Ieithoedd

Flying the flag for Wales and Wallace

Flying the flag for Wales and Wallace

Neath based Theatr na nÓg have been spreading their magic in Makassar by performing their play “You Should Ask Wallace” in partnership with The British Council and in collaboration with Indonesian artist Abdi Karya. This unique opportunity is a celebration of Wallacea Week 2019 and the publication of Alfred Russel Wallace’s book The Malay Archipelago.
The original play, created by this Welsh Theatre company, tells the inspiring story of Alfred Russel Wallace, who was born in Usk and travelled the world collecting and detailing the variety of species. In 1854 he arrived in Indonesia, where in1858 wrote his theory of evolution by natural selection.
The British Council invited award-winning Theatr na nÓg to take part in the Festival of Inspiration, Education and the Arts to celebrate the diversity of the Wallacea region and held in Makassar from the 22nd -28th of November 2019.
Theatr na nÓg’s Artistic Director Geinor Styles said :- “It has been an incredible opportunity for us not only to tell the Welsh story of Wallace but to immerse ourselves in this incredibly diverse culture. Exactly as Wallace would have done all those years ago.”
“To collaborate with artists from the region where Wallace travelled and explored has given the experience another dimension. It is as much their story as ours. Wallace belongs wherever he goes. And so should the play” Styles added.
The play has been adapted to include the story of the characters that assisted Wallace at the time, namely Ali and Baderoon. Creating a bilingual production in English and Bahasar.
Styles explained that Wallace would have immersed himself in the culture and the language of which there are over 750 different languages in this rich and diverse region. So it was important for this new production to have both English and Bahasar side by side. This offered a new and exciting challenge for the company, who work bilingually only in Welsh and English.
The rehearsal process was conducted in both languages, with Styles and Abdi Karya, an artist from Makassar collaborating with actors Yosua Raharjo Pilli and Vicran Iskandar Putra and also Hildawaty who performed as the Bird of Paradise, one of the most significant discoveries that Wallace made.
Abdi Karya is keen to add that “This collaboration, which is devised, is based on Wallace's legacy about cultural diversity and its people, and we found that he had the same respect for culture as he did for the species he collected. And the diversity of Indonesian artists involved is represented by the origin of region where Wallace used to stay and discover those exact species.”
The reaction from audiences in Makassar seeing “Wallace” return was incredible. It was only overshadowed by the appearance of Ali his trusted assistant who came from Borneo and travelled with Wallace in the Malay Archipelago for eight years, who the audiences took to their hearts.
In addition to the performances the company held workshops with students, where Ioan Hefin performed extracts of the play, and Styles discussed how she wrote and researched the play which is
accessible for all ages yet illustrates one of the most important and complex theories in science – the theory of evolution by natural selection.
Ioan Hefin the actor who created the role of Wallace also learnt the parts of the script in Bahasar. “The way in which the story of Wallace captures an audience has always filled me with pride. Being able to cross the Wallace line has shown me that this inspiring story, with its origins in Wales, is now on a global stage. To witness that journey has been an amazing privilege.”

“In a time of extraordinary changes in our climate, the theory of evolution by natural selection has a deep resonance especially to people living here in one of the most important regions in the world for
bio-diversity. We all have a responsibility to take immediate action”.

The hope is that the play which originated in Wales will be performed in The Malay Archipelgo for years to come, and that Wallace’s legacy will live on for future generations.
This terrific opportunity tops a great year for this small Neath based company where they started the year with another British Council invitation to present their hit musical “Eye of the Storm” in Hong Kong and which has just completed a UK tour captivating audiences and receiving rave reviews.

Chwifio'r faner dros Gymru a Wallace

Mae Theatr na nÓg, sy'n hanu o Gastell-nedd, wedi bod wrthi'n lledaenu eu hudoliaeth ym Makassar trwy berfformio eu drama “Gofynnwch wrth Wallace” mewn partneriaeth â'r Cyngor Prydeinig ac ar y cyd â'r artist o Indonesia, Abdi Karya. Mae'r cyfle unigryw hwn yn ddathliad o Wythnos Wallacea 2019 a chyhoeddi llyfr Alfred Russel Wallace, The Malay Archipelago.

Mae'r ddrama wreiddiol, a grëwyd gan y cwmni theatr hwn o Gymru, yn adrodd stori Alfred Russel Wallace, a anwyd ym Mrynbuga ac a deithiodd y byd yn casglu ac yn cofnodi amrywiaeth y rhywogaethau. Ym 1854 fe gyrhaeddodd Indonesia, ac yno ym 1858 fe luniodd ei ddamcaniaeth o esblygiad trwy ddethol naturiol.

Gwahoddodd y Cyngor Prydeinig y cwmni arobryn Theatr na nÓg i gymryd rhan yng Ngŵyl Ysbrydoliaeth, Addysg a'r Celfyddydau i ddathlu amrywiaeth rhanbarth Wallacea a gynhaliwyd ym Makassar rhwng 22 a 28 Tachwedd 2019.

Meddai Cyfarwyddwr Artistig Theatr na nÓg, Geinor Styles:- “Bu'n gyfle anhygoel nid yn unig i ni adrodd stori Gymreig Wallace ond hefyd i ymdrochi yn y diwylliant hynod amrywiol hwn. Yn yr un ffordd yn union ag y byddai Wallace wedi'i wneud blynyddoedd maith yn ôl.”

“Mae gweithio ar y cyd ag artistiaid o'r rhanbarth lle bu Wallace yn teithio ac yn fforio wedi ychwanegu dimensiwn arall at y profiad. Eu stori nhw yw hi'n gymaint â'n stori ni. Mae Wallace yn perthyn i ble bynnag y mae'n mynd. Fel y dylai'r ddrama” ychwanegodd Styles.

Mae'r ddrama wedi cael ei haddasu i gynnwys stori'r cymeriadau a gynorthwyodd Wallace ar y pryd, sef Ali a Baderoon, gan greu cynhyrchiad dwyieithog yn Saesneg a Bahasar.

Esboniodd Styles y byddai Wallace wedi'i ymdrochi yn niwylliant ac iaith y rhanbarth cyfoethog ac amrywiol hwn, sydd â 750 o ieithoedd gwahanol. Felly, bu'n bwysig i'r cynhyrchiad newydd hwn gynnwys Saesneg a Bahasar ochr yn ochr â'i gilydd. Cynigiodd hyn her newydd a chyffrous i'r cwmni, sy'n gweithio'n ddwyieithog dim ond yn y Gymraeg a'r Saesneg.

Cyflawnwyd y broses ymarfer yn y ddwy iaith, gyda Styles ac Abdi Karya, artist o Makassar yn gweithio ar y cyd â'r actorion Yosua Raharjo Pilli a Vicran Iskandar Putra a hefyd Hildawaty a berfformiodd fel Aderyn Paradwys, un o ddarganfyddiadau mwyaf arwyddocaol Wallace.

Mae Abdi Karya yn awyddus i ychwanegu bod “Y gwaith ar y cyd hwn sydd wedi'i ddyfeisio, yn seiliedig ar etifeddiaeth Wallace ynglŷn ag amrywiaeth ddiwylliannol a'i phobl, a bu i ni ddarganfod iddo ddangos yr un parch at ddiwylliant ag at y rhywogaethau a'u casglai. A chynrychiolir amrywiaeth yr artistiaid o Indonesia fu'n cymryd rhan gan darddiad y rhanbarth lle bu Wallace yn aros ac yn darganfod yr union rywogaethau hynny.”

Roedd yr ymateb gan gynulleidfaoedd ym Makassar wrth weld dychweliad “Wallace” yn anhygoel. Yr unig beth a'i daflodd i'r cysgod oedd ymddangosiad Ali, ei gynorthwy-ydd ffyddlon a hanodd o Forneo ac a deithiodd gyda Wallace yn Ynysfor Maleia am wyth mlynedd, a aeth yn annwyl i galonnau'r cynulleidfaoedd.

Yn ychwanegol at y perfformiadau, cynhaliodd y cwmni weithdai gyda myfyrwyr lle bu i Ioan Hefin berfformio detholiadau o'r ddrama, a thrafododd Styles sut y gwnaeth hi ysgrifennu ac ymchwilio i'r ddrama sy'n hygyrch i bob oedran ond yn dangos un o'r damcaniaethau pwysicaf a mwyaf cymhleth mewn gwyddoniaeth - damcaniaeth esblygiad trwy ddethol naturiol.

Dysgodd Ioan Hefin, yr actor a greodd rôl Wallace, rannau o'r sgript yn Bahasar hefyd. “Dwi bob amser wedi teimlo'n llawn balchder gyda'r ffordd y mae hanes Wallace yn bachu’r gynulleidfa. Mae medru croesi'r llinell Wallace wedi dangos i mi fod y stori ysbrydoliaethus hon, sydd â'i gwreiddiau yng Nghymru, bellach wedi cyrraedd llwyfan fyd-eang. Braint ryfeddol yw bod yn dyst i'r daith honno.”

"Mewn cyfnod o newidiadau hynod yn ein hinsawdd, mae'r ddamcaniaeth o esblygiad trwy ddethol naturiol yn cyseinio'n ddwys, yn enwedig i bobl sy'n byw yma mewn un o ranbarthau pwysicaf y byd o safbwynt bioamrywiaeth. Mae'n gyfrifoldeb arnom i gyd i gymryd camau ar unwaith"

Y gobaith yw y caiff y ddrama, sydd â'i gwreiddiau yng Nghymru, ei pherfformio yn Ynysfor Maleia am flynyddoedd i ddod, ac y bydd etifeddiaeth Wallace yn parhau ar gyfer cenedlaethau'r dyfodol.

Mae'r cyfle penigamp hwn yn uchafbwynt i flwyddyn wych ar gyfer y cwmni bach hwn a leolir yng Nghastell-nedd. Dechreuon nhw y flwyddyn gyda gwahoddiad arall gan y Cyngor Prydeinig i gyflwyno eu sioe gerdd hynod boblogaidd "Eye of the Storm" yn Hong Kong ac mae newydd gwblhau taith o'r Deyrnas Unedig gan gyfareddu cynulleidfaoedd a derbyn adolygiadau canmoliaethus.

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