Tom Lycos of Zeal Theatre Australia at Arad Goch
In 2014, Zeal Theatre from Australia travelled to Aberystwyth to perform at Agor Drysau-Opening Doors Wales International Festival of Performing Arts for Young People. This is the company that had previously produced the very successful and provocative show Stones/ Tafliad Carreg. In the 2014 festival, they performed their latest production, King Hit, a physical, energetic, high tempo and very funny performance… until things come to a dramatic and emotional conclusion.
Recently Arad Goch and Zeal have collaborated to create a Welsh version of the production – Y Glec. The production will be on tour to theatres and venues in Wales, in Welsh and English, in March 2017.
In the production, Owain Llŷr Edwards and Rhodri Sion play several characters each, in an hour-long production which discusses many issues which are important to young people. Mainly, it discusses binge-drinking alcohol and the effect it has on the health and attitude of young people. As well as this, the drama discusses violence amongst young people – the prosecutors, the victims, the witnesses and the ‘innocent bystanders’.
In 2008 Zeal Theatre won the prestigious ASSITEJ (l’Association Internationale du Théâtre pour l’Enfance et la Jeunesse) award for innovation in theatre for young audiences and the company’s work can be seen in over 20 countries. Cwmni Theatr Arad Goch is proud of the continuing partnership between the two companies.
During September, one of the original producers and performers of the show, Tom Lycos, made his return to Aberystwyth to direct Arad Goch’s version of King Hit. And Tom’s connections with the seaside town go deeper than just a few visits…
Tom grew up in Australia, but, was born here in Aberystwyth, of Greek and English parents.
"I was born in Aber, as my father was teaching Greek Philosophy at the university here. I left at the age of two, straight to Australia, but it wasn’t long ‘till I was back living in Wales – We moved back when I was 6 for about a year and we lived in Ruthin on that occasion. I feel like I’m Welsh, more Welsh than Australian really. I just feel a really strong connection to Wales!"
In 1996, Tom joined Zeal Theatre, co-creating eight original productions with co-collaborator Stefo Nantsou, including Stones which (like King Hit) was also then produced by Arad Goch. Arad Goch’s Welsh adaptation of the show, Tafliad Carreg had great success, resulting in the show being produced and re-produced several times again with various actors.
"The idea for King Hit came from an incident which happened in Australia. An 18 year old was taking his girlfriend out on a first date, and as they were walking down the street, a total stranger just punched him. He ended up hitting his head on the curb, and shortly after, he died. When the police were questioning the man, the only reason he could give was that he was ‘in a bad mood’. We heard about that, so we decided to look into it, and turns out that these sort of instances happened quite often over Australia! I’d say that every school we toured to in Australia had some sort of connection to an incident like this… in fact, on a few occasions we had to cancel a performance at a school, simply because it was too soon after a similar incident."
The public tour of King Hit will commence at Canolfan Arad Goch, Aberystwyth on the 7th of March and will tour throughout the country including Pontio and Felinfach before finishing at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff on the 1st of April.
Canolfan Arad Goch (01970 617998)
7.3.17 - 19:30 (C), 8.3.17 - 19:30 (E)
Theatr Soar, near Merthyr Tydfil (01685 722176)
Pontio, Bangor (01248 382828)
13.3.17 - 10:00 (C), 12:45 (C)
Theatr Twm O’r Nant, Dinbych (01745 814323)
Neuadd Dwyfor, Pwllheli (01758 704088)
17.3.17 - 13:30 (C), 19:30 (C)
Theatr Gartholwg, near Pontypridd (01443 219589)
Theatr Hafren, Newtown (01686 614555)
24.3.17 - 10:30 (C), 13:30 (E)
Theatr Felinfach (01570 470697)
28.3.17 - 19:30 (C)
Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru / Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff (029 2063 6464)
30.3.17 - 14:00 (C), 19:00 (E), 31.3.17 - 19:00 (E),
1.4.17 - 14:00 (C), 19:00 (E)
*AMSEROEDD I’W CADARNHAU /
TIMES YET TO BE CONFIRMED
C - Perfformiad yn y Gymraeg / E - Performance in English