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Stage adaptation of Rachel Trezise's Fresh Apples to go on tour

Polly March Polly March | 17:09 UK time, Thursday, 19 January 2012

Teenagehood in all its transience and emotional intensity will be brought to life on stage during a new touring production by Cwmni Theatr Frân Wen.

The company is producing Fala' Surion, a Welsh-language adaptation of Rachel Trezise's acclaimed Fresh Apples.

The collection of observational short stories, which casts a wry eye at the awkwardness of adolescence in modern Wales, shot to notoriety after scooping the EDS Dylan Thomas Prize in 2006. It features 11 darkly comic stories dealing with topics from drugs and adultery to stalking and first sexual experiences.

Promotional still from Fala' Surion

Promotional still from Fala' Surion

The cast includes Mold-born Rhodri Meilir, who appeared in the BBC hit comedy My Family and Terry Pratchett's Hogfather on Sky One.

He said: "The raw emotional power and directness of the book had a profound effect on me. "It's a moving exploration of adolescent innocence with a dark comedy vein running through.

"There are laugh out loud moments in the book that only serves to heighten the tenderness of the stories. It's humour that the Welsh will appreciate and associate with."

Also starring are Pobl y Cwm's Catrin Mara and Rhodri Miles, who won the Best International Artist award at the 2010 Hollywood Fringe Festival for his portrayal of Welsh icon Richard Burton in the one-man show Burton.

Other actors include Lowri Gwynne from S4C's Rownd a Rownd and stage actress Lynwen Haf Roberts, who took the lead role in the National Theatre's Welsh translation of Frank Wedekind's musical Spring Awakening.

The production is being directed by Iola Ynyr, who was supported by Manon Eames and Catrin Dafydd, who translated the work from English to Welsh.

She said: "They are among Wales' finest wordsmiths and have been very courageous in transferring the characters from page to stage.

"They have used the dark humour, poverty and oppression to portray Welsh urban life in all its glory."

Trezise was born in Cwmparc in the Rhondda Valley in 1978. Her semi-autobiographical debut novel In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl depicted a harsh childhood. It also marked her out as a writer to watch and scooped her a place on the Orange Futures list, highlighting 21 promising young female authors at the turn of the century.

Having studied at the University of Glamorgan and University of Limerick, In And Out Of The Goldfish Bowl was picked up by Parthian before Trezise had even completed her degree. Published in 2002 to critical acclaim, the book prompted Harpers & Queen to vote her the new face of literature in 2003.

Her style of prose is often described as witty and shocking, and in the past has been dubbed 'Welsh urban fiction', speaking vast truths about a perceived emotional and physical wasteland in urban Wales.

She said: "Where there's real pain; poverty, political oppression, injustice, there's also good jokes and a dark and quick sense of humour.

"Often I don't realise that what I'm writing is humorous. I've been working recently on a novel set in America with Orthodox Jewish characters and some characters from the Deep South, and their tendency toward humour is similar to that of my Welsh characters."

Trezise is currently involved in writing a screenplay with Human Traffic director Justin Kerrigan, about which she said: "To see actors lift characters off the page, characters that you dreamt up in your head, is both a frightening and very gratifying experience."

The tour kicks off on 28 February at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre, where there will be a post-performance discussion with Trezise and the artistic team.

From there it moves to Theatr Felinfach, the Taliesin Arts Centre, Galeri, Caernarfon, Theatr John Ambrose, Ruthin, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, Neuadd Dwyfor, Pwllheli, Pontio, Bangor, Theatr Colwyn, Colwyn Bay ending at Theatr Lyric, Caerfyrddin on March 28.

Further information and tickets are available via falasurion.com or 01248 715 048.


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