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Wales rep highlights lack of opportunity for Welsh playwrights

Manon Eames

Manon Eames (left), WGGB rep for Wales, this week claimed that Welsh language script writers are missing out on opportunities in Wales as talent is being sourced in England.

She has called on the Arts Council of Wales to carry out a “full review” of the situation.

Eames raised concerns about a lack of opportunities for Welsh talent at Theatr Clwyd in Mold, Flintshire.

She revealed that the theatre recruits writers and production teams from England and holds many of its productions in English.

The Sherman Theatre in Cardiff has also come under fire for appointing a non-Welsh speaker as its new associate director and for commissioning only four Welsh language plays since 2013, compared to 15 in English and one bilingual play.

Eames has called on the Arts Council of Wales, which funds both theatres, to explain how it plans to develop Welsh language talent, urging greater transparency.

Sian Tomos, the council’s director of enterprise and regeneration, agreed that Welsh language provisions had to be improved. She said the Arts Council has set up a taskforce to address the problem as soon as possible, calling it a “matter of urgency”.

Read the WGGB Theatre Committee’s statement in support of the Welsh branch of the Writers’ Guild

UPDATE On 6 October 2017 the Arts Council of Wales told WGGB that there are legitimate issues to discuss, they welcome the discussion and that they will shortly be announcing a process of conversation and debate, above and beyond the task group already established.

Photo: Shutterstock.com/Stephen Rees