Two Welsh BAFTA-winning actors going head-to-head on the same stage is always likely to make the sparks fly. And bringing two of the nation's favourites together for D.J. Britton's new play 'Silverglass' is proving no exception.
The play, about the mysterious and electric friendship between Valleys writer Rhys Davies and cult literary heroine Anna Kavan, is an emotional roller-coaster for actors Richard Elfyn and Eiry Thomas.
Richard Elfyn teams up with Britton again following their hugely successful Lloyd George stage-play The Wizard the Goat and the Man Who Won the War. Eiry Thomas, fresh from filming The Indian Doctor (BBC1) and Hinterland (S4C/BBC4), worked with Britton on his recent version of Measure for Measure for Sherman Cymru.
Rhys Davies was a master-craftsman of Welsh fiction, combining pin-point observation of Valleys life with a twinkling sense of humour. Kavan wrote dark and troubled novels described by J.G. Ballard as 'somewhere between poetry and madness'.
Each lived a life of self-invention, in which secrets, sexuality and deep questions of personal identity lurked constantly in the shadows. Silverglass is set in the late 1960s when Davies' late literary recognition and Kavan's final tragedy came together like a thunderclap.
Britton is using the same development process for Silverglass that proved so successful for The Wizard the Goat and the Man Who Won the War.
The show will be given a single pilot performance at the Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea, on 13 September 2013, followed by a public discussion session for those who want to stay. The team will then do further work on the show before offering it for national tour next year.
'Giving an early audience a first chance to see and comment on the play worked well for The Wizard,' said Britton, who heads dramatic writing programmes at Swansea University.
'People seem to like to be in at the start of something, and, of course, by telling us what they think, they become part of the creative process. We've become committed to this way of working.
In rehearsal, Eiry and Richard do things I wouldn't have thought possible, switching from comedy to deep pain on the turn of a heel. It's a high-energy piece and in rehearsal they manage to combine pace with grace quite astoundingly.'
The 13 September Taliesin / evening performance of Silverglass is part of the Rhys Davies short story conference being held at Swansea University from 13-15 September 2013.
Tickets for the play are available from the Taliesin box-office on 01792 60 20 60 priced £8, £6 concession.
It is not intended for children. Recommended for age 16 years and over.
Silverglass is presented by Theatr Cadair in association with The Rhys Davies Trust and Literature Wales. For details of The Rhys Davies Short Story Conference visit: www.rhysdaviestrust.org
D. J. Britton is an award-winning dramatist, director and dramaturg. He was formerly National Executive Producer heading the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio drama department, and is now the Drama specialist on the Creative Writing Programme in the English Department at Swansea University.
See this story in the Media:
- Friday 30 August 2013 13.16 GMT
- Monday 9 September 2013 15.31 GMT
- RIAH, Swansea University