Storytelling Trilogy Leads New Season For Rising North Wales Company (2024)

Welsh theatre company Frân Wen has announced its 2024 Summer/Autumn season lineup that includes a unique storytelling trilogy based on the mythical Arianrhod from the Mabinogi and a new musical from Seiriol Davies.


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In a groundbreaking feat of storytelling, the OLION trilogy unfolds in three distinct formats: a live theatre show, a site-specific production that includes a community open-air event across the streets of Bangor and a digital short film.

The trio of experiences, led by a creative team of Anthony Matsena, Angharad Elen and Marc Rees, is set to start on September 23.

The narrative and world of the trilogy was inspired by a creative collaboration with GISDA, a charity supporting young people, which explored real-life experiences of underrepresented young people from North West Wales.

Part one is a live theatre show that reimagines the drowning of Caer Arianrhod (Arianrhod's fortress). Alive with hedonism, sex and spirituality, Arianrhod and her tribe of runaways prepare for a solar eclipse that promises to leave the pain of war behind. But in that moment of complete darkness she endures unspeakable violence and betrayal which triggers a supernatural storm that has catastrophic consequences.

The second part sees one of Bangor's public parks transformed into a free open-air community festival. Scenes will unfold throughout the day across Bangor as dramatic confrontations and a thrilling rescue transforms the festival into a celebration of difference, the acceptance of grief and the triumph of joy.

Part three is an epilogue short film that offers an intimate insight into the life of an ordinary family from Bangor. In a surreal journey through time they learn that their past is deeply intertwined with their present.

NEW Seiriol Davies MUSICAL

This year's National Eisteddfod will welcome Seiriol Davies' fiercely funny and fabulous Welsh language queer musical, Corn Gwlad, a co-production with Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru.

It's the 1924 Eisteddfod in Pontypool. Poet Prosser Rhys has just won the Crown for his poem which details his sexual relationship... with another man! This all-singing, some-dancing journey re-enacts that fateful ceremony from 100 years ago.

Gethin Evans, Artistic Director of Frân Wen said: "I am thrilled to share our 2024 Summer/Autumn programme, which is spearheaded by an epic, modern Myth told in a new way.

"Nyth was developed as a lab for artists and communities to experiment, collaborate and create bold works that offer audiences new experiences whilst being truly rooted in the community we are proudly a part of. We are hopeful that our latest programme reflects these aims.

"Building on Wales' reputation for site-specific practice, co-creation, devised process' and innovative storytelling, we look forward to bringing some of our most exciting and experienced artists together with the next generation of storytellers to continue to discover what Welsh theatre is and can be today."


Following on from the success of the three established Frân Wen Young Companies, Young Company: Tech will be launched over the coming weeks.

This new group will provide opportunities for young people to work closely with the industry's best backstage experts to develop technical lighting, sound and stage skills.

Elgan Rhys, Frân Wen Head of Engagement, said: "Frân Wen is committed to creating career pathways and providing skills and training opportunities to inspire the next generation of theatre makers and boosting specialist skills needed in the sector."


Following visits to Nefyn, Bala and Dolgellau in the past Fa'ma will bring the streets of Bethesda alive with arts this summer as it invites audiences to experience the rural town through the eyes of its young people. The programme gives young people in rural communities across North West Wales the opportunity to collaborate with professional artists to create their own perspective of where they live.


The next phase of our Artist Development aims to nurture talent and provide pathways for artists to present bold and dynamic new work to audiences.

The first of these opportunities is Your Radical Teenager, a commissioning opportunity for artists with 20+ years experience who want to break free from artistic constraints and embrace their truest, most radical selves.

There is also a collaboration with the Eisteddfod to develop young artists who are passionate about crafting experiences tailored for festivals and outdoor work. The project will culminate in a fringe production for the 2026 festival.

Space & Time is a scheme that offers creative spaces and one-to-one professional guidance, MICS is a new creative network for freelance artists in North Wales, and Sgratsh social events that double up as a platform for artists to share their work in progress.

Further details of all the above can be found on


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Storytelling Trilogy Leads New Season For Rising North Wales Company (2024)
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