Theatr Fach, Llangefni, Little Gem Of The Island!
by Sue Beesley
It is a warm wet Sunday afternoon and I approach an unlovely group of outbuildings wondering if I am in the right place.
Invited to attend a rehearsal at Theatr Fach on the edge of Llangefni on Anglesey, I am not expecting to be entertained.
I am a non-Welsh speaker and I have been assured everything will be in Welsh.
Two surprises await me and shatter my preconceptions. The first is a miracle that makes me gasp.
The little theatre is just that, a perfect old-fashioned theatre with graduated seating, a proper stage, antique lighting and that lovely dusty smell that all old theatres seem to have.
It is cosy, intimate and romantic.
The second surprise is that the play is in English. The group of actors and other thespians are enthusiastic in their welcome.
There are about twenty of the company present, some travelling from as far away as Conwy such is their loyalty and commitment.
I am impressed. I had expected the usual village hall scenario with wooden back-breaking seats and half the required cast members missing. Apparently not at Theatr Fach.
Outstanding is the vivacious blonde who seems to be in charge of things.
She is Catrin Jones Hughes, Artistic Director, she tells me with a disarming smile, been involved since she first came at age eleven and is now approaching the age where life begins.
Quite obviously life is something she already enjoys enormously in her work for Theatr Fach.
That is Theatr without the "e" she tells me quietly, looking at my notes.
She also informs me that plays used to be in English for half the productions but in recent years they have diminished to only one in ten because no plays were submitted in English.
Now they are joining forces with the Amlwch Creative Writers group who have written plays for their consideration.
Four are already in rehearsal and will be presented at the Theatr on October 1st to 4th at 7.30 p.m.
Two plays by
Kay Middlemiss of Brynteg are black
comedies involving fun and games at a funeral where relatives are intent on taking the deceased's belongings for Safe Keeping.
The second play is a sequel where the criminal of the first play gets his come-uppance at the hands of a genteel old lady who lives in A Quiet Environment.
The third play is "Mother" by Joy Mawby of Benllech and is a bitter sweet tale of daughters who live under the silent domination of their wheelchair or bed-bound parent.
The major character is a part that requires extraordinary acting to bring alive a person who rarely speaks but completely dominates events for all the family.
The play has dramatic impact but this is tempered by the dark humour as the dragon's secret is revealed.
Bob Mason is the author of "Birthright", a modern version of an Old Testament Bible story about the feud between brothers Jacob and Essau.
The competitiveness of brothers in a family business is given an interesting twist in a 1930s environment.
Kay Middlemiss's two plays are directed by Owen Hugh Roberts. "Mother" and "Birthright" are directed by Catrin Jones Hughes.
More plays in English are in the works and will be presented in February 2009.
Tickets are available from Cwpwrdd Cornel, Stryd Fawr, Llangefni (behind Boots the Chemists on the High Street 01248 750218) at £5. members £4.
Safe Keeping and Quiet Environment will be performed on Thursday and Saturday and Mother and Birthright are to be performed on Wednesday and Friday.
Theatr Fach is a charity, part of the Little Theatre Guild and is partly funded by the Welsh Arts Council and Anglesey County Council.
There are weekly workshops in drama and theatre and classes for young people of all ages from six to a hundred and six whether bi-lingual, Welsh or English speaking.
With the resurgence of interest in all areas of amateur art, this Little Theatre is one that should not only survive. It deserves to go from strength to strength.