Get Ready For Comedy, Songs and a Love of Welsh Culture as Anthem Hits Wales Millennium Centre!

Wales Millennium Centre’s newest production is Anthem, an original comedy musical that follows the nation’s largest television singing competition.

A top creative team has assembled to create this brand-new production – Llinos Mai is the author, who has co-composed the songs and music with Dan Lawrence; Alice Eklund is directing and Roger Williams as a dramatist.

The cast will include Iestyn Arwel, Lily Beau Conway, Gareth Elis, Leilah Hughes, Rhian Morgan, Gwydion Rhys and Rhys ap Trefor.

The action takes place in the studio for the live final of Anthem, the nation’s biggest TV singing competition. There will be wind machines. There will be key changes. There will be plenty of arguments on Twitter!

Watch the drama and hilarity unfold – both on and off air – as the finalists from every corner of Wales get ready to compete to bring the title home. Are they longing for fame? Acceptance? Or just another trophy for Mam’s dresser?

Performed in Welsh at Wales Millennium Centre’s Weston Studio (20-30 July 2022), Anthem is a love letter to the land of song, but with its tongue firmly in cheek. Anthem will be suitable for Welsh learners and fluent Welsh speakers alike; there will be English-language subtitles in each performance.

The show marks 10 years since the Wales Millennium Centre staged their own first show – Ma’ Bili’n Bwrw’r Bronco, which was first performed at the Centre in July 2012.

Anthem author Llinos Mai says: “Anthem is a show full of comedy, songs and a love of Welsh culture and music. Quite simply, I’ve created the kind of show I’d love to see in the theatre!  I am delighted to work with Wales Millennium Centre to create Anthem, which is such an ambitious Welsh show. It’s going to be a fun evening.”

Director Alice Eklund said: “I’m really excited to be staging Anthem – there will be many elements coming together to create this show; original songs and script, film and digital work, together with the traditional elements of theatre with a shiny and flashy twist! It’s been a privilege to work with Llinos on this piece, it’s a great opportunity to show how important Welsh voices are and not to underestimate the caliber of the Welsh scene. It’s ambitious and fresh, and it promises to be a night to remember.”

Producer Branwen Jones said: “This is an example of Wales Millennium Centre’s commitment to creating contemporary work, rooted in the specific culture of Wales. I’m sure audiences will be thrilled with the talents of the creative team, the catchy songs and the characteristics of the over-the-top characters familiar to us all.”

Writer Llinos Mai is a comedy writer, songwriter and performer. She is best known as the creator of The Harri-Parris shows. Her song Dim Dyna Enw Fi!, based on her experiences of having a name many (most!) can’t pronounce, had over 40k views. She has also written and presented a new children’s comedy podcast, Hanes Mawr Cymru for BBC Sounds and is currently under commission to write a new comedy drama for Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. 

Director Alice Eklund is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Cardiff. She predominantly works as a theatre director and dramaturg on women-led new writing for plays and musicals. She is currently the Literary Associate at the Sherman Theatre. As a queer, bilingual artist living with a disability, she’s also interested in developing pieces that push the norm and boundaries of Welsh language theatre.

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