Dan Lloyd dips his toe into the world of Directing...


Admit it.

You jumped.

Don’t be scared It’s just me… Dan Lloyd.
I’m the Assistant Director on the spectacularly spooky story ‘The Ghost of Morfa Colliery’ which is currently playing a sold out run to schools audiences in the Dylan Thomas Theatre on the Swansea waterfront.

It’s the story of the Morfa Colliery mining disaster which tragically claimed the lives of 87 people at the end of the 19th Century.
At the time some spooked-out survivors say they saw the ghosts of dead miners walking the tunnels of the mine… that strange things were seen and heard in the run up to the explosion… and that the ghosts and apparitions served as a warning for terrible things to come…

A little bit about my background with Theatr na nÓg…

I am a Welsh actor musician with 13 years experience working in the industry.

13. Spooky.

In that time I have worked in theatre, film, TV, radio and on the West End stage in a variety of shows from straight plays to actor-muso musicals and most stuff in between.
At the end of my training at East 15 acting school I was handed a casting breakdown for an actor musician show called ‘The Princess & The Hunter’ which was to tour theatres in the UK in 2004 for the Neath based company Theatr na nÓg.
I applied for the job and was invited to audition for Artistic Director Geinor Styles shortly afterwards.
Little did I know that this audition was to change the course of my career forever!

I have been fortunate to work on several shows as an actor for Theatr na nÓg and have always enjoyed the open and collaborative feel of their rehearsal room. I quickly learned of their integrity, drive and commitment to create work of the highest possible quality for audiences young and old alike - as well as being one of the most fun environments to work in! So much so I plucked up the courage at the end of the Tom Musical tour earlier this year to ask Geinor if I could assist her.

She said yes.


Now I always wanted to dip my toe into the world of directing and I’m so grateful that Geinor at Theatr na nÓg have given me the opportunity to see what she does and how she does it and to explore my own ideas when it comes to creating a show.

Geinor and I have always got on and straight away I felt I could voice my opinions and ideas (good and bad and really, really bad) during this process.
We laughed a lot along the way too.
I’m told the average adult laughs 17 times a day… We have 18 before lunch!
However creating a show like this takes a lot of hard work, dedication and focus. It has been fascinating to see all the pieces of the puzzle come together to create a truly wonderful imaginative experience.
The process has been a real learning curve for me. From giving notes to actors (eek!) to attending production meetings. From visiting set builds to plotting lights. It’s an access all areas pass for me to learn and absorb as much as I can about the process of putting on a show. I’ve relished every moment of it.

We use illusion, misdirection, sleight of hand, spooky sounds, light and the mystical magic of theatre to tell the tragic story of the real Welsh people who lived and worked at that time. This is a really technical show and I’ve loved exploring how we would create the magic moments… from the execution of the illusions themselves to the canny lighting and the musical choices that support every theatrical moment.

The actors are superb and the stage management are amazing. Both are totally dedicated to creating the world of our play and telling the story. A real collaborative experience where everyone is committed to creating a brilliant show for our audience.
Our composer Jac, our lighting designer Elanor and our designer Kitty have all pulled together and created a vivid and atmospheric world for our story to inhabit. Exploring all the choices with them has been very satisfying and all have been very generous with me as I try and learn as much as I can along the way.

As I write this I can hear the shrieks, screams and nervous laughs of our 3rd audience ringing over the backstage tannoy.

It all works a treat and their joyful response is what it is all about.

I have soaked it all up and feel really inspired to explore my further potential as an actor and who knows?… maybe one day a director too.

Long live Theatr na nÓg!


Profiad Ani o'i hamser gyda Theatr na nÓg

Dechreuodd yr ‘Ambassador’s Scheme’ ym mis Orffennaf i roi cyfleoedd i bobl ifanc, yn enwedig graddegion i gael profiad gwaith ar cynhyrchiadau Theatr na nÓg. Mae’r cwmni yn agored i osod unigolion yn y meusydd sbesifig y maent efo diddordeb ynddo. ‘Dwi newydd graddio o’r cwrs Theatr & Drama (trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg) ym Mhrifysgol De Cymru ac yn gweithio tuag at gyrfa fel Rheolwr Llwyfan. Rwy wedi bod yn lwcus iawn i allu neud lot o brofiad gwaith cyn prifysgol ac yn ystod astudio a nawr fel graddegwr rwy’n gallu ffocysu mwy ar y sgiliau hanfodol i mi tra hefyd yn creu cysylltiadau ac felly mae’r hyfforddiant yma yn gret i bobl fel fi.

Lawnsiodd y ‘Llysgenhadon’ eleni yn ystod y perfformiadau o “TOM A Story of Tom Jones - A Musical” ond des i mewn ym mis Orffennaf ar ddechrau’r cynhyrchiad ‘Anturiaethau Anhygoel Wallace & Bates’ ag oedd yn rhedeg dros pedwar wythnos mewn 3 wahanol lleoliad. Gyda phob lleoliad roedd newid yn y gynulleidfaoedd ag oedd yn mynychu’r perfformiadau. Dechreuodd y rhediad gyda perfformiadau ysgol yn yr amgueddfa, wedyn perfformiadau cyhoeddus yn theatr yr amgueddfa gan orffen yn y Cwt Drama yn yr Eisteddfod.

Roedd y perfformiadau cyntaf i ysgolion yn cymryd lle wrth y ‘Clore Discovery Centre’ ddim yn bell o’r arddangosfa newydd ‘Wriggle’. Oherwydd yr arddangosfa cyfagos, sydd yn dangos gwybodaeth ac arddangosfeudd rhyngweithiol, roedd yn cydberthyniad addas i’r perfformiad a fu’r ysgolion gan amlaf yn mynd yna cyn neu ar ôl gwylio’r sioe. Gan fod mwy o ffocws ar yr addysg roedd gosod y perfformiad ar gefn ystafell llawn casgliadau anifeiliaid a pryfed yn pwysleisio themau gwyddonol y darn yn fwy.

Symudodd y sioe wedyn i’r Theatr Reardon Smith, wrth ochr yr amgueddfa. Dyma awditorium crand, traddodiadol ac felly roedd mwy o deimlad o sioe nodweddiadol. Roedd goleuadau mwy soffistigedig a doedd dim angen y speakers ar y llwyfan gan fod y sain yn dod o llefydd penodedig yn yr awditorium. Effeithiodd newid y lleoliad ar yr actorion yn bennaf - Tom Blumberg a Tom Gwynfryn Evans gan fod y ffocws yn wahanol ac felly roedd y perfformiad iddyn nhw yn teimlad hollol newydd a roedd y newidiadau yn amlwg gan fod ofyn i’r bechgyn codi eu lleisiau a gwthio eu symudiadau er mwyn cyrraedd y cynulleidfa ag oedd yn bellach na’r perfformiadau ysgol.

Ar ddiwedd y perfformiad roedd alldaith i’r Cae Trefol (Urban Meadow) i chwilota am pryfed, planhigion a blodau gyda chwyddwydrau. Gweithiodd hwn yn wahanol gyda’r ysgolion nag yn y perfformiadau teulu cyhoeddus. Gyda’r ysgolion roedd mwy o waith gyda ni yr ‘aelodau cast’ i wneud er mwyn hybu’r plant i chwilota am pryfed a phlanhigion ac edrych am yr enwau gwyddonol yn y llyfrau a ddosbarthwyd gan yr amgueddfa. Y gwahaniaeth gyda’r teuluoedd yw fod llai o blant i bob oedolyn a fu’r rhieni yn mwynhau hybu’r plant tra’n ymuno mewn i cyffro yr alldaith.

Daeth y cynhyrchiad i ben yn ystod yr Eisteddfod yn Y Fenni. Yn y ddau lleoliad arall roedd diwrnod i ymarfer cyn agor i’r cyhoedd ond yn y Cwt Drama, gan fod gymaint yn digwydd bob dydd, roedd rhaid gosod y set awr cyn y perfformiad a’i symud allan yn syth ar ôl pob perfformiad. Mae bwrlwm Eisteddfodol yn meddwl fod y gwaith gosod a’r teithio yn gyffrous yn hytrach na blinedig. Doedd dim modd symyd y cae trefol o Gaerdydd i’r Eisteddfod wrth gwrs ond roedd Cae’r Castell ar y maes cyfagos i’r Cwt Ddrama. I ni, roedd y cae yn hollol newydd, a felly roedd pob darganfyddiad yr un mor cyffrous i ni na’r gynulleidfa! Gwelom sioncyn y gwair, brogaod & gwair gwahanol, diddorol. Yn anffodus, doedd yr enwau ddim gyda ni, ond yn hytrach, cynnigom i’r plant ddisgrifio nodweddion y phlanhigion/phryfed er mwyn edrych ar-lein am eu enwau yn lle a annog y plant i feddwl am pethau tebyg.


Georgia's take on Wallace and Bates

Hello, my name is Georgia Griffiths and I am a part of the Young Ambassadors Team, I am here to tell you about my experience of working with Theatr na nÓg.

As I am a recent graduate I felt nervous coming out of the comfort of university, but the people at Theatr na nÓg have been very supportive, the family-like feel of their company means they welcome in new faces with open arms. My time working with them on their show of ‘The Amazing Adventures of Wallace and Bates’ and the expedition afterwards has been an experience I didn’t expect to have. I attended a few rehearsals at the beginning of the process to see how the show was directed, what the actors were like and just to plainly find out about the show itself. Considering they only had a quarter of the usual time to put a show together, I think they have created a brilliant piece of theatre. The play itself offers comedy, friendship and adventure, which I think is inspiring to children who watch.

For their first performance week in the National Museum in Cardiff, they had school performances meaning different school children and homeschooled children would come and see the show in the museum and I must say, this was my favorite part of the process. Just watching the children’s reaction throughout the performance was a sight to see and one that I wouldn’t have gotten if not for this opportunity. They were completely engaged the whole time, following the actors every move and word.

The soundtrack throughout the performance was beautiful, it completely grasped the essence of the entire play and somehow, with the magic of music, made you feel like you knew the characters already, that you weren’t meeting them for the first time. The actors Tom Blumberg, who played Henry Walter Bates, and Tom Gwynfryn, who played Alfred Russell Wallace, brought the characters to life in the rehearsal space and even more so on stage. Watching the performance twice everyday for a week may sound monotonous but I assure you it wasn’t at the slightest, the actors kept each performance fresh and new and with different audiences you never knew what you were going to get.

After the performance, the audience would be taken on an exhibition around the museum or explore the outside meadow where they would discover different plants, flowers and creatures and have to find the name. The children seemed to love the exploration side and threw themselves into it.

Overall, the performances of ‘The Amazing Adventures of Wallace and Bates’ seemed to be adored by every audience member and each individual seemed to take a different lesson and/or meaning from the piece, which in my eyes makes the whole experience a success.


Wallace & Bates!

Our public performances of The Amazing adventures of Wallace and Bates began this weekend! To learn more about these intrepid explorers, please join us at the beautiful National Museum of Wales, Cardiff for a fun family show, packed with songs! In addition to the performance, the actors will take the audience on their very own expedition to discover something new for themselves...

23–29 July 2016, 11am, 1.30pm & 3.30pm The National Museum of Wales, Cardiff…/The-Amazing-Adventures-of-Wallace--…/

Cychwynodd perfformiadau cyhoeddus o Anturiaethau Anhygoel Wallace a Bates penwythnos yma! I ddysgu mwy am ein fforwyr dewr, dewch i ymuno a ni yn yr Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Cymru yng Nghaerdydd am sioe sy'n addas i'r teulu cyfan, llawn cerddoriaeth a caneuon! Yn ogystal â’r perfformiad, bydd yr actorion yn mynd â’r gynulleidfa ar daith allan i’r awyr agored ar alldaith!

23-29 o Orffennaf 2016, 11am, 1.30pm & 3.30pm Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Cymru, Caerdydd…/The-Amazing-Adventures-of-Wallace--…/


Profiad Daisy o 'On the Edge'!

Helo! Daisy Williams ‘ma a dwi’n gweithio gyda theatr na nÓg fel rhan o’r tîm Llysgenhadon Ifanc. Cefais gyfle arbennig o gynrychioli theatr na nÓg yng ngŵyl ‘On the Edge’ yn Birmingham eleni, lle ges i amser wych.

Tra fy mod i yno, gofynnwyd y cwestiwn; ‘Sut rydyn ni fel artistiaid yn creu theatr am obaith, tra nad oes gobaith?’ Emma Bramley, cyfarwyddwr artistig ‘All Things Considered’ ofynnodd hyn yn ystod darlith ar dopigau heriol yn TYA. Wrth wylio’r newyddion yn yr oes yma, gall un yn rhwydd amau os bod unrhyw obaith yn bodoli. Ond gwnaeth hi drafod y syniad bod dim angen i ni ddangos diweddglo hapus, ond cynnig i gynulleidfaoedd ifanc y cyfle o adael yno gyda’r dewis o ddyfodol gobeithiol.

Cafodd y cysyniad o ‘obaith’ ei drafod yn ‘The Hamilton Complex’. Roedd gwylio cast o ferched 13 mlwydd oed yn perfformio am bron i ddwy awr, gan weithio drwy sbectrwm emosiwn o hysteria i ddolir dwfn, yn anodd – gan i’r themâu fod mor aeddfed a heriol am eu hoedrannau. Hyd yn oed yn fwy aflonyddus oedd eu dealltwriaeth o’r materion wrth law, gan adlewyrchu pa mor ifanc mae plant heddiw yn gorfod tyfu i fyny.

Ar ochr arall y dref gwelais ‘The Broke n Beat Collective’ yn perfformio darn wedi ei osod yn gelfydd, gan gynnig llygedyn o obaith i ni. Trwy gerddoriaeth, dawns a defnydd pypedau fe agorwyd y ffordd i bobl Llundain rannu eu storïau. Eto, canolbwyntiwyd ar y gwirionedd hesb sydd yn wynebu pobl ifanc ein byd ni heddiw, ond yn cynnig dihangfa i’r rhai hynny sydd yn teimlo eu bod wedi colli llais.

Uchafbwynt yr wythnos oedd gwrando ar weithiau newydd ysgrifenwyr ifanc a’u hymateb i’w hamser yn Birmingham. Roedd hi’n hyfryd clywed pobl gwahanol o ddiwylliannau gwahanol a sut oeddent yn teimlo ym Mhrydain. Crëwyd rhai darnau bendigedig, rhai wedi eu gosod am bobl a rhai ar bensaernïaeth y ddinas; daliwyd ymdeimlad unedig yr ŵyl a’r ddinas yn y darnau yma.

Yn gyffredinol, roedd fy amser yn Birmingham wedi fy ngadael yn teimlo’n obeithiol. Er bod y cyswllt rhwng pobl a gwledydd gwahanol wedi gwanhau – rydyn ni fel artistiaid yn gallu sicrhau eu fod yn cael eu gynnal trwy ein llais unigryw ni ein hunain – trwy berfformio. Er mwyn teimlo’r undod, does ond angen i chi ymweld â un digwyddiad yn ‘On The Edge’ i weld y wynebau gwahanol sydd yn cynrychioli’r byd.

Mae’r ffaith ein bod ni wedi gallu ymgynnull mewn ‘Parti Albanaidd’, mewn theatr ynghanol Lloegr i wylio Cymru yn chwarae eu gorau glas yn yr Ewros, yn fy llenwi a gobaith.


Daisy's 'On the Edge' experience!

Hi all! I’d just like to introduce myself; I’m Daisy Williams, currently working with theatr na nÓg as part of the Young Ambassadors team. I got the great opportunity to represent Theatr na nÓg at the ‘On the Edge’ festival in Birmingham this year and had the most amazing time. Whilst I was there the question was posed; ‘How do we as artists create theatre for hope if there isn’t any?’

These were words from Emma Bramley, Artistic Director of ‘All Things Considered’ during a lecture about challenging topics in TYA. I think we can all safely say when watching the news and current affairs, hope can seem a very distant thing. However after exploring the subject, looking at the world through rose tinted glasses isn’t always the best ending. We need to allow young audience to experience the truth and honesty of performances and then be allowed to form their own opinion.

This idea of hope was explored in ‘The Hamilton Complex’. Watching a cast of 13 year old girls perform for almost 2 hours working through a spectrum of emotions from hysteria to deep pain was difficult – as the themes displayed were questionably beyond their years. But more disturbingly was their consciousness of the issues they faced, reflecting the increasingly young age we see children having to grow up.

On the other side of town I then saw ‘The Broke n Beat Collective’ perform a beautifully mapped out show that did offer us hope. Through the use of music, dance and puppetry they opened up the way to the people of London to share their tales. Again, they focused on the harsh reality facing our world’s youth today, but offered a glimmer of escape for those who might feel like they’ve lost their voice.

A highlight from my week was listening to new works of young writers and their response to their time in Birmingham. It was wonderful to hear different people from different cultures and how they felt in Britain. Some beautiful pieces were created, some based on people and some on architecture around the city, which captured the sense of the festival and the city.

Overall my time in Birmingham left me feeling hopeful. Although our ties between different people and countries may be weakened – we as artists can make sure they are maintained through our own unique voice – through performance. You only have to attend an event at ‘On The Edge’ to see all the different faces representing the world and feel united. And the fact that we can all gather together at a ‘Uniquely Scotland’ party, in a theatre in the middle of England and watch Wales play their socks off at the Euros – gives me a lot of hope.


Cast Ysbryd Y Pwll / The Ghost of Morfa Colliery

Mae gennym pleser i gyhoeddi ein cast ar gyfer ein cynhychyrchiad 'Ysbryd Y Pwll' a fydd yn cael ei berfformio yn Theatr y Dylan Thomas yn yr hydref.
We are thrilled to announce our cast for 'The Ghost of Morfa Colliery' which will be performing at The Dylan Thomas Theatre this autumn.

Tonya Smith
Jack Quick
Richard Nichols
Aled Herbert


Iaith ar Waith

Ar ddydd Iau y 14eg o Orffennaf, 2016, fe wnaeth Theatr na nÓg cymryd rhan yn digwyddiad blynyddol Ysgol Bryn Gwyn - Iaith ar Waith. Trefnwyd y digwyddiad gan yr adran Gymraeg er mwyn hysbysi i ddisgyblion Blwyddyn 9 sut mae’r Gymraeg yn cael eu defnyddio yn y gweithle a pwysigrwydd dwyieithrwydd. Cynrychiolwyd y Cwmni gan ein Rheolwr Cynyrchu, Geraint Chinnock

“Fel rhywun a gaeth ei fagu mewn teulu di-gymraeg ond yn ffodus i gael ei addysgu drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, braint oedd cael y cyfle i siarad gyda’r cenhedlaeth nesa ac i rannu fy mhrofiadau personol o weithio i Gwmni dwyieithog fel Theatr na nÓg, ac i dynnu sylw at y cyfleuon gwaith sydd ar gael i bobl sydd yn gallu cyfarthrebu yn y ddwy iaith”

Yn ogystal a cyfraniadau gan sefydliadau Cymraeg/Dwyieithog eraill – Cynulliad Genedlaethol Cymru, Coleg Sir Gar, yr Urdd, Telesgop…, braf oedd clywed cyfraniad gan person adnabyddus i’r cwmni, yr actor/cyfarwydwyr – Ioan Hefin.


Iaith ar Waith

On Thursday the 14th of July 2016, Theatr na nÓg took part at Ysgol Bryngwyn’s annual Iaith ar Waith event. The event was organised by the Welsh department for the students of Year 9 and aimed to inform the pupils on how Welsh is used in the workplace and the importance of bilingualism. Our Production Manager, Geraint Chinnock, represented the Company at the event.

“As someone who was brought up in a non Welsh speaking family but was fortunate to be educated through the medium of Welsh, it was a great to have the opportunity to share, with the next generation, my personal experiences of working for a bilingual company like Theatr na nÓg and to highlight the potential career opportunities available to those who can communicate in both languages”

As well as other prominent Welsh/ Bilingual organisations at the event - The National Assembly of Wales, Coleg Sir Gar, Urdd, Telesgop…, contributions were also given by a familiar face to the company, the wonderful actor/director - Ioan Hefin.


Project 21 countdown.

Imagine if buildings could talk. Imagine if they could share their secrets. If they could tell us about the things they’ve seen and of the history they hold within the fibre of their structure. What would they tell us?

This question has formed the basis of our work with the children involved with Project 21 this week with the beautiful building in question of course, the Wales Millenium Centre.

We are lucky that the Millenium Centre is particularly special in that it already speaks to us every day. In great bold letters for all to see thanks to the brilliance of Gwyneth Lewis who listened to the building when it was being created. It tells us that horizons sing within the stones of this ‘ffwrnes awen’ (furnace of inspiration).

In exactly 12 months time we will share the building’s stories with audiences. The children, much like the materials which have created the structure, come from all over Wales and much like the materials, bring with them stories and secrets and history of their own.

Elan Isaac our choreographer, Jak Poore our composer and myself have had the pleasure of watching our ‘cast’ sing, dance, rap, chant, and of course laugh from North Wales to South this week. On Wednesday, we invited the AMAZING Ed Holden aka Mr Phormula along to Ysgol Glancegin in Bangor to teach us how to beat box. For someone who can barely whistle, I stood agog listening to the incredible sounds and beats his vocal chords created. The children asked him how he managed to do it? ‘Practice’ he said. ‘Lots and lots of practice’ and so to our ‘to do list’… A year of practicing to get our performance ‘Agog-inducing’.

Bring it on I say!



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