The Books Council of Wales and Arad Goch theatre company have teamed up to produce readings of the Welsh-language books for children and young people which have been shortlisted for the Tir na n-Og 2020 Awards.
As all their theatrical productions have been postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown, Arad Goch actors in Aberystwyth have turned to performing and recording their voices over the internet.
With everyone contributing from their homes and Jeremy Turner directing from a distance, the actors have been reading extracts from the six Welsh-language books to reach this year’s Tir na n-Og shortlist – three from the primary age category and three from the category for secondary schools.
Files of the readings recorded on Zoom are available free of charge from Monday 29 June 2020 on the Books Council’s #lovereading channel on the amam.cymru platform as well as on Hwb, the Welsh Government’s digital learning website.
Helen Jones, Head of Children’s Books and Reading Promotion at the Books Council of Wales, said: "The quality of the Tir na n-Og books has been particularly high once again this year and it’s really important to share this creativity with children and young people. At a time when libraries and schools have been shut, we are extremely grateful to Arad Goch for working with us to create original and unique Welsh-language content that is available digitally and free of charge. We hope that these readings will be a valuable resource for schools and parents now and in the future, and that they will bring pleasure to children and young people across Wales. We would like to thank Arad Goch, the publishers Atebol and y Lolfa, and the authors for their enthusiasm and support."
Jeremy Turner, Artistic Director of Cwmni Theatr Arad Goch, said: "Arad Goch has a long and successful history of working in partnership and co-production with organisations in Wales and abroad, including with the Books Council on many occasions in the past. We have also created several theatrical productions based on books and their stories. It’s been a pleasure therefore to have the opportunity once again to work with the Books Council during this strange time, to create recordings of the fantastic books which have been nominated for this year’s awards. I enjoyed reading all of them and would like to thank our actors, technicians and editor for their work. Thanks also to the Arts Council for its support during these uncertain times."
The actors involved include Ffion Wyn Bowen, Lynwen Haf Roberts, Gruffydd Evans and Ioan Gwyn, with Eugene Capper as sound technician and editing by Carwyn Blayney.
The Welsh-language winners of the Tir na n-Og 2020 Awards will be announced on S4C’s Heno programme at 6.30pm on Friday, 10 July, with the winner of the English-language category announced on the Radio Wales Arts Show on Friday, 3 July 2020.