In the summer of 1989, a farmer’s wife gave birth to a baby girl. In this moment Buddug James Jones became heir to her family’s three hundred year old farming dynasty. Now as a modern young woman, Bud is desperate to change her destiny.
Leaving five generations of tradition behind, she sets out alone into the big smoke encountering heartbreak, drama and hilarity along the way, accompanied by live music and Welsh cakes and a Twmpath.
The show is a personal reflection on the wider contemporary issues currently affecting the UK countryside as younger generations leave behind rural life for more secure urban futures and feel the burden of the impact this has on the people and places they leave behind. Hiraeth follows Bud’s story, retelling her life with honesty, humour and integrity. ‘It’s a warm, comforting, cwtch of a show; where nostalgia, poignancy and laughter sit side by side’ (Gareth Lloyd Roberts, Artistic Director, Aberystwyth Arts Centre).
Hiraeth is a Welsh word with no direct English translation; it is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness and desire – a pride you feel for your roots and a sadness for the loss of a way of life. The show rejoices in this universal emotion with which everyone can empathise even as Bud wrestles with the knowledge that her departure marks a time of change and sounds the death knell for the family farm. Through one woman’s struggle to escape and let go, Hiraeth explores the decline of Welsh identity and tradition. Most venues will also receive a ‘Twmpath’ at the end of the show hosted by the performers of the show.
The company began creating the show in 2011 with the support of Wales Millennium Centre’s Incubator project, with further support by Arts Council Wales, IdeasTap, British Council New Zealand, Wales Arts International and National Theatre Wales TEAM. After three years in the making, and a critically acclaimed run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014, followed by a successful Autumn tour of Wales and a London run at Soho Theatre, 2015 saw a successful UK tour and a sell-out 2 month tour of New Zealand. This tour presented by house heads to venues across the South-East.
Created by Jesse Briton, Buddug James Jones, Max Mackintosh
Directed by Jesse Briton
Performed by David Grubb, Buddug James Jones and Aled Wyn Thomas
Lighting Design by Seth Rook Williams
Produced by Sarah Jane Leigh
Tue 23 Feb - Theatre Royal Margate
Wed 24 Feb - Forest Arts Centre, New Milton
Thu 25 Feb - The Lyric Theatre, Bridport
Fri 26 Feb - Cranleigh Arts Centre
Sat 27 Feb - Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis
Sun 28 Feb - Lingfield & Dormansland Community Hall
Tue 1 Mar - The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead
Fri 4 Mar - Didcot Cornerstone
Sat 5 Mar - Swallowfield Parish Hall
Sun 6 Mar - Thursley Village Hall
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