talks for Welsh learners will also be hosted before certain performances, and there are also creative workshops available for schools, colleges and universities.