In an exciting new partnership, S4C will collaborate with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru to adapt some of their dramas for television.
The partnership will create a television drama based on Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru's theatrical performances. It will also give life to the dramas online with additional resources including educational materials and local history.
The partnership's first project is a new TV drama based on the performance of Y Bont (The Bridge) which will take place on the streets of Aberystwyth on Sunday, 3 February. The site specific drama recreates the Welsh Language Society's first ever protest on Trefechan Bridge in February 1963.
Cameras will film the live performance for the TV drama and combine this footage with additional dramatic material that follows a love story between two young characters that have come to Aberystwyth; one to take part in the event, and the other there by chance.
The TV drama has been written by Catrin Dafydd and Ceri Elen. It is a Greenbay production for S4C in association with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. The production will use the story of the Trefechan Bridge protest as a basis for a season of programmes looking at the history of protest on S4C.
In April, S4C will work again with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru during another project called Tir Sir Gâr (The Land of Carmarthenshire) which celebrates the relationship between people and the land. The live performance takes place at Carmarthen Museum where an exhibition of agricultural items will be combined with creative performances.
The work tells the story of one farm and the family's concern for the future after the father is taken ill. This is the story that will form the TV drama and will be part of a collection of S4C programmes looking at the relationship between people and the land. The TV drama will be produced by Joio production company, written by Roger Williams, with Lee Haven Jones directing.
Gwawr Martha Lloyd, S4C Programme Commissioner, says, "Working with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, we can create an exciting and ground-breaking dramatic event. This is an ambitious project that uses writing, acting, producing and directing talents to offer a special event for the TV and digital audience.
“The intention is to push the boundaries and use additional digital material that will run alongside the live productions. Using television and online resources the production expands from being a local event into something national."
Dafydd Rhys, S4C Director of Content, says, "This exciting partnership is an opportunity for us to work with a national organization to provide opportunities for people to gain experience in different fields and develop new talent.
"Y Bont and Tir Sir Gâr lend themselves very well to co-production in this way.
“Co-productions are very important to us at S4C. They allow us to be particularly ambitious and to collaborate on unusual and exciting projects. We’ve said openly that we would do far more of this kind of work, and its great to see our plans begin to come to fruition.”
Arwel Gruffydd, Artistic Director of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, says, "The partnership means that the work of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru will reach a wider audience than usual, and perhaps reach new audiences too. It's been a worry for me that the wonderful, and very often pioneering, hard work of Welsh theatre artists is not seen beyond a small number of performances in a limited context.
"By working with S4C we can offer new platforms for the artists, who in turn, will offer new ways of working and creating imaginative creative material. The desire by both establishments to work together is a sign of confidence in our artists, and our collective desire to be relevant and contemporary in content and vision, and to bring ambitious dramatic work of the highest quality to Welsh audiences."