The searing stories of My People – darkly comic, poignant, with flashes of savagery – exposes the hypocrisy and avarice nestling side-by-side in a Nonconformist community in the rural West Wales of the early 1900s.
The publication of My People caused a literary sensation – denounced in The Western Mail as ‘the literature of the sewer’, Evans was branded a national traitor. His books were burned in Wales, but in London he was compared with Zola, Gorky, and Joyce. Dylan Thomas later cited “the great Caradoc Evans” as a powerful influence.
This modern reimagining makes us question whether the events depicted in these remarkable stories are consigned to the past, or can we discern uncomfortable parallels in our modern life?
In the centenary year of one of the most vilified books in Welsh history, this Clwyd Theatr Cymru co-production with award-winning Invertigo Theatre brings the scorching imagination of My People to the stage in the première of a new version.
THIS PRODUCTION HAS NOW FINISHED, BUT YOU CAN BUY A COPY OF THE PLAYTEXT ON AMAZON.
Created and Adapted by: Steffan Donnelly
Co-Directors: Aled Pedrick, Steffan Donnelly
Designer: Cécile Tremolieres
Composer: Tom Recknell
Sound Designer: Dyfan Jones
Movement Director: Siân Williams
‘An uncategorisable production…with real power to move’
‘dark themes at break-neck speed…maintains the controversial spirit of the original’
British Theatre Guide
‘acid-sharp prose, biting humour…clever adaptation…entertaining and shocking’
My Welsh companion shook his head and said ‘They are not my people’
Shropshire What’s On Guide
‘Biblically bad behaviour’
Read Steve Stratford’s ★★★★ Arts Scene Wales review
‘The stories-within-stories set-up to the staging shows that co-directors Steffan Donnelly and Aled Pedrick are more than happy to tinker with tradition. The play has an almost Monty Python frenetic quality at times, and Cecile Tremolieres’ startling set – a chapel which doubles up as a series of Celebrity Squares-type windows – combines to make it an unpredictable show. Appropriately, the presentation of Caradoc Evans’s stories is theatrically nonconformist, with some real risks taken, but I suspect the Big Man himself wouldn’t have it any other way.’
Read Afred Hickling’s Guardian review
‘Donnelly, who co-directs with Aled Pedrick, weaves the tales into a form of increasingly nightmarish, collective hallucination …. a carnival of the grotesque that might make Evans as many new enemies as converts.’
Listen to Nicola Heywood-Thomas talking to Steffan Donnelly on the Radio Wales Arts Show, 4 November 2015
Listen to Nia Roberts talking to Steffan Donnelly and Aled Pedrick on Radio Cymru’s Stiwdio programme, 27 October 2015 (in Welsh)