Hiraeth on 7Days New Zealand, IOF, 2015

Jones, Buddug James

Hiraeth, New Zealand 17/02/2015

Buddug James Jones was awarded funding to take her bilingual theatre show, Hiraeth, to New Zealand to perform at festivals in the region in autumn 2015. The opportunity came about as a result of taking the show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2014, thanks to funding from IdeasTap. Programmers from a number of festivals based in New Zealand and British Council New Zealand saw the show and through joint funding, made it happen!

"The show explores the decline of Welsh tradition and identity, and reflects on what is currently happening across the countryside of Wales, the UK and internationally. Younger generations are leaving for more stable futures in the cities, and are feeling the burden of the impact this has on the people and places they leave behind. I know this, because I am one of those people, and I face the impact of it everyday. The future of the agricultural industry is uncertain, and this strain is felt throughout rural communities all over the world.

'Hiraeth' is a Welsh word which is untranslatable into English. It is the longing and pride you feel for where you came from and for the loss of a way of life. I believe it is a universal emotion that everyone understands, and the show celebrates this.

Being able to go out to New Zealand with Hiraeth for two month was an absolute gift. We met producers, festival organisers, theatre makers and theatre audiences. But, for me, I had grown up hearing all about New Zealand with the Young Farmers Club and knowing there was a really strong link in agriculture between Wales and New Zealand. To be able to meet farmers out in New Zealand, and hear their response to the show was incredibly rewarding, and very sentimental.

I had always wanted to create theatre for rural communities, but never imagined that the show could exist with people on the other side of the world.

It was a privilege to bring a bit of Wales to so many kiwis either through the show, welsh cakes, the ‘twmpath’ or simply sharing stories with people.

We left New Zealand feeling like we’d created new relationships with many people, but also with the country itself. I can’t wait to go back there!"

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