Cast announced for new Welsh language musical Branwen: Dadeni

Casting has been announced for new Welsh language musical Branwen: Dadeni.

Mared Williams, the award-winning musician and performer, is set to take on the title role in the show presented by Wales Millennium Centre and Frân Wen.

The contemporary reimagining of the legendary yet tragic tale of Branwen from the ancient mythical Mabinogion will tour Wales this November.

Joining Mared Williams in the cast is Caitlin Drake, who will play Branwen’s sister Efnisien and Rithvik Andugula, making his professional debut, portraying Matholwch, King of Ireland.

Tomos Eames will take on the role of Bendigeidfran, Branwen’s brother and King of Cedyrn, while Ioan Hefin will play Picell, a mysterious new presence in the story, and Gillian Elisa will play the role of Ena.

An Octet of singers, who will form part of the musical fabric of the show, has also been unveiled. Joining the Octet are Lisa Angharad, Huw Euron, Steffan Hughes, Miriam Isaac, Elan Meirion, Niamh Moulton, Cedron Sion and Adam Vaughan. Two young actors from Cardiff have also been cast to share a significant role as Gwern/Plentyn. Mali Grooms and Tegwen Velios will each perform in all three tour venues, making their professional stage debuts.

A shattered kingdom. A corrupt monarchy. A new generation desperate for change. Branwen: Dadeni is an epic Welsh language musical which brings one of our most well-known legends into the contemporary world.

After a bloody civil war, the Llŷr family control Cedyrn. Branwen, the charismatic young princess who has won the people’s hearts, is eager to move her country forward, but her brother, the king, won’t listen.

During an unexpected visit by the King of Ireland, she sees her opportunity: escape to a progressive and prosperous country where her voice will count and she’ll have the power to change things. But, as her star rises, every bargain, betrayal and body leads her deeper into the darkness, until, on the brink of ruin, the price becomes clear.

What would you sacrifice to create a just world?

Branwen: Dadeni is written by Hanna Jarman, Elgan Rhys and Seiriol Davies, with lyrics and music by Seiriol Davies. The production is directed by Frân Wen’s Artistic Director, Gethin Evans. The creative team includes set and costume designer Elin Steele, lighting designer Bretta Gerecke, orchestrator Owain Gruffudd Roberts and casting director Hannah Marie Williams.

The show will kick off at Wales Millennium Centre’s Donald Gordon Theatre from 8 – 11 November 2023, followed by performances at Aberystwyth Arts Centre from 15 – 17 November 2023 and ending at Pontio Arts Centre, Bangor, from 22 – 25 November 2023.

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About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.