The winners of Theatr Iolo’s Young Playwright’s competition have had their plays read by professional actors and turned into audio plays to be released on March 11. The competition, which took place during summer 2020, was created by Theatr Iolo to provide a creative activity for children and young people whilst theatres were closed.
The winning plays are The Wakey-Wake-Amatic by Esme (age 10), Home from War by Lauren (age 14), Two Worlds, One Meal by Faaris (age 13) and Cer i Ffwrdd by Rhiana (age 15).
Winning Entries Recorded Over Video Calls
The children and young people’s theatre company were originally set to stage the winning productions at the Sherman Theatre, but as theatres around the country remain closed, the four winning scripts are now set to be released as audio plays that can be listened to at home or in schools on the Theatr Iolo podcast channel.
The plays were recorded over a series of video calls, in which the winning playwrights had an opportunity to share their inspiration with the actors and directors and watch their plays being recorded. The plays were directed by Lee Lyford and Sion Pritchard and performed by Mali Ann Rees, Sion Pritchard, Sara Lloyd, Kyle Lima and Connor Allen.
Young Playwright. Lauren who wrote Home from War said, “The experience has really opened my eyes to all the different levels there are to creating a performance and it’s been so interesting for me to go through the process step by step and experience it as if I were working professionally. I’ve enjoyed every aspect of the experience starting from the first draft of my play to the final recording session and I am so grateful I got the opportunity to work with everyone on the performance.”
Actor, Connor Alen said “Lauren’s play demonstrates not only a heartfelt story about the complexities of human emotions and experiences, but it also shows us a young, vibrant voice bursting out on the scene. That in itself is exciting, because the potential is endless and she clearly shows that the next generation of voices is one to watch”.
Young Playwrights Discuss Plays in Interview
Alongside the plays, the young playwrights have also recorded an interview with Theatr Iolo’s Artistic Director, Lee Lyford and actor and director, Sion Pritchard. The interview explores what inspired them to write their scripts and what it was like to work with professional actors. It is hoped that the plays will help to inspire the next generation of playwrights in Wales.
“As a company who make original work solely for children up to the age 16, we’re committed to making sure that our work is meaningful to our young audiences,” says Lee Lyford. “The Young Playwrights competition offers us a unique opportunity to listen directly to young people and for them to freely express their passions, beliefs, and interests. By providing opportunities for young people to write for their peers, we hope to create work that represents the wide range of the subject matters that interest young people today, as well inspire and develop the theatrical voices of the future.”
The plays will be available to listen to for free through Theatr Iolo’s podcast channel from Tuesday 9 March. They can also be read, along with the other competition entries, on Theatr Iolo’s website from this date. Interviews with the young playwrights can be watched on Theatr Iolo’s YouTube channel and listened to through their podcast channel. The interviews will also be made available with subtitles.