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Llwyth: Y Daith i Taiwan

Popular stage play from Wales reaches Taiwan

Since its first performance in Cardiff back in 2010 Dafydd James's powerful play, Llwyth (Tribe), has travelled around Wales three times, entertained audiences in London and Edinburgh, and has even been performed at a festival in Taiwan.

The documentary Llwyth: Y Daith i Taiwan (Llwyth: The Journey to Taiwan) on Thursday, 28 March follows the play, the dramatist, the crew and the actors to the Taipei Arts Festival, showing how the critically-acclaimed play received an equally warm welcome on the other side of the world.

"The crew and the drama itself received a warm welcome in Taiwan," says dramatist Dafydd James, who is originally from Cowbridge but now lives in Grangetown, Cardiff. "Having seen Llwyth at the Edinburgh Festival, the organisers of the Taipei Arts Festival in Taiwan felt it was relevant to the audience there too. They could see parallels between the political relationship of the English and Welsh languages in Llwyth and that of Taiwanese and Mandarin in Taiwan."

Llwyth tells the story of four gay men on a night out in Cardiff, and the story, with its witty dialogue, questions stereotypes and asks what it is to be gay in Wales today. It also explores the concept of belonging, and challenges conventional ideas about Welshness, the Welsh language and tries to answer the age old question, 'What is love?'

"When I was writing the drama, I wrote what I wanted to see on stage in Wales. I didn't think for a second that it would be so popular," says Dafydd, who also scripts for S4C's popular drama Gwaith Cartref and who is currently working on a new Welsh-language play for the stage.

The play's five actors performed Llwyth three times in Taiwan, and during the programme Danny Grehan, Michael Humphreys, Paul Morgans, Joshua Price and Simon Watts talk about their journey. We also hear from Dafydd, the dramatist, and Arwel Gruffydd, the director. It was Arwel, now the Artistic Director at National Theatre Wales, who persuaded Dafydd to write the play.

"Llwyth explores an alternative nationalism, one which re-considers the traditional idea of Welshness and look at Wales's relationship with the world, as opposed to simply its relationship with neighbouring cultures," says Dafydd.

"So it was appropriate that Llwyth ended up in Taipei. There's something wonderful about the fact that the play's own journey eventually mirrored its themes."