Press Releases 2016

University of Wales Trinity Saint David and BBC Cymru Wales establish an innovative partnership

07.12.2016

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David and BBC Cymru Wales have created an innovative partnership providing a unique opportunity for those studying within the University’s Canolfan Berfformio Cymru (Wales Performance Centre) to develop their knowledge and experience of television production.

Pobol y Cwm group

As part of their course, students on the Welsh-medium BA Perfformio (Performance) degree programme have had the opportunity to train with the highly acclaimed Producer and Director, Terry Dyddgen-Jones on the set of the successful long-running BBC Cymru Wales drama series, Pobol y Cwm at the Roath Lock drama studios in Cardiff.

The practical experience the students have gained on the set of Pobol y Cwm is part of a module entitled Acting for Film and Television - a module taught by Terry Dyddgen-Jones – one of the UK’s most respected television drama producer / directors who’s worked in on hugely popular series' such as Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks.

"This is a fantastic development for Canolfan Berfformio Cymru (Wales Performance Centre) and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David," said Gwilym Dyfri Jones, the University’s Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor.

"Creating a partnership that offers so many varied experiences in the field of television production is fantastic news for our students. This is a great example of collaboration that will benefit both our students and the industry, ensuring that our graduates have the appropriate skills needed to succeed in their chosen fields."

Pobol y Cwm students 1    Pobol y Cwm students 2

According to Eilir Owen Griffiths, Programme Director of the BA Perfformio and Senior Lecturer in Creative Industries with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol at the University, the partnership has enabled the students to gain invaluable experience within the television industry.

"The students have been immersed in a professional working environment for a period of time giving them a very strong foundation for the future," he said.

"As part of their time on the set of the daily TV drama, all of our students had the opportunity to take on different roles.  From being a Floor Manager to directing, and from acting to being a sound recordist, everyone has had the chance to see what’s needed to create a successful production."

As part of the partnership, BBC Cymru Wales shared studio time with the BA Perfformio students, as well as giving the time of experienced Pobol y Cwm staff to train the students in the various fields.

"We are very grateful to Llŷr Morus, Pobol y Cwm Series Producer who facilitated this partnership and to Terry Dyddgen-Jones who has supported the development of the BA Perfformio from the very beginning," said Eilir.

Llyr Morus said: “Pobol y Cwm has had a strong tradition of nurturing on-screen talent over more than 40 years on-screen. Ioan Gruffudd had his first TV break on set, and recently, young actor James King - who plays Chester Monk - appeared in BBC One drama series Ordinary Lies. But it’s just as crucial to develop talented people behind the camera, including writers and those working in the editorial and production departments. So this partnership is a two-way street, benefiting us in the creative industries as well as supporting young people who are so passionate about the work.”

BA Perfformio student, Euros Llŷr Morgan, says that he’s benefited a great deal from his time on the set of Pobol y Cwm.

"It was an amazing experience - not only did we get to work with one of the UK’s leading directors but we were also given a week of filming on the set of professional drama series with the BBC," says Euros.

"It was a brilliant opportunity and it really broadened my horizons in terms of the industry.  This has been the highlight of the course so far."

Pobol y Cwm clapper board

The pioneering Welsh-medium degree course, BA Perfformio, was established back in September 2015 and is taught over a period of two years within Canolfan Perfformio Cymru (Wales Performance Centre). The intensive teaching occurs at The Gate Arts Centre, Cardiff, with periods of teaching on the University of Wales Trinity Saint David campus in Carmarthen.

With the main focus on preparing students for life as professional performers, the course places great emphasis on practical elements, with the voice, body, mind and career of the performer key to the programme's content. Because of the intensity of the course and the specialised training associated with it, the student intake each year is limited.

“The basic ethos of the Welsh-medium BA Perfformio course is to provide students with a solid technique as well as a wider understanding of the Creative Industries in Wales and further afield,” continues Eilir Owen Griffiths.

“With the opportunity of studying for a degree over two years rather than three, this is the first accelerated degree of its kind in Wales.  The degree will be also be practical course with regular opportunities for Students to perform and to showcase their progress,” adds Eilir.

“The aim is to give the best possible opportunities for Students to develop a range of skills as well a greater understanding of the industry – skills that are necessary for Students to nurture to enable them to work at the highest possible level.”

As well as teaching on the course, Terry Dyddgen-Jones was also instrumental in helping to establish the degree programme.

“Here’s a course that has a direct link with the industry.  We, as people who work in the industry, are extremely keen to work with young, talented people and we’re really eager to feed into the course content,” he says.

“We all visit Cardiff often with our work, and as a result, we're able to spend time with the Students, holding masterclasses with them, mentoring them and giving them plenty of advice,” he adds.

“We’re a Group of professional people who represent a cross-section of the industry and who see the need for this type of course in Wales.  This is a course with a framework that’s been shaped by people who currently work in the industry.  That, along with the fact that you can gain your degree over two years rather than three – makes the BA Perfformio course offered by UWTSD so different.”

As well as receiving input from Terry Dyddgen-Jones, many other high profile individuals from the Creative Industries have fed into the development of the degree content, including Stifyn Parry (Producer, Director and Presenter); Buddug Verona James (Voice expert); Geraint Cynan (Musical Director and Composer), Catrin Darnell (Musical Theatre Actress), Elen Bowman (Director), Aled Pedrick (Actor and Director) and Lauren Phillips (Actress and Dance expert).  Input from professionals of this calibre ensures the degree course contains the necessary elements to prepare students for a successful career in theatre, television or on stage.

For further information regarding the BA Perfformio course, please contact Eilir Owen Griffiths on 0300 323 1250or email Eilir e.griffiths@uwtsd.ac.uk

You can also follow the course’s accounts on Social Media by searching for Perfformio PCDDS on Facebook and by following @Perfformio_PCDDS on Twitter.

Further Information

  1. For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Principal Communications and PR Officer on 01267 676908 / 07449 998476 / sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk