Wales

Mold riots recreated by live action street cast 150 years on

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Media captionThe performance will see audiences follow the action around five locations in the town

A theatre cast involving more than 100 people will take to the streets to recreate riots in a town.

Four people died in Mold, Flintshire, 150 years ago, during riots which started when an English manager of a colliery brought in English workers and cut Welsh miners' wages.

Theatr Clwyd's production will take place on various streets around the town and involves community cast members as well as professional actors.

The performances start on Monday.

Bethan Marlow, writer of Mold Riots, said it had "been quite a journey", which was a couple of years in the making.

Image copyright Other
Image caption The riot as published in the Illustrated London News in June 1869
Image caption The cast preparing to riot in rehearsals

"It started with going to the archives, reading books about what actually happened," she said.

"When I started reading about it, there's lots of themes that really echo for me today.

"There's talk about how the Welsh language is treated, talk about immigration, talk about working class about how they're treated and they're silenced, and all of that really echoes with Mold today.

"There'll be some themes that really resonate with the life we've got at the moment".

Image copyright Theatr Clywd
Image caption The cast is a mix of professional and community actors

Ms Marlow said she has previously worked on a quite a few "site-specific pieces".

"It's always a challenge, especially when it's in October and we don't know what the weather is going to do," she said.

The promenade performance, which will see audiences follow the action around five locations in the town, follows the story of riots which broke out in the summer of 1869 after miners were put on trial for attacking their manager because their wages were lowered.

The community cast has more than 100 members, including 30 children aged seven to 16. The oldest member is 87.

Image caption Amy Forrest is one of the few professional cast members

The theatre's knitting group has been creating shawls and hats and the community scenic art team has made more than 1,000 pieces of coal for the production.

One of the few professional cast members, Amy Forrest, said "everyone in the community cast is just fantastic, you probably won't be able to tell who is who".

Director Katie Posner said it was a "privilege" to be able to tell the story.

Image caption Cast member Sam Wise has found the experience "joyful"

Sam Wise, a community cast member, added: "What is so wonderful about this one is the sheer size of it and the numbers in the cast.

"There are so many people, from so many backgrounds, and so many ages and so many experiences that in the many hours standing around waiting to do our bit, you forge so many relationships and it is truly joyful."

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