UWTSD Students to present new Welsh language production - ‘Undod’


Students on the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Welsh medium BA Perfformio (Performance) course in Cardiff are being given the opportunity to perform in a new play this week that’s been written especially for them.


The play - Undod – will be staged at the Gate Arts Centre in Cardiff this Thursday, 7th June and Friday, 8th June.

Canolfan Berfformio Cymru (Wales Performance Centre), which is part of UWTSD, has commissioned the dramatist Branwen Davies to write the play, Undod, which has been inspired by the story of an American school teacher in the 60s.     

Ron Jones, a history teacher from California, created an experimental social movement in the school to explain how the German people accepted the fascist actions of the Nazis during the Second World War.  Even though the experiment did not receive much attention at the time, the account was later adapted and turned into a stage show, book and film.

In this new play, Branwen Davies takes the idea of Ron Jones' experiment and basis it in today’s Wales.  The sixth formers in the fictitious school, Heol y Coed are in disarray. They have lost respect for authority and are obsessed with snapchat and selfies.  When a new teacher joins them who has some unorthodox and experimental teaching methods, the results are transformational.

As boundaries are crossed and the students’ imaginations are set alight, who’s in control of the situation?

Directed by Elen Bowman and including a cast of sixteen students, the production also features actress, Eiry Thomas.

Having an opportunity to work with both Elen and Eiry – who are also tutors on the BA Perfformio course - offers students an excellent experience.  Having a play specially written for them as a group of young actors also gives them the opportunity to be involved throughout the whole creative process.

Eilir Owen Griffiths, Director of the BA Perfformio course at UWTSD said:  “We are delighted that Eiry has agreed to be part of this this exciting project.  What better way for our students to learn than to have a BAFTA Cymru award winner with them in the rehearsal room?

“We are also honoured to have Branwen Davies to write a new piece for our students. As a Centre, we hope to commission new works on a regular basis over the next few years so that our students experience how a piece is created, developed and produced - the complete experience from start to finish.

“In addition, Elen Bowman became a theatre lecturer for us in September, and this is the first production she directed since being appointed. We are fortunate to have someone of Elen’s quality to nurture develop and above all, challenge our students.”


All students taking part in the production are studying the Welsh medium BA Perfformio with UWTSD in The Gate Arts Centre in Cardiff.  The fundamental ethos of the programme is to provide a solid technique along with a broad understanding of the creative industries in Wales and beyond.

Given the very practical nature of the degree, students receive a range of opportunities to perform and show their progress on a regular basis – and this is another example of students benefiting from interesting and varied opportunities to perform and develop skills that will prepare them for the world of theatre.

Established by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Cardiff, the BA Perfformio is an innovative and progressive course taught intensively over a period of two years by a combination of staff from the University and experts working professionally in the fields of television, dance, entertainment, musicals and theatre.

The students on the course make the most of all opportunities to work with professional practitioners who offer them a range of new and varied experiences and this time, having the opportunity to share a rehearsal room with two of the most experienced and successful practitioners on the Welsh theatre scene is likely to an enormous benefit to them.

Eiry Thomas is a well-known actress who has won the BAFTA Cymru best actress category twice – the first after her role in The Bench and the second time after the Welsh film, Cwcw.  She also recently starred in the successful series Un Bore Mercher, which was recently broadcast on S4C as well as the English version Keeping Faith that has performed extremely well on BBC One Wales.

Elen Bowman is well-known as one of Wales’ main directors and has worked with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, National Theatre Wales, Sgript Cymru and Sherman Cymru.  She is also a Wales Theatre Award winner and has twice been nominated for a BAFTA Cymru award.  In addition to working as a director across Wales, Elen has now joined the staff on the BA Perfformio course at UWTSD.

If you’d like to know more about the BA Perfformio course, go to http://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/cbc    

To order tickets for Undod, go to www.thegate.org.uk or phone 029 2048 3344

Further Information

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