Music by: Christopher J. Orton
Book and Lyrics by: Robert Gould and Christopher J. Orton
Full professional, Suitable for amateurs (rights available), Suitable for High Schools (rights available), Has been performed
In 1831 Richard Lewis (aka Dic Penderyn) became the first martyr of the Welsh working class. Now he becomes the central character in a new musical with a powerful and beautiful score by Christopher J. Orton. Dramatically driven by the ideological clash between union activist Richard Lewis and Jenkins, High Sherriff of Glamorgan and pillar of the establishment, the plot heads towards its climactic conclusion while taking a glimpse at the lives of the hero’s best friend and two women who love him: Dafydd, who puts love before politics until events present him with harshly ironic trials of conscience; Irish widow Cliona, who is loved by Dafydd but who carries a candle for Richard and is torn apart by tragic personal loss; and Angharad, the archetypal Welsh heroine – caring and firm-willed, a survivor made strong by the scars of her early life – who helps Richard find “love on the edge of their tears”. This is a tale of conflict, social injustice, moral dilemmas, guilt and heartbreak – an epic musical from the musical nation of Wales.
A concert version was staged at The Gate, Cardiff in 2007, directed by Craig Revel Horwood. A slightly re-worked and even more powerful version is now available and a full studio recording with a stellar cast of West End stars is in the works.