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War-Torn Family's Emotional Journey

September 18, 2013


AN emotional story of a family torn apart by war acts as the backdrop for Llanelli Stage Company's latest musical.

Days of Hope, written by award-winning composer Howard Goodall, is being performed at Llanelli's Ffwrnes theatre next week.

Made up of senior members of Llanelli Youth Theatre, the show will be the first production at Ffwrnes for Llanelli Stage Company (LSC).

The LSC has chosen to perform a run of Goodall's relatively unknown musical from September 25 to September 28 in Stiwdio Stepni.

Goodall - famous for his TV work composing the themes for Red Dwarf, Mr Bean, and Blackadder - was inspired to write Days of Hope by the political goings-on in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s.

LSC administrator, Jill Stevens, said: We first became aware of Days of Hope after performing The Hired Man at Theatr Elli in 1989.

She added that Goodall's The Hired Man was such a hit with the audience.

We are hoping that Days of Hope will have the same impact, she said.

Days of Hope was first performed in 1990 following the political events of the late 80s. Relating this to his choice of the Spanish Civil War as a setting for his musical, Goodall said: I felt that the best way to look at freedom and democracy was to look at it when it was collapsing and failing.

In 1990 everybody was writing plays about the eruption of freedom and I wanted to go back and ask questions - why did democracy fail in Spain in 1939? What did we do to invite fascism on ourselves all over Europe? Set by the edge of the sea in Valencia, Spain, in 1939, Days of Hope is the story of a family torn apart by the war, trying to decide whether to flee or to stay and fight.

The scenes and songs reflect upon that war and the future for the family.

Llanelli Stage Company recently performed an extract from Days of Hope at the 100 Voices Charity Concert at Ffwrnes.

The songs performed at the charity concert included, Song of the English Volunteer, Lorca, and Long Live Death.

Days of Hopes numbers carry memorable melodies and an eclectic mix of musical genres including splashes of traditional Spanish music.

Under the artistic direction of Christopher J.Rees, Days of Hope features a cast of seven.

The LSC cast consists of Greg Arthur, Ryan Davies, Ashley Eynon- Davies, Sarah Gilasbey, Phil Rees, Linzi Rogers and Pat Stevens. Most of the cast are all former members of Llanelli Youth Theatre and it includes two of the original cast members of The Hired Man.

Goodall veterans Phil Rees and Pat Stevens will be performing the roles of Carlos and Maria.

Tickets are Pounds 10 can be purchased from the Ffwrnes theatre box office.

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