Branwen and Other Dance Dramas and Plays
Disgrifiad | Description
- ISBN: 9780863818561
- Author: Tony Conran
- Publication October 2003
- Format: Paperback, 148x210 mm, 300 pages
A compelling compilation of plays, with plots taken from the Mabinogion, by one of Wales's most innovative writers.
Branwen is the one full-length drama in this collection of plays (from 1980-1995) by Tony Conran. All are in his distinctive poetic style, using ancient myth and modern politics to illuminate each other; many also use dance as the main or a major part of the action.
Branwen is a 'revolutionary tragedy' powerfully retelling the classic Welsh story using contemporary political concepts. This shows Branwen sacrificed to her brothers’ ideals as well as Efnisien’s malice. Traditional Morris dance-forms are ingeniously used to express action.
Blodeuwedd commemorates a production originally told through Blodeuwedd's monologues and two dancers. Conran has here added a storyteller to clarify the narrative. The poetry is powerful, savage and sometimes jarring; the format open to many styles of interpretation.
Five Women is a sequel to Branwen but depicting victims of a modern war-damaged world. Not entirely successful as a one-act play, it feels more like a first Act yet to be finished. Ceridwen and The Korrigans, both rather brief, tell parts of the Gwion-Taliesin story with Ceridwen as a 'mad scientist'. Meinir and Rhys uses the Noh form to tell a sad Welsh folktale of a lost bride.
The Vow is a radio adaptation of Saunders Lewis's mediaeval romance drama about Amlyn and Amig - a grim and tormented tale of divided loyalty, which is oddly called a comedy.
This collection makes available an interesting body of poetic drama by a Welsh writer who (like Yeats in his Plays for dancers) uses myth and dance to explore questions of personal and national loyalty.