North East Wales Archives and Theatr Clwyd to produce monologue style films based around stories of women
North East Wales Archives has been awarded a Welsh Government grant to work alongside Theatr Clwyd creating monologue style films.
‘Women Rediscovered’ will retell stories of women during the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries and are based around those discovered in the archive collections held at Ruthin and Hawarden.
There will be four productions:
- A headmistress who devoted herself to education;
- A widow of a miner killed in the Gresford colliery disaster;
- A mother reflecting on postnatal depression;
- The Marged ferch Ifan – ‘an extraordinary female who was the greatest hunter, shooter, and fisher of her time’ as written about by Thomas Pennant.
The filming took place during Explore Your Archive week, a campaign organised by the UK Archives and Records Association and supported by Archives and Records Council Wales.
The annual week-long campaign encourages people across Wales to discover something new within the nation’s archives such as family history or stories about Welsh communities.
Sarah Roberts, archivist from the North East Wales Archives, said: “We would normally hold events and exhibitions around this time of year, but we have had to think more creatively this year because of current COVID restrictions about how we can use and promote our wonderful collections.
“It has been exciting to work with Theatr Clwyd on something so different. We are looking forward to launching the stories online over the coming weeks and keeping people entertained over the lockdown period. Hopefully this will inspire other storytellers and filmmakers to base their work on archive collections wherever they are based.”
Director of Creative Engagement at the Theatr, Gwennan Mair, said: “It’s been extremely interesting working with the archive on this project. It’s enabled us to find hidden stories from North Wales. We hope to work more in partnership with the archive to bring stories alive and to share our unique history with the world in a creative way.”
Eleri B. Jones, Director of Women Rediscovered and Trainee Director at Theatr Clwyd, said: “Rediscovering these women’s stories in partnership with the North East Wales Archives has been an eye-opening and thoroughly enjoyable experience.
“Too often rural, historic stories from just around the corner are forgotten or buried, especially when it comes to progressive, everyday women like the ones in our films. Imagining life from their perspective and giving voice to the wisdom that’s still relevant today has been a privilege.”
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