12 June 2019
A comedy drama based on research by a University of South Wales professor seeks to unravel the history of St Cadoc, the founder of Christianity in Wales.
Cadoc and the Drowned Boys is a play written by award-winning playwright and director Vic Mills, inspired by the research and poetry of his brother, Professor Kevin Mills, and explores the life of the 5th century Abbot.
The play will open at Blackwood Little Theatre on Friday 5 July, before touring seven churches across South Wales which were named after St Cadoc.
Vic formed the new theatre company, Contemporancient Theatre, this year to encourage communities to explore their own stories of past and present.
This exciting new piece of theatre retells the ancient tale of two young men who drowned in the sea between Barry and Flat Holm; reimagined as the focus of a project by three modern-day drama students. As their roles merge with those of the ancient characters, questions of faith, intolerance, morality and identity are explored.
The characters, played by a cast of three professional actors – Matthew Curran, Jemima Nicholas and Gareth Price-Stephens – help uncover a darker story than they could have imagined; of abuse, misogyny and obsession.
Explaining the reasons for co-writing the play, Prof Kevin Mills said: “Place names have interested me since childhood, and a few years ago I started to notice that South East Wales has many churches dedicated to Cadoc / Catwg, and several villages are also named after him.
“His influence on the post-Roman shaping of Wales must have been very significant for the traces of it to survive into the present, and once I began researching the subject, I found that the stories about him were a rich blend of pagan Celtic mythology – a longstanding interest of mine – and Christian traditions.”
The play’s Director, Vic Mills, added: “Churches are incredibly theatrical spaces, and what goes on in them is theatrical, so they lend themselves to drama. It has been challenging to adapt our work to different performance spaces, as some of them are very small, but we’re excited to see the audience reaction.”
Following its opening night, Cadoc and the Drowned Boys will tour the following venues:
St Catwg’s Church, Pentyrch, Cardiff on 9 July; Cadoxton Juxta Church, Barry on 11 July; St Cadoc’s Church, Caerleon on 12 July, St Cadoc’s Church, Glynneath on 18 July, St Cadoc’s Church, Raglan on 19 July, St Cadoc’s Church, Llangattock Lingoed, Monmouthshire on 20 July, and St Catwg’s Church, Gelligaer on 4 September.
All performances of the play are free to attend, and start at 7.30pm. To reserve tickets for the opening night, visit the Blackwood Little Theatre website: www.thelittleboxoffice.com/blackwood.
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