As we look towards a new year with the hope of a less challenging, kinder 2021 – Theatr Felinfach’s Panto crew have kept their distance by coming together to create a mini panto to guide us towards Christmas.
Brwydr y Bylbiau – am Randi-bŵ! has all the usual ingredients of the Felinfach Welsh language pantomime - nonsense, mischief and a sprinkling of magic from a local perspective and rural humor. The cast includes actors and singers from Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire and a small chorus of young people. There are also dance and art contributions from local artists and children's artwork is also featured in the production which will appear in 5 episodes on Theatr Felinfach's social media networks.
The panto story takes us to the Aeron Valley where the local residents are making an effort, despite social constraints to come together remotely to celebrate the festivities and the hope of Christmas. However, the baddies, Brad Ŵr, Ben Ake and Lleu Slei have a plan to undermine the fun and community involvement. Brad Ŵr has enjoyed 2020 especially the fact that no social activities have brought nice little people together to collaborate and to co-create, and his plan is to steal the Valley's power - in every way.
Lowri Briddon, Theatr Felinfach's Senior Creative Officer and member of the production team said: "Despite the turmoil and challenges of 2020, the scripting team, cast and production team have had great fun coming together in a virtual way this year. To see everyone on Zoom and Teams was so lovely especially when the banter and laughter started, it has highlighted how rewarding it is to get involved and get together, even remotely.”
Jaci Evans, who plays Ben Ake, has performed in over 40 pantomimes to date, and this year has learned how to use Zoom in order to take part. He said: "I never thought I'd be using Zoom. Let alone making a pantomime on Zoom!”
Jaci and his brother spent an afternoon on the phone with Dwynwen from the theatre, loading Zoom on to Jaci's laptop and connecting with each other. By about four o'clock, they succeeded and the next challenge was attending rehearsals and recording scenes.
Dwynwen Lloyd Llywelyn, Head of Theatr Felinfach said: "Although we have been planning for months to create some sort of pantomime at the end of 2020, we’ve had to adapt and change our plans several times in response to social rules and restrictions. It wasn’t our choice to create a panto on Zoom, but it has been so beneficial to pull everyone together to create something and it is true to say that the process is as important if not more important than the final project.”
"Brwydr y Bylbiau – Am Randi-bŵ" will appear on Theatr Felinfach’s social network platforms over 5 episodes, starting Sunday 20 December at 20:20 pm with subsequent episodes to follow at 20:20 up until Christmas Eve.