This year, National Eisteddfod’s alternative Eisteddfod, Gŵyl AmGen, includes an innovative production of Dan y Wenallt, which is an adaptation of T James Jones’ translation of Under Milk Wood, performed by Theatr Soffa – a brand new company created by Cered, Menter Iaith Sir Benfro and Span Art.

In May, following a period of lockdown, the online theatre project drew together individuals from an area spanning south Ceredigion and north Pembrokeshire with the help of multimedia theatre producer Rowan O’Neill and film maker Jacob Whittaker.

The aim was to create a live online theatre experience using Zoom video conferencing during the initial lockdown phase. The choice of Dan y Wenallt, T. James Jones’ translation of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood, seemed ideal – a classic drama with an uncontrolled claustrophobia in its portrait of the jubilations and tragedies of a small community.

Dan y Wenallt will be performed live on Friday August 7 at 8pm, and the audience is asked to book a place in advance through the following link:

Dan y Wenallt’is set in Llaregub, a small, fictional fishing town. Characters such as Capten Cat, the blind sea captain, Poli Gardis and the the Rev Eli Jenkins contemplate their lives and the wider world. During the performance, the actors’ voices are combined with archived film clips and modern-day footage, creating an innovative, atmospheric production.

Non Davies, Cered’s manager, said: “This exciting production has been great in drawing people that would never normally get an opportunity to work together to create something completely different – individuals from different backgrounds, from a wide geographical area and of all ages. From the youngest to the oldest every member has enjoyed the social aspect of the online rehearsals. The company is already looking for other work to perform in the autumn.”

The digital project is part of the Digital Span project that has been piloting ways in which digital technology can be used creatively to address issues such as community wellbeing and rural isolation. The Digital Span project is supported by Gwella Sir Benfro, Arts Council Wales and Arwain Sir Benfro Leader fund.