Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

12 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

"BARN Y BRODYR."

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

"BARN Y BRODYR." A NEW WELSH PLAY. PRODUCED IN LONDON "It was all about religion, you know: I that's how they are in Wales," re- marked one expensively-gowne d lady to another as they left the Rehearsal Theatre, London, where "Barn y Brodyr" had been produced for the j first time. The Welsh play came at the tail-end of a triad of plays produced by the Drama Society. The first was a brilliant but uneven work, that con- cerned the amour of a Parisian fille de joie, the second was either a clumsy attempt at comedy or the product of I an unusually jaundiced feminist mind, and "Barn y Brodyr," as the perspica- cious lady remarked, was "all about religion." Of this odd melange, the best effort (for those who could follow it) alike in conception and presentation, was undoubtedly the Welsh play. The story of "Barn y Brodyr" is a very simple one. Dai Williams, a model young man who gives promise of becoming one of the pillars of Bethania, has his religious convictions knocked out of plumb by an English Socialist. A strike occurs, and Dai leads the men. At a strike meeting he denounces the chapels, whose deacons are either of or with the employers, and this brings him at loggerheads with Rev. Robert Jones. The minister calls at Dai's house to rebuke him for straying from I; the path of orthodoxy, and to announce that he must submit him for judgment to the brethren at the "Seiat," a rather dubious tribunal, since, as Dai I vehemently remarked, it comprises the I employers he is fighting. Each fresh exhortation of the Rev. I Robert Jones only hardens Dai's re- solve, torn though he is by knowledge of the pain he is causing his simple, godly mother, Margaid Williams, to cut himself adrift from the old religious moorings. Enter Mair, Dai's betrothed and although she fully enters into his spirit as a rebel agains the established order of things, she is horrified to learn that he is an agnostic, mayhap even an atheist, and leaves him with the intimation that the relations -if love are severed by the too cruel, cruel blow. Mair acts and speaks as though agnosticism carries some definite moral obloquy-atheism, of course, being the last pitch of spiritual depravity—and even Dai seems to have a haunting sense of the sinfulness of renunciation. The play ends with Margiad, Dai's mother, raising despairing hands to heaven, and praying for the return of the prodigal. I Trite and simple enough the play appears from this resume; and so it is, but nevertheless it is in most particu- laars a faithful portrait of the life and mentality of a Carnarvonshire village. ) The author, Mr. T. R. Evans, knows hie Wales, and what he lacks in dra- matic technique he makes up in sin- cerity, intensity, and fidelity to fact. Betsan Owen is a realistic study of a lachrymose woman of the poorer class, and the author contrives a truly Welsh touch when Margiad places surrepti- tiously in the hands of the departing Betsam a package of sugar or some other pantry requisite, with the re- mark "Peidiwch a son." Betsan's description of "Yr hen Sccialws" as "Y lot fwya annuwiol," etc., set the audience laughing, as well it might. Rev. Robert Jones is slightly over-drawn, and the author does not seize his opportunity of show- ing how the minister's fervent and conservative mind is lacerated between the instinct of loyalty to capitalist deacons, and the desire to retain so promising a chapel member as Dai. Margiad Williams, the mother, was al- most photographic in accuracy of pre- sentation Wil Williams, a typically light and care-free youth, aglow with pride in his eloquent brother Dai, is fresh and vivid, but the most is not made of the opportunities of light re- lief he affords; and Mair is weak and ineffective, the failure of the play. The mounting was mediocre, but re- gard must be paid to the limited resour- ces of the Rehearsal Theatre. There was an impossible "dresser"; the delf was all white, and the blue and gold and bronze effects of the ordinary col- lection of cottage china were conspicu- ous by their absence. A copy of the "Geninen"- was lather ostentatiously- displayed on an upper shelf of the "dresser." The portraits included a sepia-tinted one of Mr. Lloyd George. There was a round table, but one missed the inevitable oak "settle." Al- together the producers quite failed to create the authentic Welsh atmosphere. It is impossible to witli-hold praise from the actors. Mr. T. R. Evans (the author) as Dai Williams, was vigorous and effective, if occasionally inanimate. Cordelia Rhys, as Marged was a pro- nounced success, and her brilliant work compelled admiration. H. D. Jones (Wil Williams) displayed great natural gifts, and Gwilym Aeron (Rev. Robert Jones) gave a finished study of pon- derous gravity. Megan Williams (Bet- san Owen) contrived the right blend of lugubriousness, and Janet Evans (Man- Jones) made up in vivacity for a rather obvious failure to stimulate the North Welsh intonation. The great defect of the play is its lack of humour. But Mr. T. R. Evans (Continued at bottom of next column*)

Mr. J. Hugh Edwards, M.P and…

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"BARN Y BRODYR."