#NEONSPARX - SAFBWYNT 'SGWENNWRAIG / A WRITER'S PERSPECTIVE

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

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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