Theatre

Ganed i'n byd CONNIE ORFF / Unto us a CONNIE ORFF is born

Llun/Image: Claire Ford Photography

Llun/Image: Claire Ford Photography

As a Lady very near and dear to my heart once said, “Hi, Cherubs…”

 

Firstly, sorry for being absent of late (you may not have noticed, so we shan’t dwell on’t)… We thought we’d give you a little update on where we’re at with our project, Tuck, but specifically so on a rather vital research element (for me, Alun).

I was initially inspired to write Tuck based on my own experiences of watching Drag Queens perform, from Cardiff’s own Miss Kitty, Pixie Perez, Marcia Bassey Jones and the late, great Lady Ding, to Drag Race favourites Katya, Jinkx Monsoon, Latrice Royale and MANY others.

I’m a fan of Drag, but the question remained, would I be informed enough to write an actual play about it? People often advise Writers to “write what you know” - it's valid and valuable advice, and means that your play is informed, that you’re not approximating other people’s genuine experiences, potentially presenting broad brushstrokes and missing the intricate details. Writing what you know means really ‘getting it’ and presenting a stronger authenticity. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, obviously, but it’s about thorough research.

Would it be enough, therefore, to watch videos and read about Drag? Probably not.

Read on… It’s about to get dangerous.

 

I’d read somewhere about a Drag ‘course’ based in London, and did a little more research. I found that the third ‘round’ of The Art of Drag would be starting up in September, led by a performer called Michael Twaits. I did my research on Michael and found that he’s been working on the Drag and Cabaret circuit in London for some years, and regularly comperes at Pride in London… On the main stage in Trafalgar Square. That’s a pretty safe bet.

I signed up, paid my money, booked Cardiff-London-Cardiff buses, begged understanding and patience from my damn cool husband (husband-slash-co-parent), and lo, for some months now I have been getting to London, attending class, doing homework and preparing my 7-10-minute act for our showcase on November 29th.

My 10 weeks spent in a mixed-gender group of twelve was gloriously helpful and an education. Michael Twaits proved to be the most positive, open, helpful mentor, bringing in guest speakers with a rainbow of experience in Drag, from comedy queens like Myra Dubois and Cosmic, to Drag King Adam All, to performance artist, Pi the Mime.

I fulfilled an ambition - one which excited and terrified me in equal measure. I thought I might do The Art of Drag in order to learn, but perhaps not do the showcase. After our first class I already knew that there was no way I could miss the showcase… Even with tickets already booked to see Steps live that night!!

Our showcase night was a joyful evening of entertainment by the Drag world’s newest ‘recruits’… Including a one-Ming(-the-Merciless)-ABBA-tribute; a Russian Trump-loving harlet and a Ke$ha-esque icon-in-mourning. It was awesome, and an inspiring springboard for my act, Connie Orff. There are some CRACKING pics from the night here...

 

Connie Orff has been birthed, and I don’t think she’s going back in the closet anytime soon… Watch out, Cardiff... Soon!

You can follow Connie Orff on:
Twitter: @connie_orff
Instagram: @connieorff

If you're interested in Michael Twaits' The Art of Drag course then you can find more info here.

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Shwmai bawb!

 

Ga’i ymddiheuro am fod mor absennol yn ddiweddar… O’n ar fîn defnyddio’r un hen esgus a glywn yn ddyddiol - ‘pethau’n brysur’ - ond y’n ni gyd yn brysur, ife? Dyma jyst diweddariad sydyn ar lle y’n ni arni gyda’n prosiect ni, Tuck, ac yn arbennig felly ar un elfen ymchwil eitha hanfodol…!

Ces i’n ysbrydoli i ddechre creu Tuck o ‘mhrofiad o wylio Drag Queens - a pidwch cael fi’n rong… Sai’n credu bo ‘Brenhinesau Drag’ â cweit yn un ‘ring’… Na DragFrenhinesau. Wy’ ‘di wotsho lot o Cwîns gore Caerdydd - Marcia Bassey Jones, Miss Kitty, Pixie Perez, y diweddar Lady Ding - a rhai ‘llai llwydiannus’ lleol hefyd (na’i ddim enwi!), ond hefyd Cwîns profiadol Rupaul’s Drag Race - Detox, Tatianna a Bianca Del Rio.

Dwi’n ffan GO FAWR o Drag, ond y cwestiwn oedd, a faswn i’n deall Drag, yn medru treiddio i’r byd ddigon i sgwennu drama amdani? Y cyngor cyson ma’ sgwennwyr yn ‘i dderbyn yw “write what you know” - cyngor da - ma’ hynny’n golygu y bydd yr awdur yn hynod o gyfarwydd â’r deunydd a’r pwnc; mae’n golygu nad y’ch chi’n sgwennu amcan o brofiadau go iawn pobol eraill (pobol fydd, o bosib yn gweld y gwaith). Dychmygwch gweld darn o theatr yng Nghymru am y profiad o fod yn Gymry, sydd wedi’i sgwennu gan rywun sydd erioed wedi byw neu ymweld â Chymru. Mae’n ddigon posib y gall y fath waith dramgwyddo, heb sôn am fod yn anneglur. Mae sgwennu am yr hyn sy’n gyfarwydd i chi yn golygu deall y pwnc a’r deunydd neu’r cymeriadau a chyflwyno, felly, dilysrwydd. Nid dyma’r reol hard and fast wrth gwrs - mae ‘na ddigon o eithriadau ond mae ymchwil yn hanfodol.

A fase’n ddigon, felly, i ddarllen erthyglau, i wylio perfformiadau a fideos am Drag?

Daeth newid.

 

O’n i wedi darllen rhywle - yr hen Weplyfr - am ‘gwrs’ Drag yn Llundain, ac wedi ychydig ragor o ymchwil fe ddes i ar draws manylion The Art of Drag fase’n dechrau (eto) ym mis Medi, o dan aden perfformiwr o’r enw Michael Twaits. Do’n i ddim eisiau gwastraffu amser ac arian, felly nes i chydig o ymchwil ar Michael a gweld ei fod yn berfformiwr hynod o brofiadol a brilliant oedd wedi bod yn perfformio ar y circuit Cabaret ers rhai blynyddoedd ac hefyd yn cyflwyno ar brif lwyfan Pride in London yn Trafalgar Square. Hyderys oeddwn!

Dales i’n arian, bwco ambell i National Express Caerdydd-Llundain-Caerdydd, gofyn yn garedig am ddealltwriaeth gyda ngwr (a chyd-riant wrth gwrs), cyn commiwtio i Lundain am ddeg wythnos wrth baratoi act 7-10-minute ar gyfer y showcase ar Dachwedd 29ain.

Roedd treulio 10 wythnos mewn grwp hollol gymysg o ran oedran, rhyw, rhywioldeb a diddordebau yn amazing o addysgiadol. Ges i gyflawni uchelgais - un hollol gyffrous a terrifying. Dyw ‘brawychus’ ddim wir yn cyfleu ‘terrifying’ yn yr un ffordd. O’n i wedi meddwl gwneud y cwrs a dysgu popeth allwn i, ond efallai osgoi gwneud y showcase - efallai y basai dysgu’r wybodaeth yn ddigon OND… Wedi’r dosbarth gynta, o’n i’n gwbod fod angen i fi wneud y perfformiad - oedd hi’n rywbeth roedd angen i fi ‘neud!!

Noson fendigeidfran oedd noson y showcase, yn dangos talentau recriwtiaid newydda’ byd Drag… Gan gynnwys Mamgu oedd yn poeni’n arw am fywyd carwraethol ei wyr; iarlles OTT oedd wedi cyrraedd ar y bws, ac act o’r enw Fruit, a lwyddodd i gymysgu pina colada yn y modd mwya’ eye-opening mae fy Mam erioed wedi gweld yn ei byw. WAW. O ie, heb anghofio ‘chydig o stand-yp gan y Gymraes, Connie Orff. Mae 'na write-up gan Boyz Magazine a chwpwl o lunie grêt yma...

 

Mae Connie Orff - fy alter-ego - wedi’i geni, a dwi ddim yn meddwl ei bod hi am ddiflannu’n fuan iawn…

Dilynwch Connie Orff ar:
Twitter: @connie_orff
Instagram: @connieorff

Os oes gen ti ddiddordeb yng ngwrs The Art of Drag gyda Michael Twaits yna mae 'na fwy o wybodaeth yma.

We're back... Y'n ni nôl... CASTING!

YO!

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!

DATES:
EITHER
May 15-19, 2017
OR
May 22-26, 2017 (TBC, depending on availability)

LOCATION:
Cardiff

FEE:
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:
neontopiatheatre@gmail.com

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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!

DYDDIADAU:
NAILL AI
Mai 15-19, 2017
NEU
Mai 22-26, 2017
(TBC, yn ddibynnol ar argaeledd)

LLEOLIAD:
Caerdydd

FFI:
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:
neontopiatheatre@gmail.com

DIOLCH!

WHAT DOES A COMPANY STAGE MANAGER DO? / SUT DDIWRNOD CAIFF REOLWR(AIG) LLWYFAN Y CWMNI?

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.

*NOTE FROM PRODUCER - OTHER ENERGY-BOOSTING, VITAMIN-FILLED (TURNS YOUR *** ILLUMINOUS) PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE...

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. 

 

SOME HOURS LATER / YCHYDIG ORIAU’N DDIWEDDARACH

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! 

        

FROM A CAST PERSPECTIVE / O SAFBWYNT ACTOR

OLIVER WELLINGTON plays 'JAY'

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?

*MARED AND ALUN BEGIN HATCHING NEXT PLAY*

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?

Oliver

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JAMES IFAN plays 'HEFIN'

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!

*NOTE FROM THE PRODUCER - SUGGEST HEALTHIER SNACK OPTIONS*

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!!!

James

REHEARSAL DAY #1 / DIWRNOD CYNTA' YMARFERION

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. 

WALES THEATRE AWARDS NOMINATIONS / ENWEBIADAU GWOBRAU THEATR CYMRU

WAHOO!

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:

http://www.walestheatreawards.com/the-awards-y-gwobrau-2016/

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

 

==

 

WAHŴ!

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

http://www.walestheatreawards.com/the-awards-y-gwobrau-2016/

 

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