‘One of Wales’ most sought-after playwrights.’ Western Mail
‘One of the most exciting Welsh theatre artists of his generation.’ John McGrath, National Theatre Wales
‘He changed the landscape of Welsh language theatre forever.’ Tim Price, Contemporary Welsh Plays
Dafydd is an award-winning writer, composer and performer, working in theatre, radio and television in both English and Welsh. His work has been performed across the UK and internationally in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Sweden, Taiwan and the USA. He trained in the Lecoq pedagogy at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA) and has a Ph. D in Theatre Studies from Warwick University.
Writing and composing credits include: MOTHER COURAGE (National Theatre Wales); GWAITH/CARTREF (10 Episodes for Fiction Factory, Celtic Media Award); HERITAGE (National Theatre Connections); LLWYTH (Theatr Genedlaethol/Sherman Cymru, Wales Theatre Critics Award); MY NAME IS SUE (Total Theatre Award) & SUE: THE SECOND COMING (Dafydd James & Company); THE VILLAGE SOCIAL (NTW/National Theatre Studio); PETER PAN (Sherman Cymru); SNOWCHILD (Sherman Cymru) and WHATEVER! THE MUSICAL (Canned Productions).
Writing credits include: CRACKANORY (Tiger Aspect/Dave); YURI (Translation of Youri, August 012), PSYCHOBITCHES (Tiger Aspect/Sky Arts, winner of Rose d’Or Award); TERRACE (BBC, Radio 3); FE DDAW’R BYD I BEN (Richard Burton Company and Sherman Cymru); DEFFRO’R GWANWYN (Translation of SPRING AWAKENING: A NEW MUSICAL, Theatr Genedlaethol); Y NYTH (Translation of THE FLOCK, Gwasg Gomer); THE BOY WHO WENT FISHING FOR COMPLIMENTS (RWCMD), DRIVING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS (Radio Wales) and CLICK (Mess Up the Mess).
Performing credits include: ANTHEM (Joio); GWAITH/CARTREF (Fiction Factory); CYFRINACH LLYFR KELLS (Cwmni Da); C2: DAFYDD JAMES (Radio Cymru), and he continues to perform as his award-winning alter ego ‘Sue Timms’.
Dafydd was also dramaturg on THE BLOODY BALLAD (MTM awards) and THE FORSYTHE SISTERS for Gagglebabble and THE HARRI PARRIS: THE BIG DAY for Mai oh Mai productions.
Current projects include:
ALL THAT I AM, a play for RWMCD/Sherman Cymru.
WONDERMAN, an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s short stories with Gagglebabble, to premiere in Edinburgh next August.
JAM, a radio play for Radio 4.
OBLIVION, an original drama series for Fiction Factory.
BEAST, an original drama series for Scott Free Productions.
A LARGE SCALE MUSICAL, to be announced.
Dafydd’s Artistic Vision
I write stories in words and music. Sometimes I tell them too.
Having grown up bi-lingual and living in Cardiff, Wales, I am inspired by the ‘in-between’ spaces. Often exploring the transgressive and transformative, I am fascinated by acts of translation: between languages, between culture and between phenomena. I’m interested in stories and characters that exist between life’s dualities, teetering on the brink of that which makes us non/human and in/sane and through these I seek to challenge the boundaries of social ‘norms’, scrutinising life’s mundane moments to reveal the epic and vice versa. I am interested in the queer, paradoxical and profound dimensions of life.
I trained in the Lecoq pedagogy, so there is often a collaborative and inter-disciplinary dimension to my work. Innovative work often emerges from the unexpected encounter between artists, methods, and knowledges during collaboration. I am particularly interested in crossing the boundaries between forms and genres (e.g. ‘There are loads of labels you can stick on My Name is Sue, but none of them describes why it works so well’ The Times) and when theatre, music, comedy and story-telling fuse together to produce viscerally immersive art.
I approach creation through combining research, thought, dialogue, devising, improvising, writing, composing and feedback. My process is one where I dream (imagine), vomit (play uncensored), and sculpt (structure/re-write).
I aim to produce stories with a wide and inter-generational appeal, be that in theatre or on radio or screen, and am passionate about attracting new and younger audiences to my work. Inclusivity is important to me, and I view this coming together of seemingly disparate audience ‘tribes’ as a political intent in my work.
Rose d’Or Award, for Psychobitches
Celtic Media Award for Drama, for Gwaith/Cartref
Music Theatre Matters, for Bloody Ballad
Wales Theatre Critics Award, for Llwyth
Total Theatre Award for Music and Theatre, for My Name is Sue
Cameron Mackintosh Award, for The Hunting of the Snark