What happens when you meet the love of your life and then find the country has been hit by a Pandemic and you are advised by the government to stay indoors and not contact or visit friends or family?
Isolationship is a new series by South Wales playwright Owen Thomas chronicling the blossoming new relationship of Alys and Daf which has been interrupted by the arrival of the COVID19 pandemic. As the pair retreat to their individual homes, Daf with his Dad, Alys with her Mother, they attempt to continue communication via an array of methods including phone and letter.
Isolationship stars Gwenllian Higginson who currently stars in televisions 35 Diwrnod as Alys and Gareth John Bale who featured in Owen Thomas’s acclaimed stage biography of Ray Gravell, Grav. The actors starred in Owen Thomas’s most recent stage play West, which toured Wales in the spring, taking in performances in both London and New York.
Combining comedy with drama, the first five episodes of Isolationship examine through monologue medium how the characters adapt to isolation while dealing with an array of emotions and situations that form their past, present and future, including their newfound relationship.
Isolationship evolved as a collaborative idea from both Owen Thomas and Gareth Bale as Owen explains to Andy Howells:
“We thought about trying to do a play that would continue and unfold over the course of the lockdown. We hit upon the idea of a couple, who have never met the right person, who meet and fall in love, and are then separated. She is forced to live with her mother, and he with his father. The play documents how they try to stay in touch and communicate their feelings in this worldwide event. The pain of finding ‘the one’ and then not being able to see each other.”
Owen was mindful that although the story is a work of fiction, it is reflecting true events.
“I wanted the writing to echo some of the things that are unfolding as this pandemic develops – furloughing, timescales, the weather etc. It is intended to be a sweet story, but also a form of social document.”
With Gareth already on board with the project as Daf, the pair were delighted to invite Gwenllian Higginson to play Alys. Five episodes of Isolationship have already been uploaded to YouTube and already the series is building a strong following.
“They take turns with filming and uploading, so there’s a different episode from them each week.”