We're back... Y'n ni nôl... CASTING!


We're sooo sorry that we've been rather absent from our Neontopia blog - both Mared and Alun have been hibernating in the recovery position since A GOOD CLEAN HEART's tour ended in October (lies - we've been spending some much-needed family time and working on S4C's Gwaith Cartref - more news to follow) BUT...

We've also been applying to the Arts Council of Wales for some funding which will allow us to research and develop an exciting new bilingual play to be written by Alun and directed by Mared... And we're really, REALLY excited to announce that we've been successful! Our enormous thanks to the lovely people at ACW and also to Wales Millennium Centre and Sherman Theatre (as well as some other awesome creatives!) for supporting our application.

TUCK will explore the world of Drag - the Drag scene in Cardiff, around the UK and beyond - as well as exploring mental health in an innovative and up-front fashion, and we're now looking for a small band of generous performers of any gender identity and ethnicity who are excited about co-creating, and are interested in the art of Drag and LGBTQI+ stories to help us create a dynamic, multilingual piece.

For the purposes of this development period we're particularly interested in performers who are either:
- fluent in more than one language (Cymraeg or any other language) 
- a proficient singer
- a proficient dancer or mover
- able to play a musical instrument to a high level

Any OR ALL (!) of the above skills would be incredibly exciting - come and play!

May 15-19, 2017
May 22-26, 2017 (TBC, depending on availability)


Equity rate for workshop/rehearsals only - no travel/accommodation expenses paid

Please send a covering email along with Spotlight link or CV to Alun & Mared:


YO! (ody 'YO' yn gweithio yn Gymraeg??)

Y'n ni'n ymddiheuro'n daer fod ein blog wedi bod mor dawel dros y misoedd dwetha - mae'r ddau ohonon ni wedi bod mewn trwmgwsg dedwydd ers diwedd taith A GOOD CLEAN HEART ym mis Hydref (celwydd noeth yw hyn - y'n ni wedi bod yn treulio bach o amser gyda'n teuluoedd ac yn gweithio ar gyfres S4C Gwaith Cartref!) OND...

Ry'n ni hefyd wedi gwneud cais i Gyngor Celfyddydau Cymru am arian fasai'n ein caniatau i ymchwilio a datblygu prosiect y'n ni wedi gwneud dechreuad arni - drama lwyfan ddwyieithog newydd gan Alun gaiff ei chyfarwyddo gan Mared... Ac y'n ni'n hollol, hollol gyffrous i gyhoeddi'n bod wedi bod yn llwyddiannus! Diolchiadau anferthol i (G- treiglad) CCC ac hefyd i Ganolfan Mileniwm Cymru a Theatr y Sherman (ynghyd a nifer o unigolion briliant piliant) am gefnogi'n cais ni.

Mi fydd TUCK yn archwilio byd Drag - sîn Drag Caerdydd, ar draws y DU ac oddi allan - ynghyd â darganfod ffyrdd arloesol ac onest i drafod iechyd meddwl, ac ry'n ni nawr yn chwilio am nifer o berfformwyr hael o unryw hunaniaeth rywiol, unryw hunaniaeth cenedlaethol, ac o unryw dras ethnig, fasai'n gyffrous am gyd-greu gwaith newydd, ac sydd â diddordeb mewn Drag a straeon LGBTQI+. 

Ar gyfer y cyfnod datblygu hwn mae gyda ni ddiddordeb arbennig mewn actorion a pherfformwyr sydd naill ai:
- yn siarad mwy nag un iaith yn rhugl (Cymraeg neu unryw iaith arall) 
- yn ganwr hyderus
- yn ddawnsiwr abl neu'n symudwr hyderus
- yn medru chwarae offeryn cerdd i lefel go uchel

Basai unryw un NEU BOB UN (!) o'r sgiliau uchod wir yn ddelfrydol i ni allu creu rhywbeth cyffrous - dewch i chwarae!

Mai 15-19, 2017
Mai 22-26, 2017
(TBC, yn ddibynnol ar argaeledd)


Gradd Equity am weithdy/ymarferion yn unig - ni thelir costau teithio/llety

Danfonwch ebost at Alun a Mared, ynghyd a linc Spotlight link a CV:



Oliver Wellington & James Ifan sprinting through Zakk's projections...

Oliver Wellington & James Ifan sprinting through Zakk's projections...

Hello to you, Zakk Hein. Easy one to start: What's your favourite breakfast food?

Coffee… all of the coffee.  Never become decaffeinated.  Ever.

Good, good. See, we need to know what sets a Video Designer up for the day. How did you get involved with A Good Clean Heart?

I believe it was Nicola Ireland who dropped me into a conversation about finding a way to create fun surtitling and animation for a brand new bilingual play about separation, language and re-connecting - in TOR's inaugural season.  A lot of firsts.  I came to the attention of Mared, Alun and Kate and have been making beautiful things with them ever since.

And what, would you say, have been the main challenges with working in two languages?

A distinct lack of spotting a typo...  As I’m sure the team will attest.  Bilingual surtitling, in all it’s fullness for AGCH, is another character in the show and it was incredibly important to bring that spirit of surtitling in both languages to fruition.  Mared and Alun are tireless in their mission of bringing bilingual theatre into accessibility for all.  And making it fun!  It’s timely and important.

What's your favourite flag of the world? (mine are ranked: 1. Wales 2. Macedonia 3. Cabo Verde

There are no off-white, grey or bronze flags.  This upsets me.  I’m partial to Canada - love a good maple leaf.

Is there anything stressful about your job or is it all just fun and games?

Ha!  Video design is just another world completely with a slightly disparate timeline to your standard theatre process.  Gin as relief is great.  If they created a Gin patch, I’d be ecstatic.  There is a distinct lack of sleep during tech. periods - hence the breakfast regime.  See above.

Custard or Cream?

Cream (…with orange zest and muscavado on a mince pie - it’s nearly time)

Marvel or DC comics?

Ask me a question about Comics, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Star Trek - watch it fly high over my head.  Sorry

Hefin or Jay?


Ooooh, good choice... Okay, less controversial... How would you advise any interested people to get started in your line of work?

Always be inquisitive, never say no to innovation and don’t be afraid to ask people you aspire to work with for exactly that opportunity.  These three things have taken me so far in just two years.

And what's next for Zakk Hein? Today/tomorrow/in life?

Up Next: NT on Red Barn, R+D for a show coming up in late 2017 - a beautiful projection tracking show that will be a must see tour of Wales.  And, more with Neontopia… yeah?  Great.  Cue Coffee #6.

DIOLCH ZAKK! (definitely more with Neontopia yeh yeh!)
Check out Zakk's website right HERE...


Getting to knooooow yoooou...

Getting to knooooow yoooou...

Hi there, I’m Sioned Meleri and I’m Neontopia’s Marketing Officer!

Aaaah scary! I’m actually sat here very nervous writing this blog *giggling to myself* thank god no one is around cause I now look like a loony... 

Anyway less of the image of me looking like a sad loser.


I got offered the chance to be on the Marketing Team for Neontopia, by the lovely Mared Swain back in March, where I was conveniently in Yr Hen Lyfrgell in Cardiff the same time that Mared and Alun were having a meeting about A Good Clean Heart. Mared had just sent me an email asking me if I’d like to be a part of the team, and * click * I appeared next to her, just to say a little “Hello” and “nice to see you.” She was VERY shocked and didn’t expect me just to be there. I then had the privilege to meet the one and only Alun Saunders. 

NOTE FROM ALUN: "Stop iiiiit...!!" *blushes*

Working outside Theatr Gen’s hours, I’ve met with Mared, Alun and Marc Jennings (our designer) who’s created Neontopia’s brand, and print work for A Good Clean Heart. The same question comes from everyone, which got asked by Marc; “What does Neontopia mean?” And simply it just a made up word that means that everything in the world is neon and bright, NEVER BEIGE! Either you like it or not! Don’t worry we won’t get offended. 

But over the last few weeks, I’ve been contacting schools across Wales to introduce them to Neontopia Theatre, giving them some information about the production and encouraging them to come and watch the show on our tour during September/October.

Working closely with our producers and Rhian we’re getting the ball rolling ready to open in Edinburgh in 2 weeks and for tour venues! I can’t wait to see the production in the Fringe and on tour, and I hope you guys will come and see this award winning play this time round!

DON’T MISS OUT! Genuine, I’m not joking, it’s class! Over and out!


Sioned Meleri ydw i, a fi yw Swyddog Marchnata Neontopia! Ma’r teitl swydd ‘na with yn neud i fi dimlo’n sic! Fi erioed di sgrifennu blog, so sain hyderus, felly bare with! (Thumbs up)

Digwydd bod yn bwyta cinio yn un o fy hoff lefydd yng Nghaerdydd (Yr Hen Lyfrgell) fe weles i Mared ar gornel yn llyged, so ‘ma fi’n mynd draw ati i weud “Helo” a “Neis i weld ti.” Fe jwmpodd hi mas o’i chroen. Ro’dd hi newydd ddanfon ebost atai (munude yng ngynt) yn gofyn a fydde’n i’n hoffi dod yn rhan o dîm Neontopia ar gyfer cynhyrchiad A Good Clean Heart, a dyma fi, “conveniently” just yn troi lan wrth ei hochor. Ges i’r fraint wedyn i gwrdd â Alun. 

 Dwi wedi bod yn gweithio i Neontopia tu fas i orie gwaith Theatr Gen, gan fy mod yn Gynorthwy-ydd Cyfathrebu gyda nhw. Ers ‘ny dwi di bod yn rhan o nifer o gyfarfodydd da Mared a Alun, a un o’r rhai cynta oedd un ‘da Marc Jennings oedd yn dylunio brand Neontopia a holl waith print A Good Clean Heart.

Fues i a Mared yn creu mood boards (yn ganol Bill’s yn y Bae) ar gyfer Marc yn trio esbonio beth oedd ystyr Neontopia. Fe wnaeth e sylweddoli mewn da bryd, bod pethe BYTH yn ddu a gwyn, BYTH yn beige ond yn hollol neon yn ein byd ni, bod Neontopia yn creu stwff newydd, dwy-ieithog sydd ddim yn boring. A os na chi’n hoffi’n stwff ni, wel dim ots, chi’n gwbod le ma’r drws * wink wink nudge nudge *

Dros yr wythnose dwetha, dwi wedi bod yn cysylltu ‘da ysgolion Cymru yn cyflwyno Neontopia Theatre, ac yn sôn iddynt am y cynhyrchiad A Good Clean Heart, yn y gobaith o’i hannog nhw i ddod a chriw o ddisgyblion i’w gweld pan rydyn ni ar daith yn ystod mis Medi a Hydref.

Dwi hefyd wedi bod yn gweithio yn agos i’r cynhyrchwyr er mwyn gallu cael pethe’n barod ar gyfer Caeredin ac ar gyfer y daith. So, i chi sydd yn darllen hwn, just dewch i weld y sioe anhygoel yma, newch chi DDIM difaru!

C’mon nawr, ma Alun wedi ennill gwobr am y ddrama yn Gwobrau Theatr Cymru eleni. Chi’n gweld?! Ma’n amazing! Ffab! Tan tro nesa (os fydd na un)
Ta ta, tan toc!


You can hear more from Sioned on / Gallwch glywed llawer mwy gan Sioned ar:
Twitter: @Sioned_Meleri19
Instagram: sionedmeleri

Sioned Meleri

Sioned Meleri


There’s a fly buzzing around me.
Actually there are two. I think they’re a gang.

I’m not wholly sure where this little thought piece is going to go, but hey, let’s carry on and I promise to edit out any bits which are incredibly dull before posting. 



So, we moved house today… Yeah! Actually, what we’ve kinda done is to have moved back in with our mums (and dads) before we go on our big travelling adventure around the world. ‘World’ being Scotland and Wales… But hey, they’re the best parts aren’t they? 

We left our swanky flat (thanks SO much to Wales Millennium Centre for housing us for our first week of rehearsals!), and now our mums (Kate & Bizzy) and our dads (Dan, Dave & Ben) have said “Come on - come on home for a bit. It’s cosy here, sort yourselves out and then you’ll be all charged up and ready to go.”

Last April/May saw the original production of A Good Clean Heart at The Other Room. We put our play on… People came… They said nice things… We smiled… And thought ‘let’s do it all again’.

Since then, this teeny tiny, yet FIERCE little theatre has won The Stage’s Fringe Theatre of the Year Award; they’ve done exciting new stuff with the space (see Matthew Bulgo’s Constellation Street); produced plays by awesome established Writers AND put on some brand new stuff from emerging Writers like the gorgeous Nicola Reynolds. It’s been a hell of a year! And now…


We’ve got:

  • a new set
  • a new Actor (he’s good too!)
  • a new poster (see below)
  • minimal rehearsal time
  • even more exciting projections
  • a freshly edited script (available to buy very soon!!)
  • a joyful production for your delectation

Now then - unless I head back to continue translating the entire script (English to Welsh and Welsh to English) for our amazing Video Designer, Zakk, to input to, erm, his magical machine which puts it on walls in nice ways, then multiple people will be on edge. I must complete this task immediately.

And not watch Game of Thrones re-runs.


Love you all… Can’t wait for you to see/hear/experience/smell/live/breathe/tellallyourfriendsabout our brand new production of A GOOD CLEAN HEART!!

Edinburgh Preview Performances
The Other Room
July 28/29/30

Click HERE for tickets!


Mae’r clêr y soniwyd amdanynt uchod wedi mynd - fyddwch chi’n falch o glywed.

Pawb wedi joio’r heulwen heddi? Mae’n tridiau o Haf wedi cyrraedd - HWRE! - ond mi fyddwn ni’n eu treulio tu fewn yn gweithio’n galed galed galed (ripît tŵ ffêd) yn ein cartref newydd… Wel, a dweud y gwir, yn ein hen gartref, sef The Other Room!

Ie, wedi wythnos cynta ymarferion lawr yn y Bae gyda’r bobol hyfryd yna yng Nghanolfan Mileniwm Cymru (ac wedi’n hysbrydoli gan yr holl egni BiliEliotaidd o gwpmas yr adeilad!), y’n ni nawr yn symud yn ôl i gartref gwreiddiol A Good Clean Heart, lle gwelwyd y cynhyrchiad gwreiddiol nôl ym mis Ebrill/Mai llynedd.


Mae gyda ni:

  • set newydd
  • Actor newydd (mae e’n blincin dda ‘fyd!)
  • poster newydd (gweler isod)
  • cyfnod ymarfer eithriadol o fer
  • llwyth mwy o dafluniadau cyffrous
  • sgript sydd wedi’i golygu cryn dipyn i gwtogi a gwella (ar gael i’w phrynu yn fuan iawn!!)
  • chynhyrchiad yffachol o gyffrous i chi, os weloch chi’r fersiwn wreiddiol ai peidio!


Naaawr te - fel rhan o ‘nyletsywddau fel awdur y darn (ynghyd â dyletswyddau cynhyrchu) mae angen ‘neud yn siwr fod popeth o fewn y darn yn cael ei chyfieithu o’r Gymraeg i’r Saesneg AC o’r Saesneg i’r Gymraeg er mwyn neud yn siwr fod ein uwchdeitlau yn effeithiol ac yn gwneud synnwyr. HOLLbwysig! Os na wnaf hyn y unionsyth caf stwr gan Mared.

Yn enwedig pe bawn i’n dewis gwylio - wel, i ail-wylio - pennodau cynnar Gorseddgêmau yn lle cwblhau’r gwaith. Hwn neu Gemau Heb Ffiniau… Cofio hwnna?? ÔSYM! Es i weld nhw’n recordio hwnna un tro yn Stadiwm Morfa. Tôts ymês.


Cariad pur i bawb… Wir methu aros i chi gael gweld a chlywed a joio ac arogli ac anadlu a BYW ein cynhyrchiad newydd sbon o A GOOD CLEAN HEART!!

Rhagddangosiadau Caeredin
The Other Room @ Porter's
Gorffennaf 28/29/30

Clicwich YMA i gael eich tocynnau!


The view from Chez Glesni

The view from Chez Glesni

Dyma i chi ddiwrnod ym mywyd GLESNI PRICE-JONES...
Here's a day in the life of our CSM, GLESNI PRICE-JONES...

07:00 - Dihuno / Wake up
        Throat feels sticky and sore :/ 


07:15 - Actually codi o'r gwely / Actually get out of bed
        Shower…sort my hair out. 


07:45 - Bwyta brecwast / Eat breakfast
        Avoid dairy for my throats sake, dig out ginger, lemon and honey tea. Make one for the road


08:00 - Gadael y ty / Leave the house
        The commute between Newport and Cardiff can be lovely when there is no traffic and you drive in the pretty countryside lanes 


08:40 - Arrive early and find a free parking space   
     SCORE! I hate paying for parking. Made it with enough time to buy water and add Berocca.


08:50 - Cyrraedd Drws y Llwyfan / Arrive at Stage Door to meet the Actors
        Make a mental note not to breath germs on them. 


09:00 - Cyrraedd y gofod ymarfer / Arrive at rehearsal space
        Its bigger than expected! We are seriously lacking rehearsal spaces in Cardiff so this is a gem. 


09:00 - Cychwyn ymarferion trwy dwymo fyny / Begin rehearsals with a warm up
        …..no not me. I take some funny videos of the warm up and start on a list of to-do’s for the day. Delegate tasks, van hire quotes, lighting hire quotes, compare technical specifications.


09:30 - Dechrau ar y restr o dasgiau / Begin on my own list of tasks
      Update edits to the script, get in touch with tech manager at Underbelly, download attachments from touring venues, chase up kit for tech week and tour


11:00 - Egwyl / Break
        I’m pretty much the Equity police when in the rehearsal room. 15 mins should be taken every 4 hours. 


11:02 - Angen bwyd / Need food
        Mared (the Director) and I decide we are hungry, we need food. Power walk to the         cafe down the road. Order a smoked salmon and scrambled egg muffin. 


11:20 - Ry'n ni'n hwyr / We are late
        Ok….we are late back from the break…the CSM and the Director…..oops. It’s ok though, everyone understands that the smoked salmon and scrambled egg muffin is worth it. We are forgiven. 


11:22 - Nôl at y gwaith / Back to work
        Mared scoffs down the muffin and gets back to work. So do I. 


13:00 - Amser cinio / Lunch time
        Its already lunch time and my plans to drive to Swansea to have a look at the set being built are out of the window…its not a good time for the builders…push back until tomorrow. 


13:30 - Bwyta cinio / Eat Lunch
        Find the rest of the team eating lunch looking out over Cardiff Bay Barrage…this is nice. Feed some sparrows. Swap stories, lament the state of the world..Boris Johnson is Foreign Secretary? *rolls eyes* 


14:00 - Nôl at y gwaith / Back to work
        We have been working on some particularly complicated scenes where the two actors play 5 characters. Our Movement Director, Jess, is throwing some brilliant shapes into the mix and the actors are taking it in their stride. 


14:45 - Try to pay attention to the rehearsal! Not emails!
        There are so many things to keep track of that its easy to forget that soon I will be operating the show every night, running sound, lights and projection. I should pay more attention. I take some blocking notes. 


15:55 - Break time
        Its time for another break….relax 


16:06 - Dyw hi ddim yn amser y ddechrau nôl eto / Its not time to start back yet
        Mared wants to get going again, but the break police are back in town. There’s 4 minutes left of the break! Mared remarks that I am a cold woman. 


16:10 - NAWR mae'n amser dechrau nôl / NOW it's time to start back
        In the last 50 minutes of rehearsal I make a start on this blog… and chase emails… and make a do to list for tomorrow. 

        Pick up mini mac from stage door 

        Make and distribute schedule for next week 

        Visit the workshop where the set is being built 

        Watch a stagger through 

        Film stagger through 

        Try and take as many block and q notes are possible during stagger through. 


17:00 - Gorffen ymarferion /  Finish rehearsal
        We manage to finish on time! 


17:15 - Get in the car    
        Yeah the free parking space is quite a way away, but I see a friend and their dog on the way *happy face* so that makes it better. 


18:10 - Cyrraedd adre / Arrive home
        Traffic is horrendous, why world why? 


18:15 - Trefnu galwadau yfory / Write call sheet
        Each evening I let everyone know when/what they will be doing during rehearsal tomorrow.


18:20 - Cwpla'r adroddiad ymarferion / Finish rehearsal report    
        Throughout the day I have been creating a rehearsal report, whenever something comes up in the room I take a note to let the pertinent member of the creative team know about it. 


18:30 - Send call sheet and rehearsal report
        I try to make this the last task of the day. 


18:35 - Dechrau ar fy noswaith i / My evening begins
        Like other well rounded individuals my evening will consist of going to the gym, walking the dog, scrapbooking, volunteering for charities… Eating and watching Netflix. 



21:00 maybe - Emails from the creative team or director…..break my own rules by replying. 


So thats it for a light day in the rehearsal room. Come back to me during tech when I won’t have time to write a blog for all the juicy stuff! 


Q&A with Movement Director JESS WILLIAMS

We took five minutes to fire a few questions at our AWESOME Movement Director, Jess Williams...


What's your karaoke/singstar song?

    I've never done karaoke or singstar so I don't really know(what have I been doing with my life?!) Maybe I could get away with an Amy Winehouse track...?


What is your first memory of going to the theatre? 

    Probably Panto with the school


Where's your favourite place in the world?

    I visited Hong Kong recently and loved it, there's also loads of little corners of London that I     love. But I think I'm yet to discover my most favourite place in the world. I look forward to finding it. 


If you could be another nationality what would you be and why?

    Is this a trick question? Obviously I have to say 'I'd always want to be Welsh' or something     like that, but...... If I had to choose I'd say Canadian. 

    They seem to have things pretty sorted there. I've got Prime Minister envy! 


What are your guilty pleasures? 

    Towie, Dinner Date, Millionaire Matchmaker.... The list goes on.

It's alright Jess - we're not judging. Honest. Ahem.


Who's your celebrity crush?

    Hmmm not sure, 

    Maybe Matthew McConaughey


    Alun Saunders, it's a close call. 



Summer or Winter?

    Autumn or spring?


In or Out?



Daddy or chips?


    Sorry dad, not really. 


Left or right?


    I'm right handed though. 


Would you like to share a traumatic childhood memory?

    I had a nice childhood thanks. Being a grown up is a lot harder. 


What's your best/worst experience on a London bus?

    I ended up in the middle of a kind of gang fight once on a bus. They had broken bottles,         and were also hitting each other with their belts. I curled up sort of under the seats until it stopped then walked the rest of the way home.

    Also I left my favourite hat on the number 19 bus when I was 19. 


Who's your favourite award-winning Playwright from Neath?

    Alun, are you from Neath by any chance?!

NOTE FROM PRODUCER - How the devil did THIS get in there...??


Jess trained at the London Contemporary Dance School. On graduating Jess joined ‘Transitions Dance Company’ at the Laban centre, and began working for ‘Frantic Assembly’ in 2012 as a practitioner, Co-directing the National Youth Theatre of Wales show ‘Dead, Born, Grow’ for Frantic. She has also worked with National Theatre Wales; Sherman Cymru and Dirty Protest.She also teaches movement at the Oxford School of Drama.

We're flippin' chuffed to have her on board!



It was great to get started with a proper good warm up today. With the show we're already beginning to establish a physical language that in specific sections lends itself to the non-naturalistic - and as I'm not the world's most natural of 'movers' anything that helps me loosen up is always a plus. 

Straight from this we played around with abstract movement sequences that we'll come back to and use parts of throughout the play. Although it's difficult at first to let yourself go (and also remember what move you just did) I bloody loved doing this, and by the end Jess (our Movement Director) makes you feel like you came up with these nice, fluid moves yourself - I now feel like the God of movement. Also it kind of helps you find the character and gives James and I a chance to play around with how we interact. And it's fun.

Then we got cracking from where we left off last rehearsal. We split up the text into James' character's monologue (HEFIN) and mine (JAY) separately at first. Alun has written parts the script (before our two characters meet for the first time) as two overlapping monologues, so Mared wanted to really go into detail with each of them first before piecing them together. 

I wondered how we'd rehearse scenes like this, and I'm glad it was done this way because I wasn't listening out for the Welsh ha it gives us a chance to focus wholly on creating the two separate worlds we're in - which is also important from an audience point of view too. There's a lot to think about - the bi-lingual aspect and the two separate/contrasting worlds of HEFIN and JAY. But it feels like it's just coming together.

Another thing to think about - and get better at *worried face* - are the 'other characters' within the piece which James and I take on. Working out their physicality, voice, gestures - everything but also making the smooth, yet clear transition back into JAY is a tricky one. But I mean, so fun - when will I ever get the chance to play a sassy, 43 year old woman from South London?


After we filled ourselves up on pizza for lunch we got started on scene seven, which again is constructed as two overlapping/interlinking monologues and we approached them like we did the previous one. 

Jess has a really good way of mapping out movement for us within the scenes and again makes you feel like you've done it yourself so it feels natural for us to do. I like how there's a structure and style to how we move around the stage and weirdly find it kind of freeing. 

I'm also enjoying how James is finding ways to add in his Signature Turn into each scene. Really great work haha. And this is the scene where the brothers meet in real life for the first time and as soon as we've got the lines down and I can understand (and perhaps even speak Welsh so fluently so I can tell when James has finished his line) it'll be a cracking scene to play. The awkward first meet of the brothers - it's gonna be a good'n!

The final scene of the day was scene 8 and here it was really fun to play with the abstract moves again which we have added to the top of the scene. Setting up the relationship between Jay and Hefin - Jay as the protector and Hefin as the wide-eyed naïve little brother. In fear of repeating myself it just feels like we're working through all the really nitty gritty bits for this week and really trying to nail the beats and moves and intentions, but we're not ready to play with it anymore than that just yet as I'm bound by my script. 

Must. Learn. My. Lines. 

I think that's when we'll really start moving things on. But for a second day of rehearsal we're not doing bad. Oh, and everyone is really funny. Top marks for rehearsal room banter. What more can you wish wish for from a day's work?




Diwrnod 2 in the big brother house. 

Diwrnod arbennig llawn egni. Dechreuon ni gyda warm up gan yr hyfryd Jess (sa'i di neud unrhyw ymarfer corff ers sbel so allech chi ddychmygu be o ni fel ar ol!) Ond oedd angen neud e! Nesaf aetho ni ymlaen i neud cwpwl o symudiadau dilyniannau er mwyn ffito mewn i'r sioe. Eto, nid exactly strong point fi yw symudiadau dilyniannau, ond wnes i a Oliver ffeindio lot o stwff diddorol a cael loads o hwyl yn neud e! Ni di ffeindio be yw signature move i yn y sioe sef.....Y SPIN! Love a good spin (Gewch chi weld pan ddewch i weld y sioe).

So ar ol sefydlu y signature move, aetho ni ymlaen i Golygfa 4. Penderfynodd Mared i neud yr olygfa fel dwy monolog yn gyntaf yn lle criss-crosso nhw fel yn y script, fel bod na mwy o syniad 'da ni o beth yw taith y cymeriad yn yr olygfa. Wnaeth hyn helpu loooooaaaddds i weld y byd lle ma'r cymeriad yn byw heb poeni am edrych mas am cues gan Oliver. Wnaeth hi neud yr un peth 'da Oliver wedyn, sef rhoi nhw at ei gilydd a wedyn HWRE we had a scene! 

Ymlaen at golygfa 5, bach o brêc i fi gan fod gan Oliver monolog enfawr cyn i mi ddod mewn reit ar y diwedd.

Bach o hwyl yng Ngolygfa 6 achos dyma'r tro gyntaf ma Jay a Hefin yn siarad (with a twist!). Nol a mlaen, short and sweet, cyffrous a nerfus a llwyth o emosiynau eraill.

Amser cinio! Pizza Pronto oedd y lle i fod heddi. Oedd Magic Wraps yn good, ond weithie ti just angen pizza, know what I mean? Ac wrth gwrs doritos, fruit pastels, mini doughnuts, krispy kremes nutella doughnut a afal o tesco.....dwi'n caru bwyd! Heb hyd yn oed son am y FREE PIZZA gafon ni gan y chef. Amser cinio llwyddianus dwi'n meddwl!


Ymlaen at y gwaith. Golygfa 7 - wnaethon ni neud yr un peth â Golygfa 4, splito nhw lan fel monologs gyntaf cyn rhoi nhw at ei gilydd. Llawer o gyffro gan y ddau gymeriad i weld ei gilydd. Let's just say dyw'r cyfarfod cyntaf ddim cweit be oedd Hefin yn disgwyl. Eto oedd 'na llawer o arbrofi gyda help Mared a Jess a llawer o chwerthin gan fi a Oliver, mainly achos o ni wastad yn anghofio llinellau ni! 

Loads o amser i gael nhw'n berffaith, loads...

Golygfa 8, golygfa ola’r diwrnod. Ma Hefin ar fws eto. Cafon ni lot o hwyl 'da hwn. Symudiadau newydd i weithio ar gyda Jess - Hefin wastad yn edrych mas o'r ffenest ar olygfeydd Llundain, Jay yn trio stoppo fe edrych fel fool. Pawb yn hapus ac yn gyffrous, cyn i'r twist digwydd (wnai ddim sbwylo fe i chi).

Amser i fynd gartref. Lot o hwyl heddi a mae'r golygfeydd yn dod at ei gilydd. Ma'r ddou diwrnod cyntaf wedi bod yn wych. Da ni'n cael hwyl 'da pawb yn yr ystafell a ma 'na deimlad y gallen ni greu rhywbeth really arbennig dros y mis nesaf. Ma'n mynd i fod yn sioe wych, ond dal lot o waith i fynd tan y finished article. 

Ymlaen at fory!!!



Day 1 @ A Good Clean Heart rehearsals

I love a first day.

Some people hate them, like an awkward first day at school, but I love them! The excitement, the nerves, the new team all getting together, the months of planning and sleepless nights of worry, Have I done this? Have I done that?  Did I tell everyone to come? Luckily we had done this, and that, and everyone who needed to be there, was there, on time, apart from Alun… Always fashionably late to his own read through! (That’s not even true, but never let the truth get in the way of a good story, as a wise woman once told me!!)

It has been a busy few months of planning, and developing the script, so for Alun and I to hear the actors read the play on day one is such a nerve-wracking but essentially great feeling. The second the actors bring the characters to life, all the worries disappear. The joy and interrogation begins… and we won’t stop either in any hurry in my rehearsal room! 

Actors James Ifan and Oliver Wellington, are already getting along (phew!) and Jess Williams has joined our creative team this time around as Movement Director. She works a lot with Frantic Assembly and her approach and input to rehearsals are so fresh and lovely to work with. After just one day, I am already feeling that this new production is leaping forward into a very new and exciting territory. 

The new script is leaner, and is reading at 1 hour which is great for a steady first reading, as we are going to have to get the performance into the tight 1 hour slot in Edinburgh (including all laughs!) ….no pressure…. no laughing allowed.

So on to tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, where there will no doubt be some sweat, tears and a tiny bit of laughter (not too much!) along the way. But for now, the ‘work’ continues on this ‘boilingwool’ play (as Glesni our Company Stage Manager thought she heard Alun call it!!!)  I am so lucky to call this my work.

Nos da. 


Diwrnod 1 Ymarferion A Good Clean Heart

Mae rhai pobol yn casau diwrnod cyntaf ymarferion (fel diwrnod cyntaf swydd newydd neu hydynoed waeth diwrnod cyntaf Ysgol Gyfun!), ond dwi ddim.

I mi, dyw e ddim yn ddiwrnod cyntaf o bell ffordd, ond hefyd, mae’r holl gynnwrf, a’r egni o gael pawb at ei gilydd yn un hynod gyffroes. Heddiw oedd diwrnod cyntaf o ymarfer ar y fersiwn newydd o’r sioe. Croesawon ni actor newydd i’r tim, Oliver Wellington, a chroesawi James Ifan yn ol, ac roedden nhw’n dod ymlaen (phew!). Mae’n deimlad braf gweithio gyda actor newydd, a hefyd gweithio gyda actor sy’n nabod dy ffordd o weithio. Da ni’n dal i ddod i nabod ein gilydd, a fel ‘na fydd hi drwy’r cyfnod cyffroes yma o ddarganfod a chwarae gyda’r ddrama yn ystod y cyfnod ymarfer. Dwi ar fy hapusa mewn ystafell ymarfer gyda actorion da a drama dda, a dwi’n lwcus iawn i gael y ddau! 

Nethon ni ddechrau’r dydd gyda darlleniad o’r ddrama, gan yr actorion, a’i amseru! Ni’n lwcus bod Alun a fi wedi cael cyfle i weithio ar y sgript dros y misoedd dwetha, er mwyn ei chwtogi ar gyfer Caeredin, lle bydd slot digon llym o 1 awr gyda ni!Felly sdim amser i’r actorion i oedi i gofio llinell, neu unrhyw fath o saib ‘dramatig’ (neu rhech!)  achos roedd y darlleniad cyntaf bore ma’n 1 awr a 3 munud!Lle i wella ar hynny dros yr wythnose nesa, fel bod digon o amser i bawb gael chwerthin yn ystod y sioe orffenedig.

Da ni hefyd yn croesawi Jess Williams i’r tim eleni. Dwi wedi gweithio gyda Jess sawl gwaith yn y gorffennol, ac mae ei gwaith fel cyfarwyddwraig symud yn gelfydd a chreadigol, ac mae hi’n dod ag egni hyfryd i’r ystafell. Dwi’n edrych ymlaen , drwy ei gwaith hi,  i ddarganfod iaith corfforol y darn. Rhywbeth dwi’n awyddus iawn i ddatblygu tro yma wrth ail-ymweld a’r cymeriadau a’r byd. 

Yn lwcus, roedd pawb i weld yn dod ymlaen yn dda heddiw, ond ar y diwrnod cyntaf, mae pawb yn boleit bob tro, felly gawn ni weld os bydd unrhyw gwmpo mas yn digwydd…na’i gadw chi’n posted!! 

Digon o hwyl i gael, a fel’na fydd hi tra bod pawb yn gweithio’n galed (dwi’n siwr y byddan nhw!) Felly ymlaen yr awn at yfory, a drenydd a thradwy, yn y gobaith y byddwn ni’n neud y ddrama y gore y gall hi fod. Duw da ni’n lwcus cael galw hyn yn ‘waith’.

Ond am heno, nosda. 


Are we excited? TOO RIGHT we’re excited!

Odyn ni’n gyffrous? ODYN y’n ni’n gyffrous!


One week from today we get into the rehearsal room for A Good Clean Heart 2016 in preparation for our run this August (4-28) at the Edinburgh Fringe, playing at the Underbelly, Cowgate.

Wythnos i heddi fyddwn ni’n cychwyn ymarferion ar A Good Clean Heart 2016 cyn i ni dreulio mis Awst (wel, 4-28) yn perfformio yn yr Underbelly, Cowgate yng Ngŵyl Ffrinj Caeredin.


We’re super-duper chuffed to announce our cast today, one of which you might recognise if you caught the original production at The Other Room last April/May…

Y’n ni’n über-hapus, felly, i gyhoeddi’n cast heddi - ma’n ddigon posib y byddwch chi’n adnobod un ohonyn nhw os gafoch chi’r cyfle i weld y cynhyrchiad gwreiddiol yn The Other Room llynedd…



James Ifan

James Ifan

James trained at the Guildford School of Acting. His work at drama school included The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning; Light Shining in Buckinghamshire and Henry IV (Parts I&II). Since graduating he has worked with Who Said Theatre on their production of The Old Friend, and with Theatr Clwyd on their production of Justice in a Day. James was an original member of Tim Rhys-Evans’ acclaimed youth choir Only Boys Aloud.

James played HEFIN in the original production of A Good Clean Heart.



Oliver trained at the Oxford School of Drama. During his time there he starred as Levin in Anna Karenina at The Royal Court followed by Black Sheep at Soho Theatre directed by Abigail Graham. Since graduating in 2014, Oliver has gone on to various stage projects including Robin Hood at Theatre Royal Stratford East and The Snow Queen at Pegasus Theatre.

Oliver’s screen credits include BBC comedy, Hospital People, a guest lead in Doctors (BBC) and a guest lead in ITV series, Vera. He has recently filmed a recurring role in The Dumping Ground for CBBC.




There it is.

Right there.


No messing about - THERE is the link to the website where you can buy your actual tickets RIGHT NOW to see our brand new production of A Good Clean Heart at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016.

How utterly awesome.


FLASHBACK to August 2015:

*swirly music*
Mared and Alun are sitting in the Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh, having just seen an incredibly inspiring production called Transcripts...

(the following is loosely based on true events)


MARED: “We need to do this.”

ALUN: “I know. Another pint?”

MARED: “No! We need to form a company and bring our show up here.”

ALUN: “Yeah! That’s *so* what I meant… Ahem…”

MARED: “So let’s do it - let’s just do it.”

ALUN: “We can do this. Let’s do it!”

MARED: “Good. Now go get us another pint.”

ALUN: “WAIT, is this how it’s going to…”



Neontopia was born (okay, registered with Companies House), and after some positive, can-do conversations, we established a wondderful new relationship with Wales Millennium Centre, who are now our lovely co-producers.

Their support was invaluable in securing funding from the Arts Council of WalesWales in Edinburgh fund (keep your eyes out for a whole host of Welsh talent travelling up together!).

With some additional support from the original producers of A Good Clean Heart, (who made it all happen in the first place) we’ll be holding some preview performances at The Other Room on July 28/29/30

And finally, we’re also SO grateful to Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru for all their support, without which we’d be projectorless and Sionedless (have you met our Marketing Officer? She’s wicked!)

So if you’ve NEVER been to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival then come along this year! I’d never been until 2015, and just look what came out of that visit… It could be YOU taking a show there next year!


Join us:

AWST/AUGUST 4th-28th



(no performances on Mondays… Hey, everyone deserves a day off!)

Here’s the link again:


Alun x



Mae Neontopia a Chanolfan Mileniwm Cymru yn chwilio am Reolwr Llwyfan Technegol ar gyfer eu cynhyrchiad newydd, A Good Clean Heart gan Alun Saunders, fydd yn agor yn The Other Room cyn mynd i Ŵyl Fringe Caeredin, ac yna ar daith ledled Cymru.

Bydd y Rheolwr Llwyfan Technegol yn gweithio ochr yn ochr â Rheolwr y Cynhyrchiad, a dylech fod â chefndir goleuo a fideo. Byddwch chi’n gyfrifol am: 

- Fideo; gan gynnwys gosod taflunyddion ac arwyneb, cyfrifiadau tafl-lwybrau a lensys, drafftio cynlluniau, rigio, ffocysu, mapio a gweithredu drwy QLab

- Effeithiau goleuo; gan gynnwys drafftio cynlluniau, rigio, ffocysu, diweddariadau palet a gweithredu effeithiau goleuo drwy ETC Nomad

- Arwain ar holl weithgareddau cyfnodau symud mewn ac allan o leoliadau, gan gynnwys dirprwyo â thimau technegol ar daith 


Dyma gynhyrchiad gwbwl ddwyieithog (Cymraeg a Saesneg) felly basai unigolyn sy’n medru siarad Cymraeg yn ddymunol, yn ogystal â’r gallu i yrru fan. 

Rydyn ni’n gyflogwr hawliau cyfartal ac yn ffyddlon i sicrhau amrywiaeth.  

Anfonwch CV ynghyg ag ebost eglurhaol byr at neontopiatheatre@gmail.com (gyda CAIS RHEOLWR LLWYFAN TECHNEGOL fel pwnc) yn sôn am eich profiad o weithio â thafluniadau yn arbennig. Bydd croeso i chi anfon unrhyw fideo neu luniau. 


11eg Gorffennaf-23ain Hydref, 2016


£450 yr wythnos

Mae hwn yn gytundeb MRSL 2 Ecwiti / Cymhorthdal Theatr Cwmni TMA, bydd yr ymgeisydd yn derbyn cyfraniadau tuag at eu pensiwn Equity (os yn aelod) a thaliadau am weithio dros yr oriau arferol lle bo angen. Mae gan yr ymgeisydd hawl i dderbyn lwfans adleoli/teithio; tâl gwyliau a llety; lwfans prydau bwyd a threuliau teithio.

Dyddiad cau WEDI'I YMESTYN - 24/06/16



Neontopia and Wales Millennium Centre are seeking to appoint a Technical Stage Manager for A Good Clean Heart by Alun Saunders, which will preview at The Other Room before an Edinburgh Fringe run during August, followed by a national tour of Wales.

The Technical Stage Manager will work alongside the Production Manager and should have a strong Video and LX bias.  You will be responsible for: 

- Video relights; inc. multiple projector and surface setup; trajectory and lens calculations; drafting plans; rigging, focusing, mapping and operation via QLab

- LX relights; inc. drafting plans, rigging, focusing, palette updates and operation of LX via ETC Nomad

- Leading all get ins and outs, inc. delegation of venue technical teams on tour


This is a fully bilingual Production (Welsh & English language), therefore a Welsh speaker is highly desirable, in addition to the ability to drive a van. 

We are an equal opportunities employer and strive to achieve diversity.

Please send a CV along with a short covering email to neontopiatheatre@gmail.com (with TECHNICAL STAGE MANAGER APPLICATION in the subject line) highlighting your experience in projection especially. Any images or video are welcome. 


11th July - 23rd October, 2016


£450 per week – this is an Equity/Subsidised Repertory Theatre TMA agreement MRSL 2, candidate would receive contributions towards their Equity pension (if they are a member), and overtime payments if necessary. Relocation/commuting allowance, holiday pay and all accommodation, meal allowance and travel is covered. 

EXTENDED Closing Date - 24/06/16


We are looking for a MIXED RACE actor, to join our cast for our exciting forthcoming production:

A GOOD CLEAN HEART by Alun Saunders

A Neontopia & Wales Millennium Centre production, in association with The Other Room & Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, supported by the Arts Council of Wales

Directed by Mared Swain



AGE: 25

ETHNICITY: Mixed race (White/Afro-Caribbean)


Overall dates: 11th July-23rd October, 2016

Rehearsal dates : 11th-30th July, 2016 (rehearsals will be in CARDIFF)

Edinburgh Fringe Festival Run at Underbelly (Belly Button) 4th-29th August, 2016

Regional tour of Wales : 5th September-23rd October, 2016


A GOOD CLEAN HEART is a bilingual play, with HEFIN’S character speaking predominantly in Welsh, and JAY’s character speaking English. The play was originally produced at The Other Room in Cardiff during April/May 2015.

The production was nominated for 3 Wales Theatre Awards: BEST DIRECTOR (Mared Swain) and BEST LIGHTING (Zakk Hein & Katy Morison), with Alun Saunders winning BEST PLAYWRIGHT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.


This is a two hander play, which is a heart warming story about two brothers, reunited after a long period apart. JAY, the older of the two brothers has lived in London (Lewisham/Deptford area) all his life, in and out of social care, but has always found a way back to his mother, Reanne, who he cares for dearly. His little half brother HEFIN, was adopted to a family in West Wales 15 years ago, (When JAY was 10 and HEFIN was 2) and he has desperately wanted to find him ever since. 


JAY has a heart of gold, but doesn’t always make the right choices in life. He has been in and out of trouble, and at times involved with the wrong crowd, but has always tried to be a good person, despite all his failings, and mistakes. He has a smile which can light up a room, and he knows his local community really well. He knows all the old timers, and they’ve always looked out for him since he was a child. 


All contracts will be in line with Equity rates of pay.


We will be holding auditions in CARDIFF and LONDON during MAY.

Please submit CV or link to Spotlight CV along with covering email to: neontopiatheatre@gmail.com

Closing date: MONDAY, MAY 2nd, 12:00pm




Rydyn ni’n chwilio am ACTOR GWRYWAIDD, CYMYSG EI HIL i ymuno â chast ein cynhyrchiad cyffrous, sef:

A GOOD CLEAN HEART gan Alun Saunders

Cynhyrchiad Neontopia a Chanolfan Mileniwm Cymru, mewn cydweithrediad â The Other Room a Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, gyda chefnogaeth Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru

Cyfarwyddir gan Mared Swain




ETHNIGRWYDD: Cymysg ei hil (Gwyn ac Afro-Caribïaidd)


Dyddiadau llawn: 11eg Gorffennaf-23ain Hydref, 2016

Dyddiadau ymarfer: 11eg-30ain Gorffennaf, 2016 (ymarferion yng NGHAERDYDD)

Cyfnod yn Ngwyl Fringe Caeredin yn yr Underbelly (Belly Button) 4ydd-29ain Awst, 2016

Taith ranbarthol o Gymru: 5ed Medi-23ain Hydref, 2016


Drama ddwyieithog yw A GOOD CLEAN HEART, gyda HEFIN yn siarad yn Gymraeg yn bennaf, a JAY yn siarad yn Saesneg drwy gydol y darn. Nid oes angen i’r actor fedru siarad Cymraeg, ond mae parodrwydd i weithio mewn drama sydd yn cynnwys y ddwy iaith yn gwbl angenrheidiol. Cynhyrchwyd y ddrama wreiddiol yn The Other Room yng Nghaerdydd (Enillydd, The Stage 2016 Fringe Theatre of the Year) yn ystod Ebrill-Mai 2015. Cafodd y cynhyrchiad ei enwebu ar gyfer tair Gwobr Theatr Cymru: CYFARWYDDWR GORAU (Mared Swain) a GOLEUO GORAU (Katy Morrison a Zakk Hein), gydag Alun Saunders yn ennill y wobr ar gyfer DRAMODYDD GORAU YN YR IAITH SAESNEG.


Dyma ddrama i ddau actor, sy’n stori galonogol am ddau frawd sydd yn ailuno ar ôl cyfnod hir ar wahân. Mae JAY, yr hynaf o’r ddau frawd wedi byw yn Llundain (ardal Lewisham/Deptford) drwy gydol ei fywyd, yn symud i mewn ac allan o ofal cymdeithasol, ond bob tro’n ffeindio’i ffordd yn ôl at ei fam, Reanne, sy’n meddwl y byd iddo. Cafodd ei hanner-frawd bach HEFIN, ei fabwysiadu i deulu yng Ngorllewin Cymru 15 mlynedd yn ôl, (Pan oedd JAY yn 10 a HEFIN yn 2) ac mae wedi bod eisiau ei ddarganfod eto byth ers hynny. 


Mae gan JAY galon aur, ond nid yw’n gwneud y penderfyniadau gorau bob tro. Mae wedi bod i mewn ac allan o drwbl, ac o bryd i’w gilydd ynghlwm â’r criw anghywir, ond mae wedi trio bod yn berson da drwy hyn oll, er ei holl ffaeleddau, a’i gamgymeriadau. Mae ganddo wên sy’n gallu goleuo ystafell, ac mae’n adnabod ei gymuned leol yn dda iawn. Mae’n nabod pob un o’r hen wŷr, ac maen nhw wedi cadw llygad drosto ers ei fod yn blentyn. 


Bydd pob cytundeb yn dilyn graddfa dâl Undeb yr Actorion Equity.


Byddwn yn cynnal clyweliadau yng NGHAERDYDD a LLUNDAIN yn ystod mis MAI.

Os gwelwch yn dda, danfonwch CV neu linc at CV Spotlight, ynghyd ag ebost eglurhaol at: neontopiatheatre@gmail.com

Dyddiad cau: DYDD LLUN, MAI 2il 12:00yp






Helo ers tro byd!

Ymddiheuriadau am y diffyg newyddion - y tro dwetha i ni ddiweddaru pawb ro’n ni wedi bod wrthi’n cwblhau ceisiadau ariannol i’n galluogi ni i fynd â’n gwaith ni ar daith… A gesiwch be’?!

Diolch yn anferthol i’n cyd-gynhyrchwyr ni, Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru, ac i gefnogaeth hael Celfyddydau Cenedlaethol Cymru, ac mewn cydweithrediad â The Other Room a Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, mi fydd cynhyrchiad newydd sbon NEONTOPIA o A GOOD CLEAN HEART yn glanio yng Ngŵyl Fringe Caeredin eleni, gan chwarae o Awst 5-29 yn yr Underbelly, Cowgate.

Ma’n anodd credu fod blwyddyn wedi hedfan heibio ers i ni ddechrau ymarfer y cynhyrchiad gwreiddiol o ddrama gwefreiddiol, dwyieithog Alun Saunders yn ystafell fach The Other Room, ac ers hynny cafodd y cynhyrchiad dair enwebiad yng Ngwobrau Theatr Cymru nôl ym mis Ionawr:

Cyfarwyddwr Gorau i Mared Swain; Goleuo Gorau i Katy Morison a Zakk Hein, gydag Alun Saunders yn cipio gwobr Dramodydd Gorau yn yr Iaith Saesneg. Clod anferth, ond dim ond tri o’r llwyth o resymau i ddod i’w gweld unwaith eto!

Ry’n ni wir wedi’n cyffroi’n lân i allu mynd â’ n cynhyrchiad cyntaf ni fel cwmni i ganol gŵyl ryngwladol mor adnabyddus, ond os na fyddwch chi’n medru teithio’r holl ffordd i’r Alban i’w gweld, yna peidiwch â phoeni’n ormodol - mae’n debyg y bydd ychydig mwy o newyddion bendibopwyll ar ei ffordd…



Hey Neondudes! It’s been a while…

Apologies for the radio silence the last time we updated our news here - at the time we were frantically completing funding applications to allow us to tour our work, and guess what…?!

With enormous thanks to our co-producers, Wales Millennium Centre, and the generous support of the Arts Council of Wales, in association with The Other Room and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, NEONTOPIA’s brand new production of A GOOD CLEAN HEART will be landing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year from August 5-29, playing at the Underbelly, Cowgate.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole year since rehearsals began on the original produciton of Alun Saunders’ dynamic bilingual play at The Other Room, and since then we were fortunate enough to gather three nominations at the Wales Theatre Awards back in January: Best Director for Mared Swain; Best Lighting for Katy Morison & Zakk Hein, with Alun Saunders taking home the award for Best Playwright in the English Language. Great, exciting achievements, but these are just three of the host of reasons to come see this play again!

We’re so utterly excited to be able to take our company’s first production to such a renowned festival, to be surrounded by acclaimed international work, but please don’t fret if you’re unable to travel all the way to Scotland to catch the show - there’s likely to be another exciting announcement on its way very soon…




James Ifan (Actor), Alun Saunders (Writer), Mared Swain (Director)

James Ifan (Actor), Alun Saunders (Writer), Mared Swain (Director)

We know... We're often "chuffed" or "thrilled" to be bringing you our news (we promise to calm down soon... Maybe...) but this is SO exciting!

Ma'n newyddion ni bob amser yn "gyffrous" neu'n "amêsing" (i ni, os ddim i'n cyfeillion a ffrindie!), ond ma hyn yn fflipin brilliant!

Saturday night saw the annual Wales Theatre Awards at Sherman Cymru, and we were excited for a great social event, a chance to catch up with friends and colleagues.

Er ein bod yn hollgyffrous fel cwmni fod Alun a Mared wedi cyrraedd y rhestr fer ar gyfer gwobrau am eu gwaith ar gynhyrchiad ein ffrindie ni The Other Room, A GOOD CLEAN HEART, roedd hi'n fwy o gyfle da i ymlacio, joio, a dala lan gyda chydweithwyr a phobol grêt o'r diwydiant.

You can only imagine how we leaped out of our seats (actually one of us was glued to his seat with his hands clasped over his mouth until he realised that he needed to get up to collect his award) when the announcement came that the BEST PLAYWRIGHT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE 2015 was ALUN SAUNDERS!

Mewn categori eithriadol o gryf, ynghyd â thri Dramodydd hollwych, roedd Alun ar ben ei ddigon o fod wedi'i ddewis gan banel beirniaid Gwobrau Theatr Cymru, sef critics neu feirniaid theatr y wlad.

We celebrated. That's all we'll say. But it was amazing to be able to celebrate with some of the nicest people in the industry here in Wales, and especially in Cardiff.

Diolch yn FAWR i bawb sydd wedi'n cefnogi ni fel cwmni hyd yn hyn. Ry'n ni am geisio'n gore glas i gynnig gymaint - a mwy os allwn ni - o gefnogaeth ac y'n ni wedi'i dderbyn gan eraill wrth i ni ddatblygu fel cwmni ac fel artistiaid.

Our thanks to all of you who've already supported us as individuals, as NEONTOPIA, and who've supported A GOOD CLEAN HEART.

We'd love you to hop on our neon bandwagon as we develop as artists and as a company, and try our very best to encourage and support others.

LLONGYFARCHIADAU to all of the truly amazing theatre-makers shortlisted for a Wales Theatre Award. As was mentioned on the evening, it was a ridiculously competitive evening (within the categories - the people were absolutely lush!), and we honestly feel honoured to be a part of it.

Check out the list of all those shortlisted and award-winners here...

Diolch bawb!!


CARYS JONES, one of our brand new #NEONSPARX Writers, gives us her (rather nice) take on her first experience of seeing her work performed in public...

I’ve never considered myself as a writer. When I felt really strongly about something I’d bash out words on a keyboard, and it never saw the light of day again. Mared encouraged me to send something over to her at the beginning of 2015, and little did I know that it would be the catalyst to the most exciting experience I’ve ever been a part of. 

When I received an email from Mared asking me to write a ten minute play for Neontopia’s Neonsparx night, I think I read it over and over again checking she didn’t send it to me by accident. Considering I had never let anybody read my work before Mared, this was a big deal for me! She believed in me so, hell yes I accept!

Having struggled with anxiety and depression for a grim few years, I’m determined to reach out to those suffering to reassure them they’re not mental, it’s a shit thing to deal with but hey, let’s talk about it. Oh and that dickhead who tells you to ‘just smile and get over it’? I wanted to write something that says ‘fuck you, listen and take me seriously you douche!’
I wrote something, sent it, and was invited to the rehearsal. I skipped out of work for my lunch break to meet the team. Alun Saunders and Bethan Mai were acting my piece, and Mared Swain directing. By this point, I could’ve sworn I was being PUNK’d, THIS CANT BE REAL. It totally was, and it was totally brilliant. Hearing my work read out loud was both exciting and utterly terrifying. 

‘I can’t believe I’m sat in a room with the people I admire the most in theatre-land’
‘Uh oh are they laughing just to be polite?’
‘I think they like it?’
‘DAMN how could I have missed that typo!!!’

45-minute lunch break was over and I had to leave cloud 9 to go back to the desk job. Best-lunchbreak ever. 

Neonsparx night arrived and it was so exciting to hear new voices, from new bilingual writers. The night is a blur to me as I had a good few celebratory drinks! The audience’s feedback was really exciting. I was over the moon to have several people approach me to chat about their mental health struggles and to thank me for putting the issue out there. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to achieve and it happened.

It gave me such faith in future Welsh writing in Wales. How lucky were we to have that opportunity? Seriously. To me it seems that nobody cares about new voices from Welsh writers anymore, but Neontopia genuinely do. I’ll eternally be in debt to them for giving me the confidence to say, I am a writer. 

- CARYS JONES, @caarysjones


CARYS JONES, un o'n Sgwennwyr #NEONSPARX newydd sbon, sy'n rhoi ei safbwynt (eitha' neis!) ar y profiad o weld a chlywed ei gwaith yn cael ei berfformio'n gyhoeddus...

Dwi erioed wedi ystyried fy hun fel ‘Sgwennwraig. Pan oeddwn i’n peeved am rwbeth, ‘swn i’n teipio cwpl o eiriau, ond bydde fe byth yn gweld golau dydd eto. Nath Mared annog fi i hala peth ohono fe draw ati ar ddechrau 2015, no way ‘swn i’n gallu dychmygu taw hwn fase’r catalydd i’r brofiad mwya cyffrous dwi erioed wedi bod yn rhan o. 

Pan nes i dderbyn e-bost o Mared yn gofyn i mi ysgrifennu deg munud o ddrama i noson Neontopia, Neonsparx, nes i ail-ddarllen yr ebost drosodd a throsodd i checio bod hi heb hala’r ebost i fi ar ddamwain. Gan ystyried ‘mod i erioed wedi gadael i unrhywun darllen fy ngwaith cyn Mared, roedd hwn yn gyfle anferth i mi. Ma’ ‘da hi ffydd ynddo fi so, hell ie, I accept! 

Yn y blynyddau diwethaf rydw i wedi strygglo gydag iselder. Dwi’n benderfynol o greu theatr i rheini sy’n dioddef mewn tawelwch. Na - dwyt ti ddim jyst yn mental, a ma fe’n rhywbeth rili shit i ddelio da – Hey dylen ni siarad am y peth. O, t’mod y dick’ed ‘na sy’n gweud wrthot ti “i godi a gwenu, daw haul eto ar blydi bryn”? Fi ishe sgwennu rhywbeth iddyn nhw sy’n gweud ‘Ffyc off, gwranda arna’i a cymra fi o ddifri!’

'Sgwennais i rhywbeth, hala fe, a ges i wahoddiad i’r ymarfer cyntaf. Nes i sgipio allan o’r gwaith ar fy awr ginio i gwrdd â’r criw. Alun Saunders a Bethan Mai oedd yn actio’r darn, a Mared Swain yn cyfarwyddo. Erbyn y pwynt yma, o’n i’n sicr bod yr holl beth yn pranc ar PUNK’d, NO-WAY YDY HWN YN DIGWYDD! Wel, mi na’th e, ac odd e’n hollol wych. Odd y profiad o glywed fy ngwaith yn cael ei ddarllen allan yn un cyffroes ond hollol terrifying.

‘Fi ffili credo mod i’n eistedd ma da’r bobol dwi’n edmygu mwya ym myd y theatr’
‘Uh oh, ydyn nhw’n chwerthin i fod yn gwrtais?’
‘Dwi’n meddwl bo’ nhw’n lico fe?’
‘DAMN sut allen i golli’r typo na!!!’

Daeth y 45 munud o fy awr ginio i ben, ac roedd rhaid i mi ddychwelyd nôl o cloud 9 i’r desk job. Awr-ginio-gorau-erioed.

Cyrhaeddodd noson Neonsparx. Roeddwn i wrth fy modd yn clywed lleisiau newydd gan ysgrifennwyr dwy-ieithog. Mae’r noson ar y cyfan yn blur enfawr ar ol cwpl o ddiodydd i ddathlu! Roedd yr adborth o’r gynulleidfa yn wych, gan gynnwys cwpl yn siarad â mi am yr effaith mae iechyd meddwl yn cael arnyn nhw, ac i ddiolch i mi am godi’r pwnc. Dyna’r ymateb gore galle ni di gofyn am. 

Wnaeth noson Neonsparx rhoi gymaint o ffydd yn nramau Cymraeg y dyfodol. Pa mor lwcus oedden ni i gael y cyfle yna? Seriys. Yn fy marn i, dwi ddim yn meddwl bod theatr Cymraeg ishe clywed lleisiau newydd, ar wahan i Neontopia. Dwi mewn dyled tragwyddol iddyn nhw am rhoi’r hyder i mi allu ddweud, dwi’n ‘Sgwennwraig. 

- CARYS JONES, @caarysjones


Alun Saunders; James Ifan; Non Haf; Bethan Mai; Mared Swain

Alun Saunders; James Ifan; Non Haf; Bethan Mai; Mared Swain

CAST: James Ifan, Non Haf & Bethan Mai

CAST: James Ifan, Non Haf & Bethan Mai



NEONTOPIA are chuffin’ thrilled to announce that our creatives, Alun Saunders and Mared Swain, have been shortlisted by critics at the Wales Theatre Awards 2016 for their work on The Other Room’s A Good Clean Heart.

Alun is shortlisted in the category of Best Playwright in the English Language, alongside Owen Thomas for Grav; Catrin Fflur Huws for To Kill a Machine, and Gary Owen for Iphigenia in Splott.

Mared is shortlisted in the category of Best Director, alongside Peter Doran for Grav; Angharad Lee for To Kill a Machine, and The Other Room’s Kate Wasserberg for Blasted.

Not only that, we’re over the moon that our über-talented Lighting and Video team of Katy Morison and Zakk Hein (who was responsible for our aaaawesome surtitles) are shortlisted in the category of Best Lighting.

We are just SO flattered to be considered alongside some of Wales’ top Theatre movers and shakers, and are really looking forward to catching up with colleagues and friends at the awards ceremony at Sherman Cymru on January 30th.


But THIS is where we ask you a favour…

The Wales Theatre Awards’ Audience Award is presented to the production which gathers the most public votes and, as we’re in the process of planning (and funding) a Wales-wide tour of A Good Clean Heart, we would really, really, REALLY love for the play to win that award, which may open a few extra doors and get this play - in which we have so much belief - out on the road, and taken to as many people as possible.

You may have seen The Other Room's production back in April/May 2015; you may have wanted a ticket, or you may just be curious about it - this is your chance to help us make this happen!

If you could take just TWO MINUTES out of your day between now and Monday, January 25th, to follow these simple steps then we’d be so, so grateful to you as we really think that A Good Clean Heart, as a starting point for Neontopia, is a little spark of what we’d like to keep doing.


So please:

That’s it!

For any more information, and to find out about the other brilliant nominees, you can visit:


ALUN: “Now let’s fight to the d-”
MARED: “Alun! Na…”





Mae NEONTOPIA yn hollol tshyffd i allu cyhoeddi fod Mared Swain ac Alun Saunders wedi’u henwebu ac ar y rhestrau byrion yng Ngwobrau Theatr Cymru 2016 am eu gwaith ar gynhyrchiad The Other Room, A Good Clean Heart.

Mae Alun ar y restr fer yng nghategori Dramodydd Gorau yn yr Iaith Saesneg, ynghyd ag Owen Thomas i Grav; Catrin Fflur Huws i To Kill a Machine, a Gary Owen ar gyfer Iphigenia in Splott.

Mae Mared ar restr fer y categori Cyfarwyddwr Gorau ynghyd â Peter Doran ar gyfer Grav; Angharad Lee ar gyfer To Kill a Machine, a Kate Wasserberg ar gyfer Blasted.

Ar ben hyn, ry’n ni mor hapus fod ein tîm Goleuo a Fideo, Katy Morison a Zakk Hein (oedd yn gyfrifol am ein is-deitlaufflipin briliant) ar y restr fer yng nghategori Goleuo Gorau.

A bod yn hollol onest, ry’n ni wir yn falch o gael ein hystyried ochr-yn-ochr â rhai o oreuon Theatr Cymru, ac ry’n ni wir yn edrych ‘mlaen at ddala lan gyda chydweithwyr a ffrindiau yn y seremoni yn Sherman Cymru ar Ionawr 30ain.


Ond DYMA lle ry’n ni angen gofyn ffafr… (Ffafr neu gymwynas, dewiswch chi…)

Caiff Gwobr y Gynulleidfa Gwobrau Theatr Cymru ei chyflwyno i’r cynhyrchiad sy’n casglu’r mwya’ o bleidleisiau, a gan ein bod yn y broses o gynllunio (ac ariannu!) taith ledled Cymru o A Good Clean Heart, basen ni wir, wir WIR yn dwlu ennill y wobr hon, fasai’n siwr o agor ychydig o ddrysau i ni allu mynd â’n cynhyrchiad ni - un sydd gennym gymaint o ffydd ynddi - allan i gymaint o bobol ag sy’n bosib gael ei mwynhau.

Petai gyda chi jyst DWY FUNUD fach rywbryd cyn nawr a dydd Llun, Ionawr 25ain, i ddilyn y cyfarwyddiadau syml hyn, basen ni wir, wir yn ddiolchgar i chi gan ein bod ni’n credu’n gryf fod A Good Clean Heart yn ddechreubwynt gadarn i Neontopia, yn sbarc o’r hyn licen ni ei wneud a’i chyflawni.


Felly plîs:

  • Dechreuwch e-bost newydd
  • Yn y blwch cyfeiriad ebost, rhowch walestheatreawards@gmail.com
  • Yn y blwch pwnc rhowch A GOOD CLEAN HEART
  • Gwasgwch SEND neu DANFON

Dyna ni!

Am fwy o wybodaeth, ac i ddarllen am yr enwebedigion ffandabodosi eraill, ewch i



ALUN: “Now let’s fight to the d-”
MARED: “Alun! Na…”


Owain Rhys Davies & Lee Mengo

Owain Rhys Davies & Lee Mengo


Thanks to a successful application to Arts Council of Wales, NEONTOPIA have been lucky enough to spend a week in a room (well, rooms) with some awesome and creative people, researching and developing a new Theatre project, named ‘TUCK’.

Diolch i gais llwyddiannus am ariannu gan Gyngor Celfyddydau Cymru, mae NEONTOPIA wedi bod yn ddigon ffodus i dreulio wythnos mewn ‘stafell (wel, ‘stafelloedd) gyda chriw o bobol creadigol a gwych yn ymchwilio a datblygu prosiect Theatr newydd o’r enw ‘TUCK’.

We were lucky enough to grab Owain Rhys Davies whilst on a home-break from LA, and coupled with the amazing Lee Mengo, who performed Alun’s play ‘6:37’ (also directed by Mared) at London’s Royal Court Theatre in 2013, we had two incredibly strong and generous performers who contributed immensely to our process.

Ro’n ni’n ddigon ffodus i ddala Owain Rhys Davies ar frêc sydyn adre o LA, a gyda Lee Mengo, ‘naeth berfformio drama Alun, ‘6:37’ (wedi’i chyfarwyddo gan Mared), yn Theatr y Royal Court yn 2013, cawsom ddau berfformiwr cryf a gyfrannodd yn hael i’n proses.

Taking us into new realms as a company was Jess Williams, our Movement Director. Jess has recently completed a UK tour with National Theatre’s ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’, and she also works frequently with the brilliant Frantic Assembly. Jess’ incredible work allowed us to explore the possibilities of working without text, but also combining movement and text. We love a new challenge,

Yn mynd â ni i fydoedd newydd fel cwmni oedd ein Cyfarwyddwr Symud, Jess Williams. Mae Jess newydd gwpla taith o’r DU gyda chynhyrchiad y National Theatre, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’, a mae hi hefyd yn gweithio’n aml gyda chwmni Frantic Assembly. Caniatäodd gwaith Jess i ni archwilio posibiliadau gwaith heb destun, heb eiriau, ond hefyd cyfuno symudiad a thestun. Y’n ni’n caru sialens newydd.

We were also pleased that Carys Jones, one of our up-and-coming NEONSPARX Writers was able to come along for the ride, and also be a valued contributor to this potential new play. She’s cool, so keep an eye on that one.

Ro’n ni hefyd yn falch iawn fod Carys Jones, un o’n darpar-Sgwennwyr ar gyfer noson NEONSPARX yn medru dod gyda ni ar y daith gyffrous hon fel cyfrannwr gwerthfawr. Ma hi’n cool dude, so cadwch lygad arni!

To sum up, HUGE THANKS to Arts Council of Wales, Wales Millennium Centre, Wow Bar, Emily Butler (our brilliant SM) and everybody else who helped us along in any way with our project. If you’d like to contribute at all, then you could take just 2-3 minutes to respond to our (totally anonymous) questionnaire on mental health here.

Yn fyr, DIOLCHIADAU ANFERTHOL i Gyngor Celfyddydau Cymru, Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru, Wow Bar, Emily Butler (ein Rheolwr Llwyfan) a phawb arall sydd wedi cyfrannu i’r prosiect hyd yn hyn. Os licech chi gyfrannu o hyd, yna gallwch ymateb i’n holiadur (hollol anhysbys) ar iechyd meddwl yma.


Alun a Mared xx


Winners & nominators of the Olwen Wymark Awards 2015, along with WGGB staff

Winners & nominators of the Olwen Wymark Awards 2015, along with WGGB staff

On Friday, December 4th we were invited to London's Royal Court Theatre for the Writers' Guild of Great Britain's annual presentation of the Olwen Wymark Awards.

Ar ddydd Gwener, Rhagfyr 4ydd, cawsom wahoddiad i Theatr y Royal Court yn Llundain i seremoni wobrau (anffurfiol ac hyfryd) Olwen Wymark gyda'r WGGB.

The Olwen Wymark Theatre Encouragement Awards, the brainchild of playwright Mark Ravenhill, were set up to give WGGB members the opportunity to publicly thank those who had given them a positive experience in new writing over the previous year. They are named in honour of playwright Olwen Wymark, passionate supporter of WGGB and former Chair of the WGGB Theatre Committee, who died in 2013.

Cafodd Gwobrau Annogaeth Theatr Olwen Wymark eu cynnig gan y dramodydd Mark Ravenhill i roi cyfle i aelodau WGGB ddiolch yn gyhoeddus i'r rheiny sydd wedi cynnig cyfle a phrofiad positif iddynt dros y flwyddyn dwethaf. Maent wedi'u henwi ar ôl Olwen Wymark, cefnogwr brwd a chyn-Lywydd Pwyllgor Theatr WGGB, a farwodd yn 2013. 

Having heard about this award from WGGB, Alun nominated Mared Swain, along with Kate Wasserberg, Artistic Director of The Other Room, for their fantastic encouragement and dramaturgy in the development and production of 'A Good Clean Heart'. 

Wedi clywed am y gwborau hyn gan WGGB, enwebwyd Mared - ynghyd â Kate Wasserberg, Cyfarwyddwr Artistig The Other Room, gan Alun am eu hannogaeth a dramäwriaeth wrth ddatblygu a chynhyrchu 'A Good Clean Heart'.

We're chuffed that such encouragement and positivity has a platform to be recognised and we're grateful to WGGB for the kind invitation and generosity on the day.

Y'n ni wrth ein bodd fod yna blatfform i'r fath annogaeth a phositifrwydd gael eu cydnabod, ac ry'n ni'n diolch i WGGB am y gwahoddiad a'r croeso cynnes ar y diwrnod.

Llongyfarchiadau Mared, a DIOLCH!

For more information on the event, check out this link:

Am fwy o wybodaeth ar y digwyddiad, gallwch ddilyn y linc hwn: https://writersguild.org.uk/olwen-wymark-awards-2015-winners-announced/